Jasmine rice might be healthier than you think! Here’s how to include it in your diet

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If you are a Thai or a Vietnamese food lover, jasmine rice will be a constant staple you order to accompany all those delicious curries! The popcorn-like smell and the elongated texture of the grains says it all! While both white rice and jasmine rice might look the same from far, they are distinct categories of rice, each with its characteristics and uses.

Health Shots got in touch with dietitian Garima Goyal who tells us how to tell the two apart. “Jasmine rice is a specific variety of long-grain rice known for its unique aromatic qualities and distinct flavour profile. It’s a stickier rice is is perfect with sushi or certain stir-fries,” she says. And we all know, sushi is great for weight loss.

Is jasmine rice healthy?

Jasmine rice, like most foods, is healthy as long as it is not overconsumed. Here are a few parameters that define its nutritional profile.

1. Calories

Jasmine rice is relatively calorie-dense. The caloric content may vary slightly based on factors like cooking method and specific rice variety.

2. Carbohydrates

A majority of the calories in jasmine rice come from carbohydrates. These carbohydrates mainly consist of starch, the primary energy source for the body.

3. Protein

Jasmine rice is not a significant source of protein. While it contributes some amino acids, rice is considered an incomplete protein source, lacking certain essential amino acids.

4. Fat

Jasmine rice is naturally low in fat. The fat content may increase slightly if the rice is prepared with added oils or fats.

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5. Fibre

White jasmine rice, like other white rice varieties, is lower in fibre compared to brown rice.

Jasmine rice has low fat, but is calorie dense. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the benefits of jasmine rice?

Jasmine rice offers several potential benefits, making it a popular choice in many cuisines, says Garima Goyal.

1. Aromatic qualities

It has a natural fragrance, resembling popcorn or pandan leaves. This aromatic quality can enhance the overall sensory experience of a meal.

2. Palatability

Jasmine rice has a slightly sticky texture when cooked, making it easy to pick up with chopsticks or mould into shapes.

3. Versatility

It complements various flavours and can be paired with different proteins, vegetables, and sauces, making it a versatile base for many meals.

4. Easily digestible

Jasmine rice is easily digestible. This quality can be beneficial for individuals with sensitive digestive systems or those recovering from illness.

5. Source of energy

Jasmine rice primarily consists of carbohydrates, providing a quick and efficient source of energy.

6. Low in fat

Jasmine rice is naturally low in fat, which can be advantageous for those aiming to manage their fat intake or adhere to a low-fat diet.

Are there any disadvantages of jasmine rice?

While jasmine rice has its advantages, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider as well. Firstly, jasmine rice is low in fibre compared to brown rice. “The milling process removes the outer bran layer, reducing its fibre content. This also results in a loss of some vitamins and minerals,” explains Goyal.

White rice, including jasmine rice, has a higher glycemic index compared to brown rice. “This means it can cause a quicker spike in blood sugar levels. It is also calorie-dense, so be careful,” says Goyal.

Also, compared to brown rice and other whole grains, Jasmine rice has fewer antioxidants due to the removal of the bran layer.

How to include jasmine rice in your diet?

Including jasmine rice in your diet can be done in various ways to add flavour and versatility to your meals.

1. Use jasmine rice as main course base

Use jasmine rice as a base for main dishes such as stir-fries, curries, or stews. Its slightly sticky texture pairs well with saucy or flavorful dishes, absorbing and complementing the flavours.

2. Jasmine rice as side dish

Serve jasmine rice as a side dish alongside grilled or roasted meats, vegetables, or seafood. Its neutral flavour allows it to enhance the overall meal without overpowering other components.

3. Fried rice

Make a delicious fried rice by using cooked and chilled jasmine rice. Stir-fry it with vegetables, protein (like chicken, shrimp, or tofu), and your favourite sauces for a quick and flavourful dish.

A platter of Sushi
Jasmine rice is a must-add ingredient in sushi Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

4. Sushi

Jasmine rice can be used to make sushi rice for homemade sushi rolls. Season the rice with a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt to achieve the characteristic sushi rice flavour.

5. Pilaf

Prepare a fragrant rice pilaf by sautéing aromatics like onions and garlic before adding jasmine rice. Cook it in broth or water and add ingredients like nuts, dried fruits, or herbs for extra flavor.

6. Salads

Incorporate cooled, cooked jasmine rice into salads for added texture and substance. Combine it with fresh vegetables, herbs, and a light dressing for a refreshing side or main dish.

7. Desserts

Explore sweet applications by making rice pudding or other desserts using jasmine rice. Cook it with milk, sugar, and vanilla for a simple and comforting rice pudding.

8. Soup Thickener

Add cooked jasmine rice to soups to provide thickness and heartiness. It works well in both traditional and exotic soup recipes.


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