Sticky rice, also called glutinous rice, is a staple in Southeast Asian cuisine, and can be steamed or boiled for use in recipes. Sticky rice's texture comes from a single genetic mutation that causes the rice to lack amylose, a type of starch that would otherwise help separate the cooked rice grains. Incorporating sticky rice into your diet offers health benefits by increasing your intake of essential minerals and vitamins.
Calories and Carbohydrates
Each cup of cooked sticky rice contains 169 calories, or 8 percent of your daily calorie intake based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Most of these calories -- 83 percent -- come from sticky rice's carbohydrate content, and each serving provides 36.7 grams of total carbohydrates, including 1.7 grams of fiber. Your body breaks complex carbohydrates, including those found in sticky rice, into glucose, and then uses this glucose to fuel brain, liver and muscle function. The fiber in sticky rice also offers health benefits. It contributes to a high-fiber diet, which lowers your risk of heart disease, explains the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois.
Sticky rice also serves as a good source of selenium, a beneficial mineral. It offers antioxidant protection for your tissues, shielding your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Selenium benefits your thyroid gland by regulating the activity of thyroid hormones and keeps your blood vessel walls functioning properly. Each cup of cooked sticky rice contains 9.7 micrograms of selenium, or 18 percent of the 55 micrograms you need daily, according to guidelines set by the Institute of Medicine.
Sticky rice also offers health benefits due to its manganese content. You need manganese for a healthy metabolism -- it helps you process carbohydrates, proteins and cholesterol. It also helps you make proteoglycans, a family of proteins needed for healthy cartilage and bone tissue. Each serving of sticky rice boosts your manganese intake by 0.5 milligrams, providing 22 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 28 percent for women, according to the Institute of Medicine.
Sticky rice also contains smaller amounts of other essential nutrients. Each cup of sticky rice contains 7 percent of your daily vitamin B-5 intake requirements, and also provides you with 9 percent of your daily recommended copper intake, set by the Institute of Medicine. Vitamin B-5 boosts your metabolism, helps your cells produce energy and also aids in hormone synthesis to maintain your hormone balance. The copper in sticky rice keeps your connective tissue strong, supports your immune system and promotes healthy brain function.
- NC State University: NC State Geneticists Study Origin, Evolution of "Sticky" Rice
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Rice, White, Glutinous, Cooked
- McKinley Health Center: Macronutrients: the Importance of Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat
- Linus Pauling Institute: Selenium
- Linus Pauling Institute: Manganese
- Linus Pauling Institute: Copper
- Colorado State University: Water-Soluble Vitamins: B-Complex and Vitamin C
Sylvie Tremblay holds a Master of Science in molecular and cellular biology and has years of experience as a cancer researcher and neuroscientist. Based in Ontario, Canada, Tremblay is an experienced journalist and blogger specializing in nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, health and biotechnology, as well as real estate, agriculture and clean tech.