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Chewy, nutritious and nourishing, not to mention delicious, Chinese handmade rice noodles have been a popular staple in China for at least 4,000 years. They are most commonly used in stir fries, soups, spring rolls, salads and curries.

In addition to being delicious, rice noodles also bring several health benefits.

healthHigh in fibre. An average serving of rice noodles is far more filling than any other type of noodles, such as those made from egg (the most commonly eaten) and wheat. Fibre regulates the metabolism and optimises the functioning of the digestive tract. Brown rice noodles are four times as rich in fibre compared to
their white counterparts.

Low in cholesterol. Rice noodles are a good low-cholesterol substitute to the egg and wheat varieties, as well as pasta. As a result, they are increasingly recommended to people suffering from cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, for whom low-cholesterol levels are vital for maintaining health.

Encourage  weight-loss. The high-starch and water content of rice noodles (especially those made from brown rice) leads to a low-calorie diet, which can result in weight loss. Furthermore, as rice noodles are made from rice flour (not wheat) they are gluten-free and ideal for people who are gluten intolerant or suffer from celiac disease. Going  gluten-free has become a big foodie trend because many people have discovered the health and weight-loss benefits of avoiding it.

High nutritional content. A cup of cooked rice noodles is low-fat and enriched with carbohydrates, protein and minerals, including sodium and potassium (which are essential for the body to regulate the nervous and circulatory systems, maintaining kidney health and slowing down the onset of bone degenerative diseases in children and adults) as well as folate, which is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system.

– Dr Samia Khan
The writer is Director, Health Awareness Society.

Fist published in the Health Advertiser of THE DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on January 26, 2014.