Rice is the most important tropical cereal. It is the staple food of half the human race. It is so important in some countries, that they have festivals and celebrations to honour it.There are literally thousands, perhaps as many as 40,000 or more, varieties of rice grown on every continent except Antarctica.
Rice consumption is on the rise. In fact, Americans eat twice as much rice now than they did ten years ago. Marketing analysts attribute this phenomenon to the savvy consumer's awareness of rice as a healthy food.
Why should I be aware of this?
- Rice is about 98% digestible. It is one of the most easily and quickly digested of all foods.
- Rice starch is different from other grain starches as it contains 100% amylopectin, which is most completely and rapidly digested grain starch.
- Rice protein, which is about 8% of the grain, has a special benefit as it has eight of the essential amino acids in delicately balanced proportions. Rice proteins are metabolized into health building amino acids. These amino acids build resilient muscles, healthy hair and skin and clearer eyesight. It nourishes the heart and lungs, tendons and ligaments, brain, nervous system and glandular network.
- The B-complex vitamins, especially thiamin, Riboflavin and niacin offered by natural brown rice help to nourish the hormonal system, heal wounds and regulate blood pressure. Rice also offers iron to enrich the blood stream and phosphorous and potassium to maintain internal water balance along with other nutrients. It thus helps restore internal balance.
All about rice
Rice has been cultivated in south eastern Asia since ancient times where it is one of the oldesr of food cereals. The exact date and place of origin is not really known but one of the oldest mention goes back almost 7000 years ago, when a Chinese emperor established a ceremonial ordinance for the planting of ricethat would later be used by the royal physicians for healing purposes. It was grown in Ancient India as far back as 5000 years ago when it appeared as a plant called Newaree.
Types of Rice
- Rice from which only the husk has been removed, but layers of bran and most of the germ retained, is known as brown rice.
- Rice from which husk, germ and bran layers have almost completely been removed by power machinery is known as milled rice.
- Rice milled to a high degree is known as white rice.
- Rice from which husk, germ, and bran layers have been partially removed without the use of power machinery, is known as hand pounded rice.
- Rice milled to a high degree and then coated with some foreign substance such as glucose or talcum is called polished rice.
- Paddy specially processed by steaming or soaking in water, then heated and dried is called parboiled paddy.
- It can then be milled to various degrees or home pounded. It is called parboiled milled or parboiled home pounded.
Starch constitutes the bulk of the rice grain. The protein content of the rice is lower than that of wheat but is of superior quality and utilized better by the body than the wheat protein. But it is brown rice that is most nutritious and beneficial. Oriental healers through traditional medicines have always advocated the use of natural brown rice as a key to youthful health building because the processing of rice removes many of the valuable B-complex vitamins and some of the minerals.
Food value chart
Rraw handpounded rice – per 100 gm edible portion
- Moisture- 13.3%
- Fat- 1.0%
- Fibre- 0.6%
- Carbohydrates- 76.7%
- Calcium- 10 mg
- Phosphorous 190 Mg
- Iron- 3.2 mg
- Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
- Caloric value – 346
Food value of Raw Milled Rice – per 100 gm edible portion
- Moisture- 13.7%
- Protein- 6.8%
- Fat- 0.5 %
- Minerals- 0.6%
- Fibre- 0.2%
- Carbohydrates- 78.2%
- Calcium- 10 mg
- Phosphorous 160 Mg
- Iron- 3.1 mg
- Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
- Caloric value – 345
Rice and health
- High Blood Pressure - Rice has a low fat, low cholesterol and low salt content. It makes a perfect diet for those hypertensive persons who have been advised salt restricted diets. Calcium in brown rice, in particular, soothes and relaxes the nervous system and helps relieve the symptoms of high blood pressure.
- Body Balance -- Rice diet in combination with milk creates a marvelous body balance. The rice can be cooked in any way but no salt must be added. The two notable amino acids, isoleucine and lysine in the milk are greatly strengthened by rice proteins, thereby enabling them to form stronger body building blocks.
- Digestive system disorders-- Rice has a very low fibre content, and is therefore extremely soothing to the digestive system. It thus makes rice ideal for a digestive system disorders.Thick grul of rice mixed with aglassful of butter milk abd a well ripe banana given twice a day is very nutritious in the case of typhoid, gastric ulcer, gastritis stomach and intestinal cancer, colitis, dysentery, piles and indigestion, hepatitis or inflammation of the liver, jaundice, burning and indigestion due to hiatus hernia
- Diarrhoea in children -- Rice is useful in treating diarrhea in children. A tsp of powder of charred par boiled rice mixed with a glassful of buttermilk should be given in doses of an ounce every half an hour.
- Skin Inflammation -Rice can also be used externally in the form of powder or poultice. The rice flour, dusted thickly over the surface, has a very soothing and cooling affect in small pox, measles, prickly heat and other inflammations of the skin including burns and scalds. Rice powder helps in heat and irritation and has a soothing effect, if dusted over the body. It also makes for an excellent body scrub.
- An average person eats about 300 to 400 pounds of rice a year.
- In Burma a person eats 500 pounds of rice a year, an astonishing figure when it is reduced to a daily consumption of 1-1/4 pounds per day.
- The Chinese Word for Rice is the same as their word for food.
- There are more than 40,000 different varieties of rice.
- Grains of rice in a salt cellar will help to keep the salt free flowing.
- Rice is cultivated in over 100 countries and on every continent except Antarctica.
- On cooking rice swells to give at least three times its original weight.
- Rice is a symbol of life and fertility, which is why it was a tradition to throw it at weddings, confetti has now replaced rice.