Basmati rice is a type of rice common in Indian and South Asian cuisine.

Available in both white and brown varieties, it’s known for its nutty flavor and pleasant aroma.

Still, you may want to know whether this long-grain rice is healthy and how it compares with other kinds of rice.

This article takes a close look at basmati rice, examining its nutrients, health benefits, and any downsides.

Nutrition facts

Although the exact nutrients vary based on the specific type of basmati, each serving is generally high in carbs and calories, as well as micronutrients like folate, thiamine, and selenium.

One cup (163 grams) of cooked white basmati rice contains:

  • Calories: 210
  • Protein: 4.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Carbs: 45.6 grams
  • Fiber: 0.7 grams
  • Sodium: 399 mg
  • Folate: 24% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Thiamine: 22% of the DV
  • Selenium: 22% of the DV
  • Niacin: 15% of the DV
  • Copper: 12% of the DV
  • Iron: 11% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
  • Zinc: 7% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 6% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 5% of the DV

In comparison, brown basmati rice is slightly higher in calories, carbs, and fiber. It also provides more magnesium, vitamin E, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus.


Basmati rice is typically high in carbs and micronutrients like thiamine, folate, and selenium.

Potential health benefits

Basmati rice may be associated with several health benefits.

Low in arsenic

Compared with other sorts of rice, basmati is usually lower in arsenic, an important metal which will harm your health and potentially increase your risk of diabetes, heart problems, and certain cancers (3Trusted Source).

Arsenic tends to accumulate more in rice than in other grains, which may be particularly concerning for those that eat rice on a daily basis.

However, some studies have found that basmati rice from California, India, or Pakistan contains a number of rock bottom levels of arsenic, compared with other rice varieties.

Furthermore, it should be noted that rice varieties tend to be higher in arsenic than polished rice , as arsenic accumulates within the hard outer bran layer.
May be enriched

White basmati rice is usually enriched, meaning that certain nutrients are added during processing to assist boost the nutritional value.

This can make it easier to satisfy your needs for a spread of important vitamins and minerals.

In particular, rice and other grains are often enriched with iron and B vitamins like vitamin Bc , thiamine, and niacin.
Some types are whole grains

Brown basmati rice is taken into account an entire grain, meaning that it contains all three parts of the kernel — the germ, bran, and endosperm.

Whole grains are related to multiple health benefits. as an example , an analysis of 45 studies tied whole grain intake to a lower risk of heart condition , cancer, and premature death.

Another review associated regular intake of whole grains, including rice , with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

What’s more, an 8-week study in 80 people found that replacing refined grains with whole grains lowered levels of inflammatory markers.


Basmati is lower in arsenic than other sorts of rice and sometimes enriched with important vitamins and minerals. Brown basmati is additionally considered an entire grain.

Potential downsides

Unlike brown basmati, white basmati may be a refined grain, meaning that it’s been stripped of the many valuable nutrients during processing.

Some studies suggest that eating more refined grains can negatively affect blood glucose control and should be related to a better risk of type 2 diabetes.

What’s more, a study in over 10,000 people linked dietary patterns that included polished rice to a better risk of obesity.

Additionally, a study in 26,006 people associated polished rice intake with a better risk of metabolic syndrome, which may be a group of conditions which will increase your risk of heart condition , stroke, and sort 2 diabetes.

These effects could also be thanks to white rice’s high number of carbs and low amount of fiber compared with rice .

Therefore, while white basmati rice are often enjoyed carefully , brown basmati could also be a far better overall option for your health.


Refined grains like white basmati rice are related to a better risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Thus, they’re best eaten carefully .

Basmati vs. other types of rice

Basmati rice is like other sorts of brown or polished rice in terms of nutrients.

Although very minute variations may exist within the calorie, carb, protein, and fiber counts between specific sorts of rice, it’s not enough to form much of a difference.

That said, basmati typically harbors less arsenic, which can make it an honest choice if rice may be a staple in your diet.

As a long-grain rice, it’s also longer and slimmer than short-grain varieties.

Its nutty, floral aroma and soft, fluffy texture work well in many Asian and Indian dishes. It’s a very great choice for rice puddings, pilafs, and side dishes.


Basmati rice is nutritionally almost like other sorts of rice but boasts less arsenic. Its unique taste, aroma, and texture make it an honest match for Asian meals.

The bottom line

Basmati is an aromatic, long-grain rice that’s lower in arsenic than other types of rice. It’s sometimes enriched with important vitamins and minerals.

It’s available in both white and brown varieties.

Whenever possible, you should select brown basmati, as refined grains like white rice are associated with several negative health effects.


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