Is Spanish Rice Healthy For You? Find Out Now!

Spanish rice or Mexican rice is one of the popular rice dishes in America. It is also known as red rice in some South American regions due to its red-ish appearance. People love to eat it as a staple food and also as a side dish. Moreover, it is also super easy to cook this dish in a short time.

But the question arises-  Is Spanish rice healthy?

Spanish rice is healthy if you use brown rice instead of white. Brown rice is healthier as it contains low carbs than white rice. However, choosing the white rice over the brown will make this dish unhealthy for you.

If you want to know the calories, beneficial impact, and the healthy recipe of the Spanish rice, then stay till the end!

Why is Spanish Rice Healthy?

Rice lovers often ask, is Mexican rice healthy for you and Is Mexican rice healthier than White rice? Although the answer to the first question is conditional, since most people are now using brown rice in Spanish rice, we are going with a Yes.

is-spanish-rice-healthy

Health-conscious people, or should we say smart people, avoid eating white rice at all costs. They understand that white rice is not healthy to eat. So, you should also follow what they are doing and add brown rice to make a healthier Spanish rice dish.  

Now, let’s discuss the second question. Yes, Mexican rice is a healthier option than white rice. Calories in one serving of white rice are almost 240, while the Mexican rice made by using brown rice has less than 200 calories. Plus, Mexican rice’s fiber and protein content are a little more than white rice. So, it is safe to say that Mexican rice is better.

People also ask, is Spanish rice good for diabetics? Spanish rice carbs make it not a wise option for those who are suffering from diabetes. However, eating this rice sometimes (where you use brown rice) does not cause any harm.

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Nutrition Content Of Spanish Rice

One serving of Mexican Rice or Spanish rice (where you include brown rice) will have:

Calories190 cal
Proteins5g
Fiber4g
Fat2g
Saturated Fat1g
Sodium220 mg
Carbohydrates45g
Sugar4.8g

The following vitamins and minerals present in Spanish rice are:

Vitamin A1822 IU
Vitamin C55 mg
Calcium40 mg
Potassium370 mg
Iron2 mg

So, whenever anyone asks us, is Spanish rice good for you? We say Yes!

Health Benefits of Spanish Rice

You can get a lot of health benefits if you start eating Spanish rice. There are vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and antioxidants that do wonders. 

The health benefits you can get by eating Spanish rice are:

Rich Source of Fiber

One serving of Spanish rice contains roughly 1.5 grams of fiber. This fiber helps the body in numerous ways, which are:

Improves Vision 

Spanish rice is an excellent source of Vitamin A that is vital to improving eye health. It is super effective in protecting the retina and maintaining the moisture level in the eyes. Hence, your vision will stay strong if you keep eating Spanish rice. 

Stronger Immunity 

Vitamin C is crucial to improve immunity against pathogens. One serving of Spanish rice has 27 mg of vitamin C, so it is one of the best sources of this vitamin. That is why Spanish rice is good for your health. 

Weight Loss

One question we often get is, Is Spanish rice good for weight loss? You can lose weight if you start eating Spanish rice (that has brown rice) more frequently. The saturated fat is low, so there is no layering of fat cells around the belly. Furthermore, the fiber content in them makes you feel full. So, you will have no cravings and eventually eat less. We also recommend you regularly exercise daily and eat healthy foods like Spanish rice. 

Prevents Cancer

There are loads of antioxidants in Spanish rice, which are the killers of free radicals. Free radicals are those culprits that cause the mutation of cells and lead to the spread of cancer cells. The antioxidants fight them and kill them, thus preventing any cancer cells from forming or spreading. 

Improves Mood

Spanish rice boosts energy levels which also improves the mood and makes you feel active and enthusiastic. The reason for this is the carbohydrate content which when broken down in the body releases loads of energy.. 

Now, let us tell you how you can make healthy Spanish rice at home.

Healthy Spanish Rice Recipe

Cooking the Spanish rice right is crucial to enjoying all the health benefits described above. Don’t worry; we are also describing a healthy Spanish or Mexican rice recipe.

Gather the following ingredients to cook healthy Spanish rice:

  • Two cups of Brown rice (180g)
  • One diced onion
  • Two chopped garlic
  • Half tbsp chili powder
  • Half tablespoon cumin
  • Two tbsp tomato sauce/paste
  • Half tbsp olive oil
  • 10g parsley

Procedure

  • Start by adding oil to the pan and heating it. When the oil gets heated, add peppers and chopped onions. Cook them for two minutes before proceeding to step 2.
  • Next, add the rice and cook it for two more minutes. 
  • After that, it is time you add all the ingredients except Parsley. Mix the ingredients with the spoon and keep stirring for 15 more minutes. Now you can add parsley to enhance the taste and aroma.
  • When all the liquid will be dried, turn off the stove and run the fork in them. Keep observing the condition of rice as overcooking them will make them mushy. 

You can add a little lime or lemon juice to make the cooked rice even more flavorful.

What is Yellow Spanish Rice?

You may have seen people eating yellow Spanish rice in restaurants. Ever wondered, “What is yellow Spanish rice? And Is Yellow Spanish rice healthy? Well, it is very similar to the red rice (the original Spanish rice) but with the additional ingredients, which are turmeric and saffron. Turmeric gives the dish the yellow color, hence the name Yellow Spanish rice. 

yellow-spanish-rice

When it comes to its health status, Yellow Spanish rice is good for you. In fact, it contains the benefits of additional ingredients (turmeric and saffron) as well, which are not present in red rice. 

FAQs

Is Zatarain’s Spanish rice healthy?

Yes, Zatairan’s Spanish rice contains around 150 calories with rich nutrient and mineral content. Plus, the carbohydrate is only 32 grams, while there is no trans fat. So, Zatarain’s Spanish rice is healthy for you. 

Is Uncle Ben’s Spanish rice healthy?

Yes, Uncle Ben’s Spanish rice is healthy to eat. You just need to microwave them before you start eating them. Uncle Ben’s Spanish rice is also preheated/pre boiled, so they retain most of the nutrition.

However, it is still better to check the ingredients on the label to spot any unhealthy component. Don’t go for such Spanish rice that contains white rice, high sodium content and more saturated fats. 

Is Goya Spanish rice healthy?

Goya Spanish rice is partially healthy to eat as they contain less saturated fat and calories (180). However, the sodium content is more which is around 850 mg in one serving.

That is why we have called Goya Spanish rice partially healthy. You can eat Goya Spanish rice once in a while, but don’t start eating it regularly in order to stay healthy for a longer period.

Wrapping Up

Spanish rice or Mexican rice is loved by Americans due to its taste and aroma. It is eaten as both a staple and side dish with fried chicken or anything meaty. But is Spanish rice healthy for you? Spanish rice is healthy only if you use brown rice instead of white. There is now an increasing trend of eating only brown rice and if you are also following this trend, then Spanish rice is good for you. 

Syed Makhshaf Zaidi

Syed Makhshaf Zaidi

Hi, I am Syed Makhshaf Zaidi. Writing about medical issues, fitness, and nutrition is my specialization. In addition, I love to play cricket and travel to new places. As an Expert Medical Writer, I try to spread meaningful knowledge to people that can change their lives. If you have any queries, you can always reach out to me.

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