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Rice is medicine in Ayurveda. Also known as Anna, rice is the first food mentioned in Ayurveda.

According to Ayurveda, rice is the lightest food to digest and has a sweet taste. It is a nourishing food, which is cooling in nature. Rice can also be with vegetables, pulses and nuts to make it healthier and more nutritious.

Rice is one of the staple foods in many countries across the world, including India. It is an essential part of the Indian diet and symbolizes fertility, wealth and good health.

Rice is considered good for balancing Vata and Pitta‚ two of the three doshas. However, due to its nature of creating excess mucus in the body, overconsumption of rice is not considered ideal for Kapha.

Eat rice that is cooked well in plenty of water and a dollop of ghee added to it to balance Vata. Desserts made using rice and milk are cooling in nature, and therefore, can be consumed for balancing Pitta. To balance Kapha, it is recommended to consume less quantity of rice. If you are trying to balance Kapha in your body, dry roast the rice before cooking it in water to consume.

According to Ayurveda, anytime is a good time to consume rice. It has been proven that old rice has an amazing healing effect on the body and therefore, Ayurveda recommends the consumption of old rice. There are also other different varieties of rice, such as basmati rice, polished rice, unpolished rice, boiled rice, parboiled rice, etc.

Modern nutrition considers brown rice to be healthier as it is unprocessed, and comes with more nutrition and vitamins than other forms of polished rice. It also has a lower glycemic index compared to other rice varieties.

However, Ayurveda prefers white rice over brown rice for daily consumption.

Ayurveda is all about digestion. According to Ayurveda, the best time gap between meals is 1 Prahara, which is approximately three hours. Any food that stays in our body for more than 3 hours gets converted to undigested toxic waste or Ama.

Any rice with husk, for example, brown rice, has fibre in it. This makes it stay in the system for over 3 hours, and eventually, it gets converted to Ama. However, any rice without husk or lesser fibre content, for example, white rice, gets easily digested and removed from the system.

Therefore, white rice is light, digestive, recommended for consumption every day (nityasevaneeya), and is also considered a superior food.

How to cook rice the right way?

Here is the traditional Ayurvedic way of cooking rice.

  • Wash rice in water until the water runs clear. Sona Masoori and Ambe Mohar are the most recommended rice varieties for everyday use. Basmati rice is comparatively heavier and therefore, can be used once or twice a month.
  • Then, soak the rice for at least an hour.
  • Meanwhile, boil water. You can take water twice or thrice the quantity of rice.
  • Once the water boils, add soaked rice to it, and cook it covered.
  • When it bubbles, remove the cover and cook rice until it turns soft. You can then strain the water out.
  • Enjoy the rice with a side of dal and cooked vegetables.

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