Bamboo Rice Glycemic Index – Benefits, Diabetic Recipes, Nutrition

Last Updated on July 12, 2021 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Ever heard of bamboo rice? Many of you might not know that a rice variety is extracted from the part of the bamboo plant.

Bamboo rice is highly recommended for people with diabetes, as it has a low glycemic index of 20. This value is much less than that of common white rice. Plus, the higher protein content is like a cherry on the cake.

The rice grains are nourished by nature with many benefits. They are the powerhouse of several health-boosting nutrients. They can be easily incorporated into meals with some super-easy recipes.

Also known as Mulayari, bamboo rice is obtained from the seed of a bamboo shoot about to die. This rice is similar to wheat in taste, and its appearance matches with paddy rice.

Veggie causing Diabetes

Like regular white rice, bamboo rice also contains carbohydrates, fibers, and proteins. The protein content of bamboo rice is found to be greater than white rice.

What is Bamboo Rice?

Bamboo falls under the category of a perennial plant. This means that it flowers only once in its lifetime. They survive for approximately 60 years.

When the bamboo plant flowers, it is apparent that now the plant is about to die.

When bamboo shoot enters the last stages of life, it undergoes flowering. These straw-colored flowers envelop unique kinds of seeds. It is these seeds that later are available as bamboo rice.


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Bamboo flowers

For the tribal communities dwelling in the Wayanad Sanctuary of Kerala, the cultivation, and harvesting of bamboo rice forms the prime source of income. The sanctuary is extensively rich in Bamboo groves.

After harvesting, the rice grains are dried to remove the excess moisture. This makes rice suitable for storage for a longer time.

Apart from Wayanad Sanctuary, the tall bamboo trees can also be seen growing in India’s other parts. The trees grow up to 8 ft tall on average.

It is not just the seeds that come jampacked with a punch of nutrition; even the shorts of bamboo plants find great significance in treating certain diseases. The shoots possess great medicinal potential.

Bamboo rice is not as readily available as other rice in the market. The reason is that bamboo plant flowers only once in 60 years.

When available, you can buy bamboo rice from the market or online stores. You will get pale green-colored seeds possessing sticky essence and the flavor derived from the leaf of bamboo.

What are the Health Benefits of Bamboo Rice in Diabetes?

Bamboo Rice in Diabetes 3

You will be surprised to know about the enormous extent of unmatched benefits these little green rice seeds have got. Here is a complete list of unique perks offered by Bamboo rice.

1.     Diabetes Management

Imagine controlling your diabetes with no extra efforts made. Well, this can be a reality. You cook and consume rice daily, right?

Every Indian is accustomed to eating rice, and so are you. Do yourself a favor and replace that white with green.

Bamboo rice is low in glycemic index and therefore is an excellent way of managing diabetes. It will help to prevent uplift in blood sugar levels after having meals.

2.     Checks Cholesterol

Bamboo seeds do not contain fats, and this fact is of great benefit to diabetics. Moreover, the presence of phosphorous and iron in these rice keeps the heart healthy.

A low glycemic index makes it possible to burn extra fats in the body.

3.     Enhanced Fertility

Studies made on the individuals of Kani tribes in Kanyakumari disclose the fact that bamboo rice can boost the fertilization capacity of human beings.

4.     Controls Blood Pressure

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To keep blood pressure within safe limits, a balanced diet and electrolytes are required in the body. Iron, calcium, and phosphorous supplied by the rice regulates blood pressure keeping its normal range.

5.     Relieves Joint Pain

Being rich in calcium, it can lessen the impact of joint pains. Bamboo rice must be consumed by people with rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and those with aching backbone.

6.     Promotes Kidney Health

Phosphorous present in bamboo rice further combines with vitamin B to ensure the optimal functioning of kidneys. It is an excellent detoxifying agent that helps to expel harmful substances from the body.

Nutritional Profile of Bamboo Rice

Nutrients (in 1 cup)Quantity
Carbohydrates34 grams
Fibers1 gram
Proteins3 grams
Fats0 grams
Calories160 grams


Bamboo rice has got many strong reasons to be included in the diet of a diabetic individual. They are rich in proteins and amino acids.

Nutrients like vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and B6 are also present in a reasonable amount. The seeds are enriched with minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorous, and fiber.

The nutritional profile of bamboo rice is greatly appealing for diabetics.

How is bamboo rice different from other types of rice?

Bamboo rice is not much different from other types of rice. It is sticky when touched and chewy to eat. The mode of cooking this rice is also very much similar to commonly eaten white rice.

The distinct characteristic is its slightly sweet taste. The taste is like that of wheat though it appears like paddy rice.

As it is rarely available, it is much costlier than other rice varieties. You are likely to get 1 kg of bamboo rice for 600 rupees.

Is Bamboo Rice Suitable for Children?

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Bamboo is completely safe for children. Being an excellent source of energy and nutrition helps in the physical and cognitive development of children.

The carbohydrates present in rice will keep your children active while the antioxidants ensure the healthy functioning of the body organs. Phosphorous and calcium will contribute to strengthening bones and teeth.

Children will also love the sweet taste of the rice. It is altogether a perfect food choice for your kids.

Read and try out the tempting recipes given below.

Bamboo Rice Recipes for Diabetes

Indians have an unparalleled craze for food. And if that food is rice, then we indeed have hundreds of ways to make it.

Here are some most sought-after bamboo rice recipes that will appetize your taste buds while taking care of your health at the same time.

1.     Bamboo rice kheer

The preparation time is 1 hour, and the quantity of ingredients used will make up servings for two people.

List of ingredients you need:

  • Bamboo rice – 68 grams for two people
  • Coconut milk/regular milk – 4 cups
  • Artificial sweetener (Stevia is preferred) – as per your taste
  • Condensed milk – 1 cup
  • Ghee – 1 tablespoon
  • 10-12 cashews, almonds, resins, and other nuts

Take approx. 68 grams of rice in a bowl and wash it in water. Keep it soaked in water for about 3 hours.

After three hours, drain the water and cook the rice with 3 cups of coconut milk for 3 whistles.

In the meantime, add ghee to a heated pan and dry roast fruits, including cashew, almonds, resins, and whatever you prefer.

After the rice is cooked and pressure gets settled, add one more milk, and cook on medium flame. Keep stirring the kheer with the wooden spatula as you do this.

When the rice becomes completely soft, add cardamom powder to it. Now, add the half cup of condensed milk and sugar to taste.

Finally, toss in the dry fruit combo and mix it all well. And your mouth-watering feast is ready!

2.     Bamboo rice Uttapam/Dosa

Bamboo Rice in Diabetes 4

This recipe’s preparation time is 4 hours, and the number of ingredients will suit two people.

List of ingredients you need:

  • Bamboo rice – 3 cups
  • White rice – 1 cup
  • Chana dal – 2 tablespoons
  • Urad dal – 1 cup
  • Poha – 2 tablespoons
  • Methi seeds – 1 tablespoon

Before you start, you need to soak both the rice and all the pulses mentioned above for 8 hours. Wash all the items and grind all of them together in a mixer.

Now, the ground batter needs to be fermented for another 8 hours. During summers, it takes only 6 hours for fermentation to take place.

Once your batter is fermented well, lit the gas and heat the pan. Pour the batter’s required proportion and keep rolling slightly in a circular motion over to make a dosa.

To get the punch of crispiness in your dosa, place the oil at its circular edge. Oil also makes it easy to get the dosa off the pan.

When one side is cooked perfectly, turn it upside down and let the other side cook in the same fashion.

After this, there comes your delicious dosa, completely ready to be served and savored. Serve it onion-tomato chutney.

3.     Bamboo Rice Puttu

This is a super-fast recipe with just 10 minutes of actual cooking time, and the number of ingredients listed will be convenient for 4 people.

List of ingredients needed:

  • Bamboo rice – ½ kg
  • Grated coconut – ½ kg
  • Salt – as required
  • Water – as required

Start with soaking the bamboo rice in water for 3 hours, followed by washing it well with water. Grind the rice to obtain a coarse powder.

The powder should not be excellent. Its texture should be like that of wheat flour.

Dry roast this freshly prepared bamboo rice flour.

Take some proportion of the flour and sprinkle a little water over it. It should stick together when crumpled with hands. Also, add salt to taste.

Next, take water in a pressure cooker and let it boil.

Bamboo puttus are made using special molds called puttu kutty. They are long cylindrical structures made of bamboo and coconut shell.

Take the molds available for making puttus. Place 1-2 tablespoons of grated coconut at the bottom layer, add 4-5 tablespoons of bamboo rice flour, and make a second layer above it. Repeat this is making four layers. Finally, add a fifth and the topmost layer with grated coconuts.

Close the puttu mold and place it over the whistle hole of the pressure cooker. The shape of the puttu mold is such that it can be placed over the cooker’s whistle.

Turn the gas off after 10 minutes of steaming. You are all set to enjoy your hot and yummy puttus.

Concluding Words

Bamboo rice has a shallow glycemic index making it an ideal food choice for people with diabetes. Besides keeping blood sugar levels stable, it bestows many benefits to the people who consume it.

White rice is harmful to people with diabetes, but you never need to worry about blood glucose while consuming bamboo rice. And what can be better than eating something guilt-free during diabetes?

The production and availability of this rice are scarce, so make sure you try them whenever available. Anyone from children to adults can enjoy the health perks offered by the rice.



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