Parboiled rice, also called converted rice, is incredibly nutrient-dense. During processing, manufacturers soak and steam the rice kernels under intense pressure. Many of the nutrients from the rigid outer hull go right in to the inner part of the kernel, and the hull falls off. The end result, parboiled rice, is packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals and is very low on the glycemic index.
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Specifics on Calories
Having 1/2 cup of cooked parboiled rice yields less than 100 calories. Many of those calories, approximately 87 percent of them, are from carbohydrates. Less than 10 percent of calories, or about 9 calories, come from protein. The final 3 percent of calories, or around 3 calories, are from fat.
You’ll get a big portion of your day’s B vitamins by enjoying a side of parboiled rice. The B vitamins work in unison to break down the food you eat and turn it into energy, a process known as metabolism. They also help your body make blood cells, aid in message transmission from your brain and protect brain cells. One-half cup of prepared parboiled rice has more than 13 percent of your thiamin recommendation, over 11 percent of your niacin needs and more than one-fourth of your folate requirement for the day.
Parboiled rice will give you small amounts of several minerals, although a 1/2-cup cooked portion has less than 10 percent of your recommended intake of these vitamins. You’ll get a small amount of iron, which helps carry oxygen in your blood. Parboiled rice offers trace amounts of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, to help keep your teeth and bones impeccably strong. Lastly, your serving of parboiled rice adds a touch of potassium and sodium to your diet. These two minerals play major roles in regulating the fluid balance between cells, as well as supporting your heart and muscle functions.
Information on the Glycemic Index
Most carbohydrate-containing foods have a glycemic index rating. This scale ranks foods based on how they affect your blood sugar. The higher the score -- 70 or above -- the more likely it is to cause your blood sugar to go up. Moderate GI scoring foods have a rating of 55 to 69, while foods low on the scale have a rank of less than 55. Generally, the lower the rating, the less of an impact the food has on your blood sugar. White rice, for example, is highly likely to make your blood sugar skyrocket, since it has an index score of 89. Brown rice has a more moderate effect, due to its rating of 50. Parboiled rice, with a score of 38, isn’t likely to make a big impact on your blood sugar levels.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Rice, White, Long-Grain, Parboiled, Enriched, Cooked
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- Harvard Medical School: Listing of Vitamins
- Harvard Medical School: Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load for 100+ Foods
- USDA Economic Research Service: A Global Staple