Rice flour is a common commodity not only in cooking but also in skincare. Rice is a common staple across the world, especially in Asian countries. It’s versatile and can be consumed in various ways. Surprisingly, rice water and flour made from rice can also be used for skincare or as natural plant fertilizer.
Rice contains a variety of nutrients apart from its main constituent, starch, and has several potential health benefits. In this article, we explore the uses and health benefits of rice flour on skin and overall health.
White rice flour nutrients
The nutritional value of white rice and brown rice is different due to the absence of rice bran in white rice.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of flour made from white rice contains:
- Calories: 366 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 80 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
- Calcium: 10 mg
- Phosphorus: 98 mg
- Potassium: 76 mg
- Magnesium: 35 mg
- Iron: 0.4 mg
Rice contains mostly starch, which is a carb. It also contains minerals like potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. Notably, the outer bran contains more nutrients, and hence we see the nutritional profile of flour made from brown rice in the next section.
Brown rice flour nutrients
When comparing different types of flour made from rice, we must take a look at brown rice’s nutritional profile.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of flour made from brown rice contains:
- Calories: 363 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 76.5 grams
- Fiber: 4.6 grams
- Protein: 7 grams
- Calcium: 11 mg
- Phosphorus: 337 mg
- Potassium: 289 mg
- Magnesium: 112 mg
- Iron: 2.0 mg
It can be observed from this table above that brown rice contains amazingly high amounts of phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. It’s more nutritious than white rice due to the presence of bran, which is the outer coating of rice that contains a lot of nutrients.
Benefits of using rice flour for skin
Flour made from rice is a potential cleansing agent. It can clear out pores and reduce dirt and oil accumulated in the pores.
It does not cause skin irritation and is safer than chemical-containing skin scrubs or exfoliants. Homemade rice flour does not contain fillers, artificial colors, fragrances or other chemicals that might damage the skin barrier. However, while using rice flour, remember to rub the skin very gently to avoid dryness and skin damage. Use your fingers to gently massage the skin.
Alternatively, flour made from rice can be mixed with water to prepare a slurry to be applied to the skin. It’s a gentle cleanser that can be used after or before using bodywash. You can also make a face mask with the flour, and wash it off after it dries. Nowadays, commercial face masks containing rice extracts are gaining popularity. You can also make rice water at home.
Benefits of consuming rice flour
Rice is one of the most popular gluten-free grains for people. The nutritional and health benefits of white rice are well known, and that’s why rice is often recommended for people with common gut issues.
A gluten-free diet can help decrease symptoms of celiac disease. It’s estimated that about 1% of the world’s population suffers from gluten allergy. Using rice flour as a substitute for gluten-rich foods, like wheat, can prevent allergic reactions in people with gluten allergies.
Indranil Biswas is a nutritionist and personal trainer with a diploma in dietetics and personal training with a specialization in sports nutrition and strength training.
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