While research in the West gives high scores to brown rice for its bran and fiber content, Ayurveda recommends the long-grained, fragrant basmati rice. “That is because basmati rice is easy on the digestive system. Also, it is saatvic (pure, and balances the physiology). “Basmati rice builds body tissue and is very high on praana or vital life energy,” explains vaidya Ramakant Mishra, eminent ayurvedic physician.
Vaidya Mishra goes on enumerate more benefits of rice:
- Rice contributes the sweet taste to your daily diet. Ayurveda recommends getting six basic tastes on your plate at every meal: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent.
- Rice balances Vata and Pitta doshas. Kapha types, however, should avoid eating rice too often. Dry-roasting it before eating will reduce the heaviness. (Find out which Ayurvedic life type you are by clicking here.)
- Rice can be cooked in an amazing variety of ways. Combine it with beans, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and milk (or simply boiled with a dash of ghee). It is wholesome and nutritious.
Why Rice is Nice
– More than half the world’s population virtually lives on rice.
– In Japan, the words for rice and meal are the same. An average Japanese eats 200 pounds of rice a year. Needless to add, Japan has one of the highest longevity rates in the world.
– Rice crop takes up a whopping 150 million hectares of land worldwide.
– Rice is every bit as versatile as pasta and wheat.
– It is an excellent complex-carbohydrate food.
– Rice is gluten-free and nonallergenic.
– It is low in fat and sodium, and free of cholesterol.
In India, rice has for centuries symbolised fertility, wealth and good health. Ancient priests used it as an ingredient in worship, and to this day, rice is thrown at newlyweds to bless them with healthy offspring and prosperity.
Indian Comfort Food: Dal and Rice