Basmati is a variety of long, slender-grained aromatic rice which is traditionally grown in India, Nepal and Pakistan. As of 2019, India accounted for 65% of the international trade in basmati rice, while Pakistan accounted for the remaining 35%. Many countries use domestically grown basmati rice crops; however, basmati is geographically exclusive to certain districts of India and Pakistan.
According to the Indian Government agency APEDA, a rice variety is eligible to be called basmati if it has a minimum average precooked milled rice length of 6.61 mm (0.260 in) and average precooked milled rice breadth of up to 2 mm (0.079 in), among other parameters.
Basmati rice has a typical pandan-like (Pandanus amaryllifolius leaf) flavour caused by the aroma compound 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline. Basmati grains contain about 0.09 ppm of this aromatic chemical compound naturally, a level that is about 12 times as much as non-basmati rice varieties, giving basmati its distinctive fragrance and flavour. This natural aroma is also found in cheese, fruit and other cereals. It is a flavoring agent approved in the United States and Europe, and is used in bakery products for aroma.
During cooking, the level of 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline decreases. Soaking the rice for 30 minutes before cooking permits 20% shorter cooking times and preserves more of the 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline.
Although the exact nutrients vary based on the specific type of basmati, each serving is generally high in carbs and calories, as well as micronutrients like folate, thiamine, and selenium.
One cup (163 grams) of cooked white basmati rice contains:
- Calories: 210
- Protein: 4.4 grams
- Fat: 0.5 grams
- Carbs: 45.6 grams
- Fiber: 0.7 grams
- Sodium: 399 mg
- Folate: 24% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Thiamine: 22% of the DV
- Selenium: 22% of the DV
- Niacin: 15% of the DV
- Copper: 12% of the DV
- Iron: 11% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
- Zinc: 7% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 6% of the DV
- Magnesium: 5% of the DV
Benefits Of Basmati Rice
In almost all the rice varieties available in the market today, basmati rice has one of the lowest arsenic content. If you eat rice in your staple diet, basmati rice is the sure way to go. Even brown rice has a higher arsenic concentration that basmati rice.
If you want to maximize the health benefits of rice, you can try choosing organic basmati rice. Organic basmati rice is non-GMO and is completely free from harmful pesticides. It is comparable to any variety of rice, including brown rice in terms of nutrient content and its nutty aroma works very well in Asian & Indian delicacies. Below are a few of the benefits that regular consumption of basmati rice has on your body.
- A Diabetes-friendly rice variety: According to a study published by the Diabetes Association of Canada, the glycemic index of basmati rice is lower than any other variety. This can prove to be beneficial for diabetics who consume low GI foods. It does not spike the blood sugar too much that lowers the body’s insulin response.
- Control blood pressure: In a Harvard study, it was published that basmati rice has an abundance of Magnesium & Potassium that can help your body in keeping a check on your body’s blood pressure. Additionally, the Magnesium in basmati rice helps in maintaining healthy bones and cardiovascular health.
- Helps in proper digestion: The dietary fibre content in basmati rice helps in facilitating proper bowel movement and aiding in effective digestion. The regular intake of basmati rice can prove to be a boon for people suffering from digestion ailments such as bloating or constipation.
- Keeps your heart healthy: Aside from the low calories in 163g cooked basmati rice, it has a lower saturated fat content as compared to other rice varieties. This keeps your meals cholesterol light and keeps your heart healthy, as concluded by a Harvard report.
Basmati rice is long-grain, thin and aromatic variety of rice that. It is relatively high in nutrients compared to other rice varieties and is rich in essential nutrients such as folate and thiamine that can help you in maintaining your overall physical health effectively. Now that you are aware of the calories in 163g cooked basmati rice, would you include it as a part of your daily diet? Leave a comment below and let us know!