Rice is a common food for most homeowners. It’s a popular meal option because of its never-boring taste and flexibility to accommodate other types of foodlike vegetables, soups, burritos, salad, or fruits.

When asked what rice is healthiest, most individuals will compare white vs. brown, and ofcourse, brown always wins. But have you ever thought of other varieties? You’ll be surprised that other types of this carbmay even be more nutritious than brown rice. So, among all version of rice, I don’t mean brown and white only, am referring to all existing varieties, which is the healthiest?

Is rice healthy?

Before getting deep into each existing type, is rice healthy? You may wonder if it’s worth having it in your daily diet. Rice contains high amounts of carbs. It’s for that reason it’s sometimes considered a cause for weight gain. This carbohydrateis not entirely bad for your body, apart from adding few pounds to your normal weight. Your body needs it for energy and to fuel your daily activities. Some versions of rice are great sources ofimportant nutrients like fiber, selenium, manganese, vitamin B, and magnesium. More so, some can improve your digestive system and offer protection against chronic diseases. So,here’s the thing; each rice, no matter your choice, has some benefits to your body!

What’s the healthiest rice?

Black rice

This purple-black rice is fully loaded with antioxidants that make it qualify as number one on the list. It’s high content inanthocyanin, a special compound that eliminates free radicals that can cause cancer, heart illnesses, and diabetes. More so, it contains C3G, a strong anti-inflammatory component that lowers inflammation and reduces risks of arthritis, types of cancers, heart illnesses, and other diseases. If you don’t want to add weight, this is the best option. It’s loaded with fiber, minerals, and vitamins. If you want to stay protected from insulin resistance, black rice is the way to go.

Wild rice

Wild rice contains phosphorous, manganese, magnesium, proteins, and zinc. A combination of these nutrients makes it powerful in strengthening bones, ligaments, muscles, and healthy joints. Compared to brown rice, its calories are 30% less and contain more protein by 40%. It reduces triglyceride levels and positively affects glucose metabolism.

Brown rice

I know if it were up to you, you would’ve ranked this as number one. Although it’s better than white rice, wild rice and black rice are more nutritious. You can find brown rice in 4 forms; light brown, long-grain, medium-grain, or short grain. They all have the same healthbenefits but different cooking requirements. On top of being chewier and having an awesome nutty flavor, it’s very rich in magnesium. Its richness in this mineral makes it beneficial to the brain, heart, bone, and muscle functioning. It’s also rich in iron, zinc,thiamine, vitamins, and minerals. Its high levels of manganese makeit effective in supporting collagen production and promoting healthy skin, joints, and ligaments. What’s making it not be on the top of the list is that it contains more arsenic than other grains, which may increase the chances of getting serious conditions.

Cauliflower rice

You can buy it when it’s already made, or prepare it on your own. It’s a great substitute for other types of grain due to its low amounts of calories. Again, it’s a great provision of almost all types of vitamins and minerals that exist. It’s rich in isothiocyanates, and glucosinolates, almighty antioxidants for slowing down the growth of cancerous cells. Its fiber content also helps in promoting a healthy digestive system and preventing colon cancer. It’s also rich in choline which is useful in preventing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and heart illnesses. The high levels of sulforaphane, ananticancer compound, make this rice a great option. Not forgetting it’s light, unlike its substitutes that may makedishes feel heavy.

Red rice

High levels of anthocyanin are the cause ofthis unique red color. The compound is also helpful in reducing inflammation and allergies, preventing cancer, and managing a healthy weight. More so, it’s linked to strong bones, relieving painful joints, and minimizing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. It’s a great choice for individuals with diabetes because it hasless starch and can lower bad cholesterol levels in the body.


Its sweet smell and flavor are amazing. It’s easy to digest and a great choice for individuals with gut problems. Its high content of carbs makes it great for athletes because of its ability to boost energy. It also contains thiamine and niacin, which promote a healthy nervous system, improve memory, and reduce depression effects.

Jasmine rice

If you love white rice but want a healthier version, go for jasmine. It’s nutritious with essentials like niacin and iron, which aids the production of red blood cells and ensuring proper supplication of oxygen in the body. However, it’s high in glycemic index, causing it to increase blood sugar-not a good option for people with diabetes.

White rice

This highly refined carbohydrate is the most loved yet the unhealthiest. Most of the minerals and vitamins are removed and contain lots of sugars. It’s high in glycemic index making it not worth reaching to if you’re watching your weight.

Sticky rice

Sometimes known as glutinous rice, sticky rice is ranked the unhealthiest due to its inadequacy in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Someone taking fried foods is considered healthier than the one taking sticky rice. It contains added sugars with a high-calorie count and increases blood sugar due to the sweetened process during production.


Now you have it.It’s clear which rice is the healthiest and which is not. Apply the information provided in this article to make your judgment on whether or not black rice deserves to be the healthiest. I’ll conclude with a secret that’ll help you make your rice healthier anytime you’re preparing it. Use less salt and little oil when cooking. Ensure you use healthier cooking oil like olive, coconut, sesame, avocado, or safflower oil. Remember that each rice has itsgood and badquality; choose the one with a more pleasant outcome.

Nataly Komova

Nutritionist. Bluffton University, MS

In today's world, people's eating and exercise patterns have changed, and it is often lifestyle that is the cause of many diet-related illnesses. I believe that each of us is unique – what works for one does not help another. What is more, it can even be harmful. I am interested in food psychology, which studies a person's relationship with their body and food, explains our choices and desires for specific products, the difficulty of maintaining optimal body weight, as well as the influence of various internal and external factors on appetite. I'm also an avid vintage car collector, and currently, I'm working on my 1993 W124 Mercedes. You may have stumbled upon articles I have been featured in, for example, in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Grazia, Women's Health, The Guardian, and others.

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