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Puffed Rice: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction: 

We have always  greatly enjoyed while having puffed rice as chaat on Indian streets but never realised that it could also have some health benefits.  Puffed rice is one of the staple foods in India, commonly called as murmura, muri, and parmal.  One can endlessly munch upon puffed rice while binge-watching an OTT show. Moreover, its crunchy texture makes it a popular option for healthy snacks and it is a quick alternative if unexpected guests show up. In India, puffed rice is often offered as a prasad in religious places. 

Rice is one of the essential crops in  Asian countries and puffed rice is made from rice in the presence of high pressure, heat and steam. Various methods of puffing include hot air popping, dry heat, sand and salt treated, popping in hot oil, gun puffing and microwave heating. Let us  discuss,  some astonishing health benefits of eating puffed rice.1 

puffed rice benefits

Did you know?

  • Puffed rice is a good source of thiamin, providing 0.1 milligrams per cup. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Puffed rice is gluten-free, making it suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. source: USDA
  • Puffed rice is a good source of fiber, providing 0.6 grams per 1-cup serving. source: USDA
  • Puffed rice is low in fat, with only 0.13 grams per 1-cup serving. source: USDA
  • Puffed rice is a good source of iron, providing 1.8 milligrams per 1-cup serving. source: USDA

Nutritional Value of Puffed Rice: 

The amount of nutrients present in 14g of puffed rice is given below: 

Nutritional Component Value 
Calories 56 kcal 
Total Fat 0.1 g 
Sodium 0.4 mg 
Total Carbohydrate 13 g 
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g 
Protein 0.9 g 
Calcium 0.8 mg 
Iron 4.4 mg 
Potassium 16 mg 

Table 1: Nutritional Value of Puffed Rice2 

Also Read: Suji (Semolina): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

Properties of Puffed Rice: 

The properties of puffed rice are given below: 

  • It may possess properties that can lower the blood pressure 
  • It may protect against cancer 
  • It may be effective for dysentery 
  • It may have  antioxidant activity 
  • It may have properties to improve heart health1 

Also Read: Soybean: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

Potential Uses of Puffed Rice for Overall Health: 

Puffed rice is highly nutritious and packed with many macros and micronutrients. Puffed rice can be fortified with dietary fibre, protein, zinc, iron and vitamins A and C. Consuming fortified puffed rice in moderation can aid in your overall health.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Some of the puffed rice health benefits are given below: 

1. Potential use of puffed rice for high blood pressure 

High sodium levels can elevate blood pressure but the sodium levels in puffed rice are relatively low. Therefore, it may be a good addition as a snack for individuals suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension.1 Further studies are required to assess the effect of puffed rice on high blood pressure. You must check your blood pressure regularly and consult your general  physician in case of high blood pressure. 

2. Potential use of puffed rice for cancer 

Puffed rice contains insoluble fibres and may help in protecting against cancerous cells. These insoluble fibres pass quickly through the colon region which flushes cancer-causing compounds from the body. Thus, regular consumption of puffed rice may reduce the risk of colon cancer.  

Further investigation to check the effect of puffed rice on the cancer is required and you should consult your doctor for the same. 

3. Potential use of puffed rice as an energy source 

Puffed rice is a rich source of carbohydrates and it generates energy slowly, leading to a steady level of energy. The carbohydrates in puffed rice may serve as fuel to the body and help in the smooth functioning of the brain.1.Click here to enter text. However, further studies on animals and humans are required to check whether puffed rice is as safe and effective as it appears in these studies. 

4. Potential use of puffed rice for weight management 

There is a possibility that puffed rice is good for weight loss. Puffed rice can form an essential part of a balanced diet. In addition, it does not contain harmful fats; therefore, it may be beneficial for weight loss.1 You must consult a nutritionist for further assistance in diet changes and weight management. 

A bowl of ready-to-eat puffed rice (one cup) contains 77% of calories, 96% of carbohydrates, 58% of proteins and 32% of fats.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Is Risotto Gluten Free? Unveiling the Facts Behind Your Favorite Dishes

5. Potential use of puffed rice for vitamin deficiency 

Puffed rice contains  the niacin, vitamin D, calcium, fibre, iron, thiamine and riboflavin. Therefore, regular consumption of puffed rice may overcome  vitamin deficiency.1 However, further studies on humans and animals are required to check the efficiency of puffed rice in case of vitamin deficiency. Suppose you are diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency; you must consult your doctor and take relevant supplements instead of self-medicating. 

6. Potential use of puffed rice for high cholesterol 

Cholesterol levels in puffed rice are low and it is practically of all harmful fats. For these reasons, puffed rice may be included in the diet of people with high cholesterol levels.1Click here to enter text.Further studies are required to check how puffed rice can be helpful in case of high cholesterol in patients. You must check your cholesterol and consult your doctor to undergo proper treatment instead of self-medicating. 

Though studies show the benefits of puffed rice in various conditions, these are insufficient, and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of puffed rice on human health. 

Also Read: Black Rice: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

How to Use Puffed Rice? 

Puffed rice is readily available in packets in local stores and can be munched upon as it is or included in our daily diet. It  is used in the preparation of Indian chaat foods like bhel puri,  poha and a sweet dish like murmura laddu. Jalmuri is prepared by tossing onion, tomato, cucumber, green chillies and peanuts in the puffed rice. Masala and mustard oil are added to the same to enhance the flavour. 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any puffed rice in large quantity. Likewise, do not discontinue or replace an ongoing modern medical treatment with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor. 

Side Effects of Puffed Rice: 

Puffed rice, has no specific side effects and as yet no reactions have been noticed on using it. However, seek immediate medical attention if you experience any side effects. Consult your ayurvedic physician who has prescribed it to you; they will be able to identify the cause and treat it effectively. 

Also Read: Purple Rice: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More

Precautions to Take with Puffed Rice: 

Puffed rice is one of the staple foods and a common ingredient in the regular diet. General precautions should be taken while having puffed rice if you are taking  other general medicine. Pregnant women, lactating mothers should take special care. You must consult your doctor before having puffed rice. Precaution should be taken before giving puffed rice to the elderly or children and you must have puffed rice only if your doctor prescribes it. 

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

There is not enough evidence on the interaction of puffed rice with other drugs. Further studies on the interaction of puffed rice are required. Therefore, you must consult your doctor if you are on any other medication before consuming puffed rice in larger than usual quantities. 

Also Read: Wheat: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) What are the puffed rice benefits? 

Puffed rice may be used in case of high blood pressure, for weight management, to reduce the risk of cancer, for vitamin deficiency, in diet for individuals with high cholesterol levels and as an energy source.1 However, there is need for large scale human studies to confirm these benefits.  

2) Is there any use of puffed rice for weight loss? 

Yes, puffed rice may be used for weight loss since it does not contain harmful fats.1 However, its best you consult your dietitian for the same.  

3) What are the various puffed rice side effects? 

Puffed rice, a natural preparation, has no specific side effects. However, if any reaction is noticed on eating it, seek immediate medical attention. Consult your ayurvedic physician who has prescribed it to you; they will be able to identify the cause and treat it effectively. 

4) What are the nutritional benefits of puffed rice?? 

Puffed rice is rich in carbohydrates and acts as an energy source. Along with that it contains insoluble fibres, proteins, calcium, vitamins, iron and potassium.2 

5) Is puffed rice used to treat headaches? 

No, there are no studies that suggest the use of puffed rice for headaches. 

References: 

1. Road P, Nadu T. Model Detailed Project Report PUFFED/ FLAKED RICE Prepared by Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT). [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 17]. Available from: http://niftem.ac.in/newsite/pmfme/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Rice-based-Product-Dpr.pdf 

2. Cereals ready-to-eat, fortified, puffed, rice nutrition facts and analysis. [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 17]. Available from: https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Cereals_ready-to-eat%2C_fortified%2C_puffed%2C_rice_nutritional_value.html 

Also Read: Does Rice Have Gluten? Dispelling Dietary Myths

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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