October 4, 2022
What is fermented rice; know its benefits from nutritionist | Health

What is fermented rice; know its benefits from nutritionist | Health

Fermented rice recipes have been popular since time immemorial, especially in rural India where people invented a variety of dishes made out of leftover rice kept overnight which got fermented. Panta Bhat, idli, dosa, uttapam, etc are all made from fermented rice and have over the time become popular breakfast choices. Fermented rice in fact has many lesser-known benefits. It is considered healthier than regular rice as the fermentation process removes extra fat from it and increases B complex, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and selenium. Also the process of leaving the rice overnight and fermenting it also make it a probiotic or gut-friendly food. (Also read: Keep your stomach cool and healthy this summer with panta bhat)

Traditionally, the leftover rice from afternoon was soaked by people in a pot, preferably made of clay, and left overnight at room temperature. By morning it was ready and many would savour it with onion, chilli and some salt. To make dishes like idli and dosa, lentils are also added to rice for fermentation.

“Fermented foods are rich in beneficial probiotics like lactobacillus, lactic acid bacteria and have been associated with a range of health benefits — from better digestion, strengthens GIT and stronger immunity,” says Haripriya N, Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Chennai, OMR.

Haripriya lists all the benefits of fermented rice and the dishes made out of it.


Studies have shown that availability of micronutrients like B complex, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and selenium increases drastically in rice after undergoing the process of fermentation. It is a good source of Vitamin B6 and B12 which is otherwise very rare in normal diet. This is easy and on-the-go food option for busy runners. Though balancing the overall day’s diet is very crucial.


The fermented rice is a gut-friendly food, rich in probiotics, restores healthy intestinal flora and can heal or prevent gastrointestinal problems like duodenal ulcers, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, infections, etc. It helps to prevent constipation and indigestion problems as well.


Fermented rice gives you instant energy and balances electrolytes in the body to prevent dehydration, fatigue, weakness. It is a very good option for lactating mothers to meet their fluid intake.

Fermented rice is rich in potassium, sodium, chloride and selenium and helps to lower high blood pressure and prevent metabolic disorders. Similarly, increased levels of magnesium and selenium are also seen which are helpful for bone health. Also, since it is also a probiotic, it helps to improve the white blood cell synthesis to strengthen the immune system and prevent infections and cancer.

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