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Health Benefits of Rice +Recipe: Rice & Beans

Rice has gotten a bad reputation over the years. In this blog post, I’ll spill the beans (pun intended) and share all the facts you need to know about rice. That way, you can decide which one is best for you!

Brown rice, white rice, yellow rice… jasmine rice, basmati rice, wild rice? So many options, but which rice is healthy or healthier? Which rice will give the best health benefits and nutrition? Should rice be consumed when having health conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, etc?

While this blog and website does not provide medical claims or health advice, it’ll provide facts and resources that can be helpful when learning which option might be good for you. Always consult your doctor or nutritionist before making lifestyle and dietary changes.

Let’s dive in… and start with some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ’s).

What is the difference between brown rice and white rice?

Brown rice is a whole grain that contains the bran, germ, and endosperm, while white rice is stripped of its bran and germ, leaving only the endosperm. This means that brown rice is higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals than white rice. It also has a lower glycemic index, which means it releases glucose slowly into the bloodstream and can help regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, brown rice is higher in antioxidants and phytonutrients.

Does white rice increase your blood sugar?

White rice has a higher glycemic index, which means it can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. However, that doesn’t mean that white rice shouldn’t be enjoyed. Almost never white rice is consumed on its own. Typically it is enjoyed with beans (high in fiber), protein and vegetables. Well combined, there is no reason to not enjoy white rice in moderation.

Can someone with diabetes consume white rice?

Yes, especially when consumed in moderation and paired with vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Additionally, it is best to consult a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to create an individualized meal plan for people with diabetes.

What is parboiled rice?

Parboiled rice is rice that has been partially boiled in the husk.

Is parboiled rice healthier than brown rice?

Parboiled brown rice is more nutritious than parboiled white rice. However, it doesn't contain as much of the minerals you'll find in regular brown rice.

Is Jasmine rice the same as white rice?

Essentially yes, they both have the same amount of nutritional value.

How do you make yellow rice?
Yellow rice is basically white rice that has been tinted with either spices or artificial coloring. In Latin cultures, traditionally rice is colored with achiote seeds (annatto). The achiote seeds could be turned into an achiote oil, or grounded and blended with other spices which we now know as sazón. You can find our version of sazón here.

How do you make Spanish rice?
There are many ways to make Spanish rice. Each country has their own way, but essentially the rice is cooked with a base consisting of various herbs and vegetables like sofrito, or a tomato garlic base. Then cooked with chicken broth or bouillon, and many times with added meats, vegetables, and legumes. Check out our recipe for rice and beans below.

Rice is considered a staple food in many countries and provides a source of energy for the body.

Some health benefits of rice sources include:

1. Energy Booster: Rice is a rich source of carbohydrates providing an instant supply of energy to the body.

2. Regulates Digestion: Rice is low in fiber, easy to digest and gluten-free, which makes it an ideal diet for people suffering from digestive disorders.

3. Controls Blood Sugar: Brown Rice has a low glycemic index, which means it releases glucose slowly in the bloodstream, preventing spikes in blood sugar levels.

4. Reduces the Risk of Heart Diseases: Brown rice is rich in soluble fiber, which helps reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body, thus reducing the risk of heart diseases.

5. Protects Against cancer: Whole grain rice contains antioxidants and phytochemicals that fight against cancer.

6. Boosts Immune System: Rice contains vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, iron, and zinc, which help to boost the body's immune system.

7. Provides Essential Nutrients: Rice is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including thiamin, niacin, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are essential for the body's overall health.

8. Promotes Weight Loss: Rice is low in fat and calories making it a perfect choice for people on weight loss diets.

9. Prevents Constipation: White rice is a good source of insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to the stool and helps prevent constipation.

10. Helps in Bone Development: Rice contains magnesium, which is essential for the development and maintenance of healthy bones.

Overall, incorporating rice sources into a balanced diet can provide numerous health benefits.

Healthy Rican Style: Rice & Beans
“Arroz con Habichuelas”


  • 2 tbsp. avocado or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onions and peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced ham (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh sofrito (a mixture of onion, green pepper, culantro, and garlic) OR our Healthy Rican Sofrito, hydrated in 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons Healthy Rican Adobo 
  • 2 teaspoons Healthy Rican Sazón 
  • 2 tbsp. pimento stuffed olives (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste OR tomato sauce (optional)
  • 1 can pink or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups of rice of choice (white and jasmine recommended) 
  • 3 cups broth of choice (or 1 bouillon cube with 3 cups of water)


  • Heat your pot or "caldero" to medium/high heat, and add your oil, onions and peppers, ham (if using), sofrito, tomato paste, adobo, sazón, and olives. Mix well until the sofrito releases its aroma.
  • Add the beans, rice, and broth. Mix well. 
  • The liquid should be 1/2" over the rice. Try the liquid to make sure it has enough flavor and salt to taste. You will want this liquid to be highly seasoned as it will determine the final flavor of the rice.
  • Allow the liquid to come up to a boil and for the rice to absorb all the visible liquid. 
  • Once the liquid evaporates, stir the rice making sure you bring the rice on the bottom to the top, reduce the heat to low and cover. 
  • Allow it to steam for 20-25 minutes. It's done when all the liquid is absorbed and the grains are fluffy and fully cooked.

Nutrition Dork Tip:

Enjoy rice and beans as a balanced meal by adding more protein and pairing it with half a plate of vegetables like, a nice salad, greens, roasted or steamed vegetables. 

Here some portion examples: 

  • 1 cup rice and beans, with a roasted chicken thigh, with a side salad or steamed veggies. 
  • 1 cup rice and beans with pan fried chicken breast with onions, peppers and zucchini. 
  • 1 cup rice and beans, ½ avocado, and a stir fry with asparagus, mushrooms, onions and peppers.

Where can I find facts about rice health benefits?

You can find facts about rice health benefits from reputable sources such as government health agencies, academic journals, and medical websites. Some examples of reliable sources of information on rice health benefits include:

  1. National Institutes of Health (NIH): The NIH is a government health agency that provides information on a variety of health topics, including nutrition and diet. You can find information on the health benefits of rice and other grains on their website.
  2. The American Heart Association (AHA): The AHA provides information on heart-healthy diets, and rice is often included as part of a balanced diet. You can find information on the health benefits of rice and other grains on their website.
  3. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND): The AND is a professional organization for registered dietitians and nutrition professionals. You can find information on the health benefits of rice and other grains on their website.
  4. PubMed Central: PubMed Central is a database of academic research articles. You can search for studies on the health benefits of rice and other grains on their website.

Remember to always check the sources of the information before relying on them to ensure they are reliable and backed up by scientific evidence.


Thank you for reading our blog!

This blog is brought to you by Nutrition Dork. Written by Mayra Luz Colon, Holistic Health Coach, Owner and Founder of Healthy Rican. Following your wisdom is key to well-being, nutrition is just a tool. As a Holistic Health Coach, I enjoy helping women discover how to live her most authentic healthy life. We each have our own path to living our best life. As coaches, we help navigate the journey with compassion and love. Using Holistic tools for the mind, body and soul, and nutrition as a tool, we can discover what works best. Schedule a complimentary health chat, and let's see what we discover together.

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2 thoughts on “Health Benefits of Rice +Recipe: Rice & Beans

  1. Thank you sooooo much for your information. The receipes have been helpful and informative and has helped to expand my cooking skills. I have been able to adjust my cooking choices, and ingredients. You are addressing the health portion of these dishes and that has again very helpful for me and my health issues. Thank you.

    1. Mayra Luz Mayra Luz says:

      Wow… thank you for sharing! I’m so glad to hear that you’ve find our blogs and recipes beneficial. Health is our most important asset, and my goal is to help as much as I can. 🙂

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