You can serve glutinous rice like any other rice, but it also has different qualities that make it perfect for rice balls and sushi. It’s sometimes described as tasting slightly sweet, but it's similar to regular white rice in flavor. One cup of cooked glutinous rice supplies 4 to 9 percent of your recommended daily intake of zinc and B vitamins.
Sticky rice and sweet rice are alternative names often used for glutinous rice. “Glutinous” refers to the glue-like quality that results from the lack of amylose, which is one of two primary components that make up the starches normally found in rice. When you cook it properly, it's sticky enough to be pressed into shapes. One cup of cooked glutinous rice is fat-free, has 169 calories and 3.5 grams of protein. It contains 35 grams of starch, or complex carbohydrates, which means it provides 27 percent of a woman's recommended daily intake.
The fiber in rice is mostly the insoluble type that prevents constipation. It’s also a “prebiotic” because it serves as food for the good bacteria that normally live in your intestine and that are needed to support your immune system. You’ll get 1.7 grams of fiber from 1 cup of cooked glutinous rice. Women should consume 25 grams of fiber daily, so this portion supplies 7 percent of your recommended intake.
Over-the-counter zinc products may shorten the duration of a cold, as long as you take them within 24 hours of when your symptoms appear, according to a review published in February 2011 by the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Zinc is essential for maintaining a strong immune system year round. Women need 8 milligrams of zinc daily, unless they’re pregnant and then they need 11 milligrams because it's also vital for normal growth and development. One cup of cooked glutinous rice has 0.7 milligrams, or 9 percent of your daily value.
One cup of glutinous rice supplies 4 percent of women’s recommended daily intake of thiamine, niacin and vitamin B-6. Thiamine and niacin energize your body by helping metabolize food into fuel. Vitamin B-6 prevents anemia by making red blood cells, and it produces the neurotransmitter serotonin, which regulates appetite and mood. In large doses, vitamin B-6 may relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and morning sickness, but consult your physician before taking more than 100 milligrams daily because too much vitamin B-6 from supplements can cause neurological problems.
Glutinous rice becomes mushy if you don’t prepare it differently than regular rice. Soak the rice in cold water for at least six hours so that the grains have time to absorb some water and then steam or gently simmer them. The cooled rice is traditionally rolled into balls that are dipped into soy sauce or other types of sauce, but you can serve it just like regular rice as a side dish or mixed with meat, vegetables and seasonings.
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Nutrient Data for 20055, Rice, White, Glutinous, Cooked
- Harvard University Health Services: Fiber Content of Foods in Common Portions
- Genetics: Molecular Evidence on the Origin and Evolution of Glutinous Rice
- Cornell University, Gannett Health Services: Fiber, Digestion and Health
- PubMed.gov: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews -- Zinc for the Common Cold
- Linus Pauling Institute: Zinc
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin B-6
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images