Should You Eat Rice According to Ayurveda

Rice – Why the Cavemen Have It All Wrong

I’ve heard it, you’ve heard it too I’m sure. You should not eat a lot of rice. Bad carbohydrates they say. Who are they? Just about every Western dietitian who wants to create a fad diet and make mega-millions from it is who. And people listen and they believe.  Should they?

It seems that Ayurveda has a completely different take on the question of should you eat rice, and as you might expect, there is not a one size fits all approach to whether rice is good for you. Further, some people should be eating white rice and some people should be eating brown rice.

Take a look at the summary of this article from Eat Local Grown and let me know what you think.


White rice (and even brown) are getting a bad rap, especially with the popularity of the Paleo diet. Some are cutting out rice all together as its rumored to have little nutritional value and to cause weight gain, while others are convinced that only brown rice should be eaten. Ayurveda (ancient India’s timeless science of life) believes otherwise, and looks not only at the quality of the rice itself, but who’s eating it and when.

White and Brown

White rice is recommended when digestive ability is low. According to Ayurveda this naturally occurs in the summer and warm months. At this time of year our agni, or digestive fire, is at its weakest. We should adjust our diets accordingly, choosing lighter foods that are easy to digest.  This makes white rice a better choice than brown in the summer.

Since brown rice is somewhat heavy to digest it is best consumed in the cooler and winter months.  This is when agni is at its strongest. The digestive system can handle heavier foods like brown rice better than it can in summer. No matter what time of year, brown rice can also be soaked for a couple of hours before cooking to help with digestibility.

Ayurveda takes into account not only the season but also the individual. For those who always have very good digestion and a strong agni, brown rice is generally a good choice. For those with more sensitive digestion and weaker agni, white rice is the way to go.

In conclusion

Minimally processed white rice doesn’t deserve its bad reputation. It’s all about who’s eating it and when. The general rule is to go for white rice in the warmer months and brown rice in the cooler. If you’re one of those people who could practically digest rocks then yes, take advantage of brown rice’s nutritive value year round. If digestion is a little slower, go with white. As the rest of the world already knows, there’s definitely a place for rice in the diet.

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