RICE AND HEALTH
Rice has already been for centuries the staple food in many countries worldwide. The reason is in the fact that it is a grain with excellent nutritional properties and significant carbohydrate content, essential for supplying energy.
While caring for the body people suffering from cholesterol problems or intolerance to gluten find rice an excellent food to include in their diets. Situated at the base of the food pyramid this is a very nutritious cereal that is digested easily and whose main constituent is starch. Rich in vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin), it also contains minerals such as phosphorus (crucial for the bones and brain), iron (anti-anaemic), potassium, magnesium (promotes muscle activity), calcium and, in addition, has the eight essential amino acids for human body.
Rice also contains 7% protein, higher than other cereals, a low percentage of fats and sodium (0.2%) and few calories. Indeed, given that less than 1% of calories come from fat and that it has no cholesterol, rice is an excellent food to be included in any type of diet.
Experts recommend the consumption of carbohydrates several times a week, as it is especially suitable for those people who have to use physical exertion in their work or for sportspeople. However, it should not be consumed in excess because it causes constipation. In this way, eating a large quantity of husked rice can cause a lack of vitamin B, which in extreme cases can deteriorate into beriberi; a disease endemic well into the twentieth century in many low-income groups in East Asia whose diet was restricted a high consumption of rice.
Due to it attributes it is especially effective in cases of hypertension (its high levels of potassium along with its low sodium content help to regulate blood pressure), kidney diseases and weight loss diets. It also helps gastrointestinal problems, as a grain and as rice water because it calms the stomach. In addition it contributes to the elimination of liquids. Furthermore, poultices made with rice flour soothe skin inflammations such as acne, measles or problems with burns.
FIBRE – ESSENTIAL
Another component of rice is fibre. Bran, the outer rice covering, contains 42% insoluble fibre, composed mainly of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Moreover, bran contains the essential amino acid called lysine, and polyunsaturated fats, mostly of the linoleic acid type.
Fibre gives greater consistency to foods so that chewing is extended and it enhances the feeling of being full. The daily recommended consumption is approximately 25 grams of fibre because it contributes to helping the digestive system, improving the quality of intestinal flora and reducing the risk of intestinal disorders, cancer of the colon and breast cancer or other diseases.