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Is Yellow Rice Healthier Than White Rice?

Is yellow rice better than white rice?

Short answerYellow rice is generally considered healthier than white rice. The yellow color comes from turmeric or saffron, both of which have considerable health benefits. Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and aids digestion. Yellow rice also contains more fiber and zinc than white rice.


Are you unsure about the difference between yellow rice and white rice? Both are popular types of rice, but they have some key differences.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at these two types of rice, and discuss the benefits of each.

Yellow Rice

Rice is a food staple and an important crop that is grown all over the world. It comes in over 40,000 varieties of different sizes, shapes, aroma, texture, and colors.

Yellow rice is typically made by mixing white rice with turmeric or saffron to give off a yellow color.

It is a traditional yellow-colored rice dish in Cuban, Spanish, Afghan, Caribbean, Sri Lankan, Indian, and Indonesian cuisines.

White Rice

It is milled rice that has had its bran, husk, and germ removed. Removing the outer layers also removes much of its nutritional value. In addition, it extends the shelf life and lowers the cooking time of the grain.

Nutrition Facts

100 grams of uncooked yellow rice contains:

  • 343 calories;
  • 1.8g Fiber – 5% daily value;
  • 7g Protein – 13% DV;
  • 175 IU Vitamin A – 6% DV;
  • 0.3 mg Vitamin E – 2% DV;
  • 0.6mcg Vitamin K – 1% DV;
  • 3.5mg Niacin – 22% DV;
  • 0.6mg Vitamin B6 – 45% DV;
  • 140mcg Folate – 35% DV;
  • 35mg Calcium – 4% DV;
  • 2.5mg Iron – 32% DV;
  • 112mg Magnesium – 27% DV;
  • 174mg Phosphorus – 25% DV;
  • 801mg Potassium – 17% DV;
  • 1.2mg Zinc – 11% DV;
  • 0.3mg Copper – 30% DV;
  • 10.6mcg Selenium – 19% DV.

100 grams of uncooked, unenriched white rice contains:

  • 370 calories;
  • 2.8g Fiber – 7% daily value;
  • 6.8g Protein – 12% DV;
  • 2.1mg Niacin – 13% DV;
  • 0.1mg Vitamin B6 – 8% DV;
  • 7mcg Folate – 2% DV;
  • 11mg Calcium – 1% DV;
  • 1.6mg Iron – 20% DV;
  • 23mg Magnesium – 5% DV;
  • 71mg Phosphorus – 10% DV;
  • 77mg Potassium – 2% DV;
  • 1.2mg Zinc – 11% DV;
  • 0.2mg Copper – 19% DV;
  • 7mg Sodium – 0%DV;
  • 15.1mcg Selenium – 27% DV.

Health Benefits

Yellow Rice


Curcumin is the yellow pigment in turmeric, a root that has been a staple of Ayurvedic medicine for over 4,000 years.

Curcumin was shown to be effective against H. pylori, a type of bacteria that is common in gastroduodenal ulcers.

Moreover, this plant pigment is thought to halt an enzyme that may be accountable for turning environmental toxins into carcinogens in the human body. Curcumin can also contribute to healthy digestion as a result of its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Additionally, curcumin works by stimulating glucose uptake, reducing glucose production, and increasing the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, according to a review that was issued in the International Journal of Endocrinology Metabolism. This is beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Note – piperine, the chemical that makes black pepper spicy, substantially increases the absorption and effectiveness of curcumin.


Dietary fiber is an essential nutrient that most people are not getting enough of each day. For example, children are only eating half of the amount of dietary fiber they should each day, according to the National Fiber Council.

There are 2 types of fiber:

  • soluble – it is mainly found in fruits and vegetables;
  • insoluble – it is mainly found in whole grains or cereals.

A regular diet that includes foods high in dietary fiber can prevent heart disease and help lower blood cholesterol. Also, fiber can slow the absorption of sugar, an important aspect for individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus as it can help improve blood sugar (glucose) levels.

100 grams of yellow rice has 1.8g of fiber which is about 5% of the daily recommended intake.

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It is a trace element that is required for a healthy immune system. In the United States, the recommended dietary allowance for zinc is 11 mg per day for men and 8 mg per day for women.

This essential trace mineral may reduce the frequency of mild upper respiratory tract infections as well as it helps in the maintenance of healthy immune function.

According to research, zinc appears to influence muscle strength, memory, and endurance. Also, the mineral may be essential for reasoning and eye-hand coordination in kids.

A zinc deficiency is more common among individuals exposed to diets either high in phytates (antioxidant compounds which compromise zinc absorption) or low in zinc as well as in individuals living in poverty.

Zinc deficiency causes the following symptoms:

  • lower alertness level;
  • slow growth in infants and children;
  • decreased capacity to taste food;
  • problems with wound healing;
  • impotence in men;
  • weight loss;
  • loss of appetite;
  • delayed sexual development in adolescents;
  • skin sores;
  • diarrhea;
  • hair loss.

100 grams of yellow rice has 1.2 milligrams of zinc which is about 11 percent of the daily recommended intake.

White Rice


Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat. It belongs to the family of proteins, however, it is difficult to digest.

White rice is free from gluten which causes food allergies in some people. This means that individuals suffering from celiac disease (a serious autoimmune disorder) can easily include white rice in their diet.

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Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin and a member of the B family of vitamins. All B-complex vitamins help the human body convert food into glucose, which the body uses to produce energy.

This vitamin may be helpful in treating or preventing second heart attacks, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), osteoarthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease (a progressive, degenerative neurological condition). In addition, niacin may reduce the incidence of asthma-induced wheezing.

Some of the symptoms of niacin deficiency are:

  • skin problems;
  • mental confusion;
  • memory loss;
  • diarrhea;
  • headache;
  • depression;
  • fatigue.

100 grams of white rice has 2.1 milligrams of niacin which is approximately 13 percent of the daily recommended intake.


Iron is an essential mineral that plays an important role in brain and muscle function and helps red blood cells transport oxygen to the body.

If your iron levels get so low that you become anemic, you may feel:

  • dizzy and light-headed;
  • heart beating irregularly and fast;
  • short of breath;
  • extremely weak and tired.

100 grams of white rice has 1.6 milligrams of iron which is approximately 20% of the daily recommended intake.

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Side Effects

Studies have detected high levels of arsenic in rice. Arsenic is one of the world’s most toxic elements. Small doses can cause:

  • confusion;
  • stomach aches;
  • diarrhea;
  • headaches;
  • abdominal pain;
  • drowsiness.

Long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic is linked with higher rates of heart disease and bladder, skin, and lung cancers.

Note – brown rice usually contains higher levels of arsenic compared to white rice since arsenic is primarily concentrated in the husk of the rice, which is more common in wholegrain products. Also, the arsenic content in rice varies according to:

  • how the rice has been processed;
  • where it is grown;
  • the type of rice.

Tip – one effective method of reducing the amount of arsenic in rice is to boil the grain using plenty of extra water, which is then drained off.

Moreover, commercial yellow rice usually has a lot of chemicals and food additives. Therefore, it is better for you to make your own yellow rice at home.

Conclusion: Yellow Rice vs White Rice

Both types of rice should be added to our regular nutrition, but yellow rice is healthier and more nutritious than white rice since it is actually white rice combined with turmeric or saffron, a root and a spice that significantly boosts its nutritional profile.