Health Benefits of Eating Rice

Reap the many Ayurvedic benefits of Rice

Rice has been an essential component of the Indian diet for centuries. There are over 40,000 different types of cultivated rice in the world. Old rice is proved to have a great healing effect on the body and hence Ayurveda recommends the usage of old rice. Out of several varieties of rice available most common ones are polished rice, unpolished rice, parboiled rice, boiled rice, basmati rice, etc. In Ayurveda, there is detailed reference about varieties of rice and its effect on the human body. Here is a list of how some of them are beneficial to you and a recipe with each type of rice.

Shastika Shali:

      • It is the rice that is harvested in 60 days. It is Oryza sativum and in Malayalam it is called Navara Rice. It is one of the best varieties of rice known for Snigdha (unctuous/ oily), it is useful in treating diseases of vata origin such as constipation, bloating, neuralgia, paralysis, etc.
      • It is also considered Tridoshahara meaning balances all the three body dosha or elements. Consumption of this rice removes fatigue, tiredness and is also useful in treating asthma, chronic respiratory disorders, chest injuries, cough, cold, dysuria.
      • It is very useful in improving shukra dhatu or sperm count. It is a wholesome diet that one could consume. Yellow and brown variety of this rice is cultivated in India and Indonesia.
      • This rice has a very low glycemic index and hence useful in diabetes, it has higher protein content about 16.5%, Thiamin about 26-32%, Riboflavin 4-24% and Niacin 2-36%.
      • It is rich in fibers, and has anti-carcinogenic effects on the body.
      • It is extensively used in Ayurveda Panchakarma treatment for Shastika Shali Pinda sweda and we’ve found good results in curing neuro musculo skeletal problems.

Rakta Shali:

      • Rakta means red and shali means rice. This can be considered as Oryza punctata.
      • It contains 68.75% Iron, 66.69% Carbohydrate, 30% Zinc 14% Protein 14% Fat, 7.11% Fiber and 5.45% Potassium.
      • Rakta Shali is Tridosha hara i.e it pacifies all the three dosha – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Rakta Shali is considered as one of the best varieties of rice.
      • Consuming rakta shali is beneficial for the voice, it nourishes and energizes the body, promotes strength, increases production of semen, improves metabolism and enhances lactation if given to new mothers.
      • Awareness of this variety of rice is slowly increasing and now it is available in many parts of India.


      • Mahashali is a long and fragrant rice, this can be taken as Basmati rice that is available in the market. It is said to alleviate pitta dosha.
      • It is sweet to taste and is cold in potency. Basmati rice is said to be satvik in nature and it is easy for digestion and provides strength and satisfaction after consumption.
      • Basmati Rice is available in two varieties which are brown and white variety, glycaemic index of Basmati rice is low compared to other white rice and in the brown variety it is even lower.
      • It is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, fat and fiber. It also has vitamin B and amino acids.
      • Consumption of basmati helps in enhancing our Rasa dhatu. It helps with digestive disorders. Its shelf life is 2 years throughout which it maintains its slenderness and fragrance when cooked.

Krishna Shali:

    • Black Rice is not that popular but it is one of the varieties of rice with high nutritional value. It is available in Asian countries.
    • It is also called known as forbidden rice. Krishna shali is considered as Tridoshaghna (pacifies all the three dosha) and especially acts on pitta. It has a sweet taste.
    • It is highly rich in protein, iron, fiber and has the highest antioxidant levels when compared to all rice varieties.
    • When consumed it has a good effect on skin and helps with beauty and skin colour, in enhances strength, stability and increases fertility. It can be used along with brown rice to make puddings and other sweet dishes.

There are many more varieties of rice that are available today, but these above varieties of rice are considered to be the best in Ayurveda.

Most of the doctors ask their patients not to consume rice if their patients have high blood sugar levels (diabetic)/ if they are obese/ or have high cholesterols. When doctors say rice they mean white rice. White rice is empty in its nutritional value as the barn and fibers are removed by polishing it. White rice is just refined carbohydrate which is similar to what is found in white bread. It gets digested quickly and increases sugar level in the body and it fills the stomach only for a short period.

Due to polishing, white rice would have been stripped off all its essential nutrition which makes it equivalent to refined grains. Consumption of this would definitely increase weight in the person and the glycaemic index of white rice is 89% which means to say that the sugar levels are peaked after consumption of polished rice. So it very important to understand that shifting from usage of polished rice to unpolished rice would help you. Unpolished rice has all the essential nutrients that are required and is filling. Consuming unpolished rice with lots of vegetables will provide strength, stamina and help in reduction of blood sugar levels along with reducing risk of obesity.


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