Red, Brown, White or Black: Which Rice Is the Best?

May 29, 2019

If you’ve already consumed all these types of rice, it’s likely that some recipes are more enjoyable from the point of view of taste. But if you want a nutritional comparison, it is good to know the differences that exist between these types of rice.

Rice is actually a cereal and all belonging to the same species, the differences between rice types are not very high, but in some situations they can be taken into account.

For example, it may be important to know that white rice is obtained by decortication and light processing, so that the germs and bran that it may contain can be removed, as well as decreasing the fiber content, which may be useful in some restrictive diets for example in colon diverticulosis where whole rice must be avoided.

Which is the best: white, red, black or brown rice?

White rice

White rice is also known to be refined rice, is actually husked and slightly refined rice, you find it under several types and have different tastes, different cooking times ( pre-cooked rice, instant or quick rice, long grain rice, but also basmati rice considered to be very tasty.

White rice is the most used in the kitchen, it has a lower fiber content compared to whole rice, a much lower vitamin content (especially complex B), but enough calories. For healthy people who have no contraindication to bran and food (eg cereals or seeds), white rice should be the last option, being the least nutritional rice of all types.

Red rice

Red rice has this color due to its content in an antioxidant and pigment called anthocyanin. Anthocyans reduce oxidative stress, lowering the harmful effects of free radicals in the body. It helps prevent and treat cardiovascular disease and arterial hypertension, protects DNA and has anticancer properties. Anthocyans are also found in redcurrants, red onions, roegrasses, red cabbage, etc. Because it is not dehusked, red rice contains a large amount of fiber, B complex vitamins, iron, antioxidants, magnesium, zinc, lignans, vitamin E, protein and complex carbohydrates.

Red rice is also very satieting, so it can be recommended in the menu of those who want to lose a few pounds.

Black rice

Black rice contains the highest amount of antioxidants compared to other rice varieties and is rather low in calories. It is rich in fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamin E, proteins, magnesium, zinc, calcium, copper, selenium, essential amino acids and proteins, B-complex vitamins and other nutrients. Contains resveratrol, considered to be the most powerful antioxidant in nature, but also anthocyanins, about the benefits of which I wrote above.

Consumption of black rice is also recommended for those suffering from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, atherosclerosis, avitaminosis, anemia, or those who want to have a diet that is lower in calories, allowing them to lose a few pounds healthy.

With its rich antioxidant content, black rice is considered to have anti-aging and anti-cancer effects.

Brown rice

Brown rice is poorer in antioxidants compared to black and red varieties but has similar content in vitamins, minerals and protein with black and red rice. It is a variety of rice easy to find, I recommend you to eat it from organic sources. It’s more “soft” in texture in my opinion and I prefer it in the bakery or pudding preparations.

Here’s a brief summary of some nutrients contained in rice types:
White rice: 6.8 g protein, 1.2 g iron, 0.6 g fiber
Brown rice: 7.9 g protein, 2.2 g iron, 2.8 g fiber
Red rice: 7.0 g of protein, 5.5 g of iron, 2.0 g of fiber
Black rice: 8.5 g protein, 3.5 g iron, 4.9 g fiber and the highest antioxidant content of all types of rice.