3. Jasmine Rice
Jasmine rice, also known as Thai fragrant rice, has been a hugely popular ingredient in many different dishes due to its deliciously nutty flavor and flowery aroma. Discovered by a Thai farmer in the 1950s, it quickly became a mainstay of the Thai diet and spread all over the world.
Jasmine rice comes in either brown or white varieties, and both have many nutritional benefits. It’s full of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, iron and low in fat and sodium. The fiber in jasmine rice in insoluble, which aids digestion by moving food quickly through the digestive tract. It also contains vitamins and minerals that benefit the skin and is a great source of energy.
Jasmine rice is believed to be an effective sleep aid, as one 2006 study found. Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that when participants ate high-glycemic-index rice with dinner, they fell asleep faster than those who ingested lower-glycemic-index rice. High-GI foods mean the body digests them at a slower speed, which releases glucose gradually into the bloodstream. Similarly, it boosts production of tryptophan and serotonin, which encourages sleep.
Adding jasmine rice to your diet is simple. Rice is extremely easy to make, and can accompany most other foods. It’s the base ingredient in delicious recipes such as risotto, pilaf, paella and sushi, or as a side dish with chicken, beef, pork, or seafood. You can even include it in your dessert by making rice pudding.