What Are the Health Benefits of Rice Noodles?

Rice noodles add manganese and selenium to your meals.
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Made from rice flour and water, rice noodles make regular appearances in several Asian cuisines. Because rice flour lacks the gluten found in some other flours, such as white flour, rice noodles provide a safe alternative to wheat pasta for individuals with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. Rice noodles boost your intake of a few essential nutrients, and you can increase the nutritional value of your meal by pairing them with healthful ingredients.

Nutrition Basics

Rice noodles serve as an excellent source of carbohydrates. Each 2-ounce portion contains 47 grams of total carbohydrates, and carbs account for 90 percent of the noodles' 207 calories. Your body can utilize most of the carbohydrates in rice noodles for energy to fuel your active lifestyle, and the remaining carbohydrates -- 0.9 grams of fiber -- promote digestive health. Rice noodles provide a paltry 2 grams of protein per serving, but they're low in fat -- a serving contains just 0.3 grams.


Eating rice noodles helps you reach your recommended daily manganese intake. Your body relies on manganese to activate enzymes, including superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme that protects your cell membranes and DNA from damage. Getting enough manganese in your diet also supports hormone production, regulates your blood sugar levels and controls blood clotting. A serving of rice noodles contains 0.3 milligrams of manganese. This contributes 13 percent toward the recommended daily intake for men and 17 percent for women, set by the Institute of Medicine.


Add rice noodles to your diet as a source of selenium. Each serving of noodles boasts 9 micrograms of selenium, and provides 16 percent of the recommended daily intake, established by the Institute of Medicine. Like manganese, selenium prevents cell damage by activating antioxidant enzymes. It also boosts your immune system and helps your thyroid gland -- a hormone-producing gland that controls your metabolism -- function properly.

Serving Tips and Meal Ideas

Use rice noodles as a base for healthful stir-fries. Start by sautéing your favorite veggies in low-sodium broth, then add protein by topping your meal with chopped grilled chicken breast, salmon, tofu or tempeh. Use chilled cooked rice noodles in salads -- they pair well with snow peas, shredded carrots, fresh cilantro and roasted sesame seeds, or with pesto, sliced summer squash and cherry tomatoes. Alternatively, combine rice noodles, Asian greens -- such as bok choy -- chopped vegetables, lemongrass and low-sodium broth for a healthful Thai-inspired noodle soup.

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