Is jasmine rice healthy gluten-free?

Jasmine rice is a popular long grain variety of rice that originates from Thailand. It is known for its pleasant floral aroma and slightly sticky texture when cooked. Many people enjoy jasmine rice for its versatility in various dishes and unique taste.

But is jasmine rice also a healthy gluten-free grain? With rising rates of gluten intolerance and celiac disease, more people are looking for gluten-free whole food alternatives to incorporate into their diets. Understanding the nutritional profile and qualities of jasmine rice can help determine if it fits the criteria of a healthy gluten-free grain.

Is Jasmine Rice Gluten-Free?

Yes, jasmine rice is naturally gluten-free. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. Since jasmine rice is made from rice kernels rather than these grains, it does not contain gluten. All varieties of rice, including white rice, brown rice, jasmine rice, basmati rice and wild rice, are naturally gluten-free grains.

This makes rice products like jasmine a safe bet for those following a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity or another form of gluten intolerance. Jasmine rice and rice flour can be used as substitutes for gluten-containing ingredients when preparing gluten-free recipes.

Nutritional Profile of Jasmine Rice

Here is the basic nutritional profile of cooked jasmine rice in a 1 cup serving (source):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 205
Protein 4.2g
Carbohydrates 44.2g
Fat 0.4g
Fiber 0.6g
Calcium 10mg
Iron 0.8mg

Like most rice varieties, jasmine rice is low in fat and is naturally cholesterol free. Its main nutritional drawback is the lack of fiber compared to other whole grains.

However, jasmine rice contains some important vitamins and minerals. A serving provides small amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin E, folate and magnesium. Additionally, jasmine rice is enriched with key B vitamins like thiamine, niacin and folic acid. The enrichment process replaces nutrients lost during the milling process.

Benefits of Jasmine Rice

Here are some of the main health benefits associated with jasmine rice:

Gluten-Free Whole Grain

Jasmine rice provides the benefits of a whole grain while also being naturally free of gluten. Whole grains provide important nutrients and fiber that are removed during the refining of grains like white rice. The fiber in whole grains also promotes feelings of fullness and healthy digestion.

Low Risk of Diabetes

Compared to other rice varieties like white rice, jasmine rice has a lower glycemic index. This means it does not spike blood sugar levels as quickly after eating. The amylose starch in jasmine rice helps slow down carbohydrate digestion and glucose absorption. This makes it a better choice than refined grains for those with diabetes or at risk of diabetes.

Support Healthy Weight

As a whole grain, jasmine rice may support a healthy body weight. The fiber in whole grains helps prolong feelings of fullness compared to refined grains, which can prevent overeating. Whole grains have also been linked with lower BMIs and reduced weight gain over time.

May Lower Cholesterol

A study found that substituting jasmine rice for white rice resulted in decreased LDL “bad” cholesterol levels for participants after 6 months. Researchers concluded that the fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals in jasmine rice likely contributed to this cholesterol-lowering effect.

Contains Antioxidants

In addition to various vitamins and minerals, jasmine rice contains beneficial plant compounds and antioxidants including gamma-oryzanol, phytic acid and anthocyanins. These function as antioxidants in the body to reduce oxidative stress and may have protective effects against various diseases.

Low Allergy Risk

Since rice does not contain gluten or common allergens found in other grains, jasmine rice allergy is very rare. This makes it a good grain choice for those with food allergies or sensitivities. However, those with rice allergies or soy allergies should still avoid jasmine rice.

Downsides of Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice also comes with a few downsides:

Lower Fiber Than Some Whole Grains

While jasmine rice contains more fiber than refined white rice, it still provides less fiber than other whole grains. For example, a cup of cooked quinoa delivers over 5 grams of fiber compared to only 0.6 grams in jasmine rice. Be sure to eat jasmine rice in combination with high fiber foods like vegetables.

Lower Protein Than Some Whole Grains

Similar to fiber, the protein content of jasmine rice is lower than that of grains like quinoa, barley and oats. Balance jasmine rice meals with healthy protein sources like beans, nuts, seeds, eggs or lean meats.

Contains Phytates

Jasmine rice contains phytic acid or phytates that can reduce absorption of some minerals like iron, zinc and calcium if large amounts are eaten. This is usually only a concern for those eating a diet very high in phytate-rich foods. Soaking, sprouting and fermenting jasmine rice can help reduce phytates.

May Contain Traces of Arsenic

Some brands of jasmine rice have been found to contain small amounts of arsenic, which is thought to come from contaminated soil or water. To reduce exposure, rinse raw rice thoroughly before cooking and vary grain choices. Brown and parboiled rice tend to be lower in arsenic than white rice varieties.

How to Cook Jasmine Rice

Cooking jasmine rice properly helps bring out its pleasant aroma and texture. Here is a simple stovetop method:


– 1 cup jasmine rice
– 1 3⁄4 cups water
– Pinch of salt


1. Rinse the rice thoroughly in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear. This removes excess starch.

2. In a saucepan, combine the rinsed rice, water and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Avoid lifting the lid during simmering.

4. After 15-20 minutes, check rice for doneness. It should be tender and fluffy with absorbed water.

5. Remove pan from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes to continue steaming. Fluff with a fork before serving.

For best flavor and texture, serve jasmine rice freshly cooked. Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3-5 days or frozen for several months. Reheat leftover rice with a bit of water to restore moisture.

Is Jasmine Rice Healthy?

Overall, jasmine rice can be part of a healthy gluten-free diet when enjoyed in moderation along with a variety of other nourishing foods. The key is balancing intake of jasmine rice with foods that provide more protein, fiber and nutrients, such as vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs and lean protein.

As a whole grain, jasmine rice provides more nutrients, antioxidants and health benefits than refined white rice. The fiber in jasmine rice also promotes feelings of fullness and healthy blood sugar regulation compared to processed grains.

However, other whole grains like quinoa, oats and buckwheat do contain higher amounts of protein and fiber per serving compared to jasmine rice. So for the most nutrients, its best to eat jasmine rice alongside other fiber and protein-rich foods to create a balanced gluten-free meal.

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of jasmine rice:

Pros Cons
Naturally gluten-free Lower in fiber than some whole grains
Contains antioxidants Lower in protein than some whole grains
Low glycemic index Contains anti-nutrient phytates
May lower cholesterol May contain small amounts of arsenic
Whole grain nutrition

Uses for Jasmine Rice

Here are some healthy and delicious ways to use jasmine rice:

– Grain bowls – Combine cooked jasmine rice with sauteed or roasted vegetables, plant-based protein like chickpeas or tofu, and avocado or tahini sauce.

– Buddha bowls – Layer cooked jasmine rice with raw or roasted veggies, beans, nuts, and a maple tahini dressing.

– Stir fries – Cook jasmine rice to use alongside veggie or protein stir fry combinations.

– Rice pilaf – Saute jasmine rice with diced onions, carrots, mushrooms and seasonings for a flavorful pilaf.

– Sushi rolls – Use jasmine rice to make vegetarian sushi rolls filled with veggies and avocado.

– Congee – Cook jasmine rice with extra water to make a creamy rice porridge or congee topped with spices, egg and scallions.

– Rice pudding – For dessert, simmer jasmine rice with non-dairy milk and spices and top with fruit.

– Casseroles – Bake jasmine rice with beans, cheese and seasonings for a gluten-free and vegetarian casserole dish.


Jasmine rice can be a tasty and versatile ingredient in a healthy gluten-free diet when balanced with other whole foods. Compared to white rice, jasmine rice is higher in certain nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium and antioxidants. The fiber in jasmine rice also gives it a lower glycemic index than more processed rice.

However, other whole grains do contain more protein and fiber per serving than jasmine rice. Eating jasmine rice in combination with legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables and lean proteins can help create balanced gluten-free meals that provide a variety of nutrients.

Overall, jasmine rice can provide its pleasant flavor and texture as part of a balanced gluten-free diet. Focus on enjoying jasmine rice as just one component in healthy gluten-free meals also rich in other whole foods like veggies, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds.

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