Is Puffed Rice (Kurmura, murmura, mamra) healthy?
The very thought of puffed rice will remind you of the roadside bhaiya making bhel with kurmura, delicious and colourful chutneys along with potatoes, onions, sev, papdi and of course the peppy chaat masala. Surely each one of you love this famous Mumbai Roadside delicacy. But how healthy is this? The geela bhel that we enjoy adds on 450+ calories, which is far beyond what we need at snack time. Moreover it is loaded with fried and high carb ingredients. Here we will discuss about the what benefits does puffed rice – the main ingredient of this recipe – solely have to offer.
Puffed rice, also commonly known as kurmura or mamra or murmura, is a cereal prepared from rice. It’s made by heating rice kernels under high pressure in the presence of steam, to form puffed grains. It is white in colour, light in weight and crispy in texture. This is what attracts many of us. Additionally its low calorie count is also what draws attention of many weight watchers. Let’s study its nutrient profile in detail before uncover its health benefits.
Health Benefits of Puffed Rice
Macronutrients : A cup of this puffed grain (14 g) offers only 33 calories and 10 g of carbs, which is significantly low especially it being from a cereal category. Well, it offers minimal fat too. Just about 0.01 g. But on the other hand, in reality it doesn’t even offer protein or fiber either.
Vitamins & Minerals : Since puffed rice is made by processing rice, most of the nutrients are lost in the process. What remains is the endosperm and thus the carb and minimal B vitamin count. So often manufacturers fortify it with iron and other B vitamins. Some vitamins and minerals which are worth a look are iron (0.92 mg), folate (21.6 mcg), vitamin B1 (0.02 mg), vitamin B3 (0.57 mg) and phosphorus (21 mg). It’s not a remarkable source of most other nutrients.
How Healthy is Puffed Rice for Weight Loss?
As very easily understood by now that puffed rice is low calories and thus should rationally be added to a weight loss diet. While you can argue that in comparison with other cereals, it really doesn’t add calories. But for an ingredient to qualify for weight loss, low calorie isn’t the only green signal. Protein and fiber are equally important. The ingredients should be a good source of these 2 key nutrients as well. Protein is required to build muscle and aid in weight loss, while fiber is needed to keep you full for long hours and avoid binge eating. Puffed rice not being high in fiber will make you feel hungry sooner. So this isn’t a very healthier addition to a weight loss diet. However, as compared to fried snacks and other calorie and carb loaded snacks, puffed rice will gain the high score. So it is totally on you to make your wise choice.
Is Puffed Rice Suitable for Diabetes?
This grain isn’t the best choice for diabetics too. The main reason for it is its high glycemic index. For diabetics it is very important to know about glycemic index. Low glycemic index foods do not raise the blood sugar levels rapidly and thus are a preferred choice for their diet. While, high glycemic index foods can lead to a considerable and quick rise in blood sugar levels. Thus puffed rice is best avoided. Learn all about glycemic index.
Key Takeaway for Puffed Rice
Puffed rice isn’t a very wholesome cereal, as it is devoid of most nutrients including protein and fiber. So it is best avoided by weight watchers and diabetes. However if you wish to consume it occasionally, the best idea would be to add in ingredients like sprouts, fruits and /or veggies to puffed rice and create a dish which is flavourful and more healthy. These ingredients would add on some fiber and protein as well as help reduce its overall glycemic index value too. We have a recipe of Sprout and Fruit Bhel for you to try. This recipe has all of the so mentioned ingredients. However, restrict your indulgence into this bhel to not more than ½ serving and consider these calories and carbs as a part of your days meal plan.
8 Healthier Alternatives to Puffed Rice
1. Buckwheat. See health benefits of buckwheat.
2. Oats. See health benefits of oats.
3. Jowar. See health benefits of jowar
4. Bajra. See health benefits of bajra
5. Barley. See health benefits of barley
6. Quinoa. See health benefits of quinoa
7. Broken Wheat. See health benefits of broken wheat
8. Amaranth. See health benefits of amaranth.
Nutritive Information for Puffed Rice:
1 Cup of puffed rice is about 14 grams
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
Energy - 33 calories
Protein – 1 g
Carbohydrate – 10.3 g
Fat – 0.01 g
Fiber – 0.04 g
See full nutritional details of puffed rice in Puffed rice glossary click here.