The majority of Indians consume either rice or roti in every meal. Some even have both. With these being staple to our diet, we should give a thought to which one is better and deserves space in our thali. Many people, when dieting, avoid rice due to multiple reasons, while others avoid roti altogether and live on rice. With such contrasting beliefs and preferences, it is time to finally settle the debate and explore the whole truth about roti vs rice.
Both the grains are consumed so widely without giving much thought to whether they are beneficial to the human body. Chances are you are eating them all wrong due to lack of information and an array of myths that regularly make rounds on the internet. Although it is given that benefits of rice and benefits of roti are numerous, devouring them the right way is essential. In this guide, let us uncover the whole truth about which one is the right grain for you and how to devour it correctly to reap maximum health benefits.
To know the whole truth about roti vs rice, it is indispensable to pay heed to their nutritional value. One whole wheat roti of medium size contains 100 calories, encompassing 20g of complex carbs, which provide energy for long as they burn slowly, 3.5g of protein, which helps in muscle building and repairing, 2.5g of dietary fibre, which immensely aids in the digestion process, and 0.7g of fats. The nutritional value of rice is surprisingly contrasting as one cup of it contains 242 calories, encompassing 53g of simple carbs, which provide energy for a shorter duration as they burn fast, 4.4g of protein, 0.7g of dietary fibre, and 0.8g fats.
By looking at the above juxtaposition, it is safe to say that roti has a better nutritional value due to it being made of whole grains, which are richer in vitamins and minerals. The nutrition obtained from whole grains help tremendously in improving our skin, hair, and overall body health. These benefits of roti make it an attractive option.
The index which gauges how food affects blood sugar level of the body is called Glycemic Index. Our insulin levels are better when stable and any spike in it means bad news for the body. Foods with high glycemic index effectively spike the blood sugar level, therefore must be refrained from consumption.
The GI of roti is 62, while that of rice is 73. On the face of it, it seems like roti wins the GI round but essentially, it isn’t to judge them individually as they are consumed as a meal. The inclusion of main course dishes which are full of dietary fibre, such as dal and channa, change the glycemic index significantly. Therefore, upon comparing roti and rice, do consider the complementary dishes.
There is a great hype about gluten and diets which are gluten free. Gluten is a plant-based protein which can be found in wheat, but is absent in rice. While a lot of dieticians and health experts preach going free of gluten, it must be dumped by only the ones who are allergic to it. Thus, benefits of rice include being suitable for people allergic to gluten.
Types of Rice
Traditionally, white rice has been widely used as one of the preferred grains. However, in the new age, numerous types of rice have come up, including brown rice which has considerably high amounts of fibre, which add to the benefits of rice. Modern science used to recommend its consumption and portrayed it as one of the healthiest choices. With even deepend studies, it is being found that brown rice contains traces of antinutrients that makes it difficult for the body to absorb the nutrients effectively. Indian farmers have been wise to utilise the most out of rice using the method of hand pounding, which has also been featured in ayurvedic scriptures. This process includes beating of rice, thus removing the antinutrients which hinders the body’s process of absorbing the nutrients and minerals. Due to this healthy practice, hand pounded rice or half-brown rice have started to be known as the best type of rice to consume. In traditional India, this type of rice was widely used; however, with the upcoming of various rice companies, marketing ploys made us believe that white rice should be preferred over it. While white rice can be cooked faster and appeals to the eye, it isn’t desirable as chemicals are used to polish them and they lack the benefits of rice that half-brown rice can provide the body. To list down the pros of half-brown rice:
- Antinutrients have been removed from it.
- It contains complex carbohydrates, thus offering energy for longer durations
- Crashing of energy is often experienced by many. Opting for this rice prevents it from happening.
- This rice does not take too long to be cooked and isn’t even chewy.
While half-brown rice is one of the best types of rice one can opt for reaping the benefits of rice, ayurveda recommends the usage of hand pounded red rice or rakthashali as it possesses incredible amounts of antinutrients, more than any other type, therefore being the best. However, it is not considered to be widely accessible or embraceable as it is expensive, thus making it incompatible for everyday use.
Types of Rotis
One of the most popular types of wheat is refined wheat or maida. It is no secret that it contains negligible nutrition and does more harm to the body than good. Therefore, its consumption is not recommended.
On the other hand, whole wheat is widely embraced and contains a higher nutrition level, being one of the benefits of roti. However, it has a tendency of making you lethargic, which should make you consume it thoughtfully, which is to say not making it a part of all your meals. To minimize the lethargic effect of whole wheat, blending it with other grains like millet flour is a great hack. The recommended ratio of its blend is 2 parts of whole wheat and 1 part of millet flour. Doing this simple process will help you digest rotis easily. Missi roti is one of the commonly consumed rotis which are made using a blend of grains.
Some people may face difficulty digesting rotis. The digestive issues faced after consuming roti can be rested at bay by blending 1 part of whole wheat flour with the same part of wheat bran. Doing this will enrich your rotis with fibre, thus aiding your digestive system and relieving you from digestive issues. You should also hail what nature gives you - 7 best tips for digestive health.
Consuming Grains the Right Way
While grains are potent with nutritional benefits, consuming them the right way is essential to reap maximum benefits of roti and benefits of rice.
Kneading the dough is one of the initial yet most important parts of preparing a roti. It is a common mistake to not knead the dough enough. The dough should be beaten for considerable time as it allows the roti to be easily digested. That’s not it, it also ensures softer roti, thus helping you enjoy eating it.
The ones who are unable to digest rotis properly can opt of pouring curry over them in place of ghee. Introducing some salad, preferably cucumber, in your meal is another great way to ensure better digestion and reaping benefits of roti. A fun fact is that rotis made in tandoor are easier to digest and therefore can be added in your diet.
We love to eat salty food and why shouldn’t we! Though, when we add milk to the dough, we should steer away from consuming salty food with it as milk must never be combined with salt as it produces toxins which are undesirable.
Are you yet another person who thinks removing starchy water from the cooked rice is the norm and must be done? Studies suggest you are doing it wrong! Micronutrients are essential for proper functioning of our body and this water that is so commonly removed is highly rich in them.
Another to-do while preparing rice is washing it beforehand and soaking it for a few hours. Soaking rice in water makes the water nutritious and thus, the same water should be used for cooking.
Consuming rice for dinner isn’t recommended as it has a cold potency and at night our digestive fire is low; therefore, consuming rice can cause digestive issues. However, if you do decide to make it a part of your dinner, make sure to add bay leaf and black pepper. Rice can be consumed in the morning, but it is best recommended to be consumed for lunch for obtaining maximum benefits of rice.
As we have seen above, there are a lot of options available to us in both roti and rice. But not all of them offer significant benefits to the body. Hand pounded semi-brown rice is the recommended type of rice and when it comes to rotis, multigrain is the way to go. Both rice and roti can be a part of your fitness diet; however it is highly recommended to pay much heed to the way these are consumed. Eat them the right way and you are bound to stay true to your fitness journey. Auric has uncovered the whole truth about roti vs rice and hope you take the right choice according to your lifestyle and preferences.
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Authored By : Poorvi Chhajer
About Author : Poorvi is a psychology graduate with a knack for writing and belief in ayurveda.