Poongar Rice – All you need to know about its benefits

Poongar rice is one of the popular rice varieties that is cultivated in Tamil Nadu. It is one of the ancient varieties of brown rice that has been cultivated with utmost care. This type of rice can withstand harsh weather conditions and heavy floods too. It was earlier called Arubadhamkodai, in recent times it is named as Poongar rice. It is often mistaken as Mapillai samba rice variety, as they look similar.

Though the rice variety started vanishing after the modern rice varieties were introduced, it is coming back with a big punch in the market. It is highly appreciated by many for the health benefits it provides. It is also one of the popular and highly purchased organic rice varieties in the recent times.

When is the right time to cultivate this rice variety?

Poongar rice is widely cultivated between the months of December and March every year. Though it can be cultivated without any issues in other seasons, colder months are preferred by farmers. When it comes to rice aging, it will be good to consume when it is aged properly at least for 12 months. It is found that this rice variety can grow well and be nourished in clay soil type. It approximately takes up to 70 days to cultivate Poongar rice.

Why is this Poongar rice special?

This rice variety is usually hand-pounded to retain its minerals and its coarse nature. When the husk is removed, the color is visibly red and contains plenty of health benefits. This rice variety has been used since ancient times for women, especially during the pregnancy journey. 

“Poongar is consumed by women after puberty and is believed to avert ailments associated with the reproductive system”Read Citations by google scholar about Poongar red rice

Improves hemoglobin

Poongar rice contains high amounts of iron, which helps to improve and maintain a good hemoglobin count. This can be consumed by children and adults who suffer from low hemoglobin levels. It is one of the rice varieties that looks very red and tastes very good as well.

red rice poongar

Contains minerals

This rice variety contains good amounts of minerals when compared to the modern rice varieties. Poongar rice is found to contain Zinc, Magnesium, and Molebidinum, which is essential for everyday well-being. Apart from the above-mentioned minerals, it also contains Iron, which is essential for good blood count and heart health.

Rich source of anti-oxidants

Anti-oxidants are essential for a person to prevent free radicals that are harmful. Studies show that high amounts of oxidative stress and free radicals can cause cancer cell development in the body and also affect the functioning of internal organs.

Poongar rice contains high amounts of anti-oxidants that prevent free radicals from the internal system and flush out toxins that cause harm. When toxins are removed, the aging process is naturally slowed down and improves general well-being. Athrocyanins, is the color pigment that is responsible for the red color of the rice and also contain high amounts of anti-oxidants.

“Scientific studies, such as cell culture studies, animal models, and human clinical trials, show that anthocyanidins and anthocyanins possess antioxidative and antimicrobial activities, improve visual and neurological health, and protect against various non-communicable diseases.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5613902/

Good for diabetics

Generally, it is said that a diabetic should consume less quantities of rice as they contain high amounts of carbohydrates and some fat in it. Poongar rice contains less amount of cholesterol and regulates the blood sugar spikes. It is one of the rice varieties that have low Glycemic Index value. It is very good for people who are suffering from diabetes and high cholesterol issues. Poongar rice contains proanthocyanidins, that is effective in reducing bad cholesterol from the system.

“Studies have shown that proanthocyanidins help to protect the body from sun damage, to improve vision, to improve flexibility in joints, arteries, and body tissues such as the heart, and to improve blood circulation by strengthening capillaries, arteries, and veins [18]” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332219305359

Highly beneficial for women health

Poongar rice is found to be very beneficial for women’s health. It is said to maintain hormone levels and regulate if needed. When this rice porridge is consumed regularly during pregnancy, it can improve the stamina levels drastically and also aid in smooth delivery. Lactating mothers were advised by our ancestors to consume poongar rice for good milk secretion and stamina. Regular consumption also helps in increasing hemoglobin levels and stabilize the blood levels in the body.

Reduces constipation

Constipation can be caused by low fiber intake and less water content in the body. Poongar rice contains good amounts of fiber that helps in eliminating constipation. When consumed regularly it also helps in reducing bloating and gas. The rice is gluten free and can be consumed by people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

“Fiber supplementation, particularly psyllium, is both safe and effective in improving IBS symptoms globally. Dietary fiber also has other health benefits, such as lowering blood cholesterol levels, improving glycemic control and body weight management.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5548066/

Below mentioned are other rice varieties that are native to south India and are highly beneficial for health.

  • Kullakkar
  • Karuppukavuni
  • Kichadi samba
  • Mapillai samba
  • Thuyamalli
  • Kandasalli
  • Illupai poo
  • Navara
  • Vallan & Kaivara samba               
  • Karundan samba
  • Karuikkuruvai
  • Salem senna

There are many other rice varieties that are found across the country that are hand pounded and harvested using traditional farming methodologies.

The Poongar rice that is available with YSA Market is cultivated in native farms that follow traditional farming methods. Ours farmers use zero chemical fertilizers and pesticides, for a healthy produce.

The rice is hand-pounded and carefully brought to you for maximum health benefits. The quality of the rice has been verified and confirmed by using our scientific tools to prevent any quality issue.

Try out Poongar rice and enjoy the health benefits!

poongar rice


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