WHOLEGRAIN rice (right) is a brilliant starchy carbo-hydrate, meaning it will give you plenty of energy no matter what you are doing throughout the day. 

Rice is a staple of Asia but has become much more of a staple where we live in the last 20-30 years.  Always try and aim for a minimum of three good portions of starchy carbohydrates per day – rice should be one.  

Rice is a good source of carbohydrate energy which can provide a boost to your evening shopping or your training session in the gym or for sport.  Wholegrain rice is also a good source of fibre which helps keeps our gut and bowels healthy as it has more fibre than white rice.  

It is a good source of minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and selenium, which help with energy metabolism, tooth enamel and our immune system. Wholegrain rice is also a good source of vitamin B1 and B3, which help with energy release in our bodies.

Rice can be a good source of protein if taken alongside beans and/or peas as this combination increases the protein content of the meal.  This is called complimenting proteins. Also, try rice with vegetables like onions, peppers, mushrooms, leek, celery etc, sautéed in some olive oil with herbs and spices and add a meat of your choice and/or quorn if you follow a vegan diet.  A portion size of rice is 75g dry weight.  

Lee McCusker (BA; MSc; MSc; MSc; ANutr; SENr) is a registered nutritionist from Belfast and can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Email: attentivenutrition@