In some parts of the world, the word "to eat" literally means "to eat rice."
All varieties of this grain are available throughout the year.
Supplying as much as half of the daily calories for half of the world's population.
The process that produces this particular variety removes only the outermost layer.
The hull of the rice kernel and is the least damaging to its nutritional value.
The complete milling and polishing that converts this variety into white.
Destroys 67% of the vitamin-B3.
80% of the vitamin-B1, 90% of the vitamin-B6, half of the manganese.
Half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.
Fully milled and polished white-rice.
Is required to be "enriched" with vitamins-B1, B3 and iron.
One of the World's Healthiest Foods
The difference between brown-rice and white-rice is not just color!
A whole grain of rice has several layers.
Only the outermost layer, the hull, is removed to produce what we call brown-rice.
This process is the least damaging to the nutritional value of the rice.
And avoids the unnecessary loss of nutrients that occurs with further processing.
If these super grains are further milled.
To remove the bran and most of the germ layer, the result is a whiter rice, but also a rice that has lost many more nutrients.
At this point however, the rice is still unpolished.
And it takes polishing to produce the white-rice we are used to seeing.
Polishing removes the aleurone layer of the grain.
A layer filled with health-supportive, essential fats.
Because these fats, once exposed to air by the refining process.
Are highly susceptible to oxidation.
This layer is removed to extend the shelf life of the product.
The resulting white-rice is simply a refined starch.
That is bereft of its original nutrients.
If you were to choose white rice over brown.
Roughly 75 percent of the rice’s nutrients.
Including nearly all the antioxidants, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins.
Contained in the healthy bran and germ, are left on the milling-room floor.
We always opt for brown rice.
And that includes brown aromatic varieties like basmati and jasmine.
You can get even more exotic by going for red or black rice.
Of which both are considered whole grains and are high in antioxidants.
Manganese Energy Production Plus Antioxidant Protection
One cup of brown-rice will provide you with 88.0% of the daily value for manganese.
This trace mineral helps produce energy from protein and carbohydrates.
And is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids.
Which are important for a healthy nervous system.
And in the production of cholesterol, used by the body to produce sex hormones.
Manganese is also a critical component.
Of a very important antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase.
Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is found inside the body's mitochondria.
The oxygen-based energy factories inside most of our cells.
Where it provides protection.
Against damage from the free radicals produced during energy production.
Rich in Fiber and Selenium
For people worried about colon cancer risk.
Brown-rice packs a double punch.
By being a concentrated source of the fiber.
Needed to cut the amount of time cancer-causing substances.
Spend in contact with colon cells and being a very good source of selenium.
Which is a trace mineral that has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Besides supplying 14.0% of the daily value for fiber.
A cup of cooked brown-rice provides 27.3% of the DV for selenium.
An important benefit.
Since many North Americans do not get enough selenium in their diets.
Yet this trace mineral is of fundamental importance to human health.
Selenium is an essential component of several major metabolic pathways.
Including thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems and immune function.
Significant Cardiovascular Benefits for Postmenopausal Women:
Eating a serving of whole grains, such as brown-rice, at least 6 times each week.
Is an especially good idea for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol.
High blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
A 3-year prospective study.
Of over 200 postmenopausal women with CVD.
Published in the American Heart Journal.
Shows that those eating at least 6 servings of whole grains each week.
Experienced both, lowed progression of atherosclerosis.
The build-up of plaque that narrows the vessels through which blood flows.
And less progression in stenosis, the narrowing of the diameter of arterial passageways.
Reduce Your Risk of Metabolic Syndrome:
First we were told, "Don't eat fat, and you'll stay trim."
After following this advice.
Only to see obesity expand to never before seen proportions.
We're told by the food gurus, "Eating fat is fine.
Shun carbohydrates to stay slim."
In our opinion, neither piece of dietary advice is complete.
Accurate or likely to help us stay slim or healthy.
Just as different kinds of fats have different effects in our bodies.
(e.g., saturated and trans fats are linked to increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
While omega-3 fats decrease cardiovascular disease risk).
Some carbohydrates, such as whole grains, are healthful.
While others, such as refined grains and the foods made from them, are not.
The latest research is clearly supporting this vital distinction.
Refined grains and the foods made from them (e.g., white breads, cookies, pastries, pasta and rice).
Are now being linked not only to weight gain.
But to increased risk of insulin resistance.
The precursor of type 2 diabetes.
And the metabolic syndrome.
A strong predictor of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
While eating more wholegrain foods is being shown to protect against all these ills.
Common features of the metabolic syndrome include.
Visceral obesity (the "apple shaped" body).
Low levels of protective HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides and high blood pressure.
Tune Down & Bone Up:
Magnesium, another nutrient for which brown-rice is a good source.
Has been shown to be helpful for reducing the severity of asthma.
Lowering high blood pressure.
Reducing the frequency of migraine headaches.
And reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
How does magnesium do all this?
Magnesium helps regulate nerve and muscle tone by balancing the action of calcium.
In many nerve cells, magnesium serves as Nature's own calcium channel blocker.
Preventing calcium from rushing into the nerve cell and activating the nerve.
By blocking calcium's entry.
Magnesium keeps our nerves (and the blood vessels and muscles they ennervate) relaxed.
If our diet provides us with too little magnesium.
Calcium can gain free entry and nerve cells can become over-activated.
Sending too many messages and causing excessive contraction.
Insufficient magnesium can thus contribute to high blood pressure.
Including spasms of the heart muscle or the spasms of the airways symptomatic of asthma.
And migraine headaches as well as muscle cramps, tension, soreness and fatigue.
But that's far from all magnesium does for you.
Magnesium, as well as calcium, is necessary for healthy bones.
About two-thirds of the magnesium in the human body is found in our bones.
A small amount helps give bones their physical structure.
While the rest is found on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to draw upon as needed.
Brown-rice can help you keep those storage sites replenished.
And ready to meet your body's needs.
A cup will give you 21.0% of the daily value for magnesium.
Besides the niacin it supplies.
This super grain may also help raise blood levels of nitric oxide.
A small molecule known to improve blood vessel dilation.
And to inhibit oxidative (free radical) damage of cholesterol.
And the adhesion of white cells to the vascular wall.
Two important steps in the development of atherosclerotic plaques.
Rice is one of the most important foods in the world.
Supplying as much as half of the daily calories for half of the world's population.
No wonder that in Asian countries, such as Thailand.
Rice is so highly valued that the translation of the word "to eat" means "to eat rice."
Asked to name the types of rice they are familiar with, people may be able to recall one or two.
Yet, in actuality there is an abundance of different types of rice, over 8,000 varieties.
Oftentimes, rice is categorized.
By its size as being either short grain, medium grain or long grain.
Short grain, which has the highest starch content.
Makes the stickiest rice.
While long grain is lighter and tends to remain separate when cooked.
The qualities of medium grain fall between the other two types.
The scientific name for rice is Oryza sativa.
Another way that rice is classified is according to the degree of milling that it undergoes.
This is what makes a brown-rice different than white-rice.
This super food, often referred to as whole rice or cargo rice.
Is the whole grain with only its inedible outer hull removed.
Brown-rice still retains its nutrient-rich bran and germ.
White-rice, on the other hand.
Is both milled and polished, which removes the bran and germ.
Along with all the nutrients that reside within these important layers.
Some of the most popular varieties of rice in this country include:
Arborio: A round grain, starchy white rice.
Traditionally used to make the Italian dish risotto.
Basmati: An aromatic rice that has a nut-like fragrance.
Delicate flavor and light texture.
Sweet Rice: Almost translucent when cooked.
This very sticky rice is used to make sushi and mochi.
Jasmine: A soft-textured long grain aromatic rice.
That is available in both brown and white varieties.
Bhutanese or Red Rice: Grown in the Himalayas, this red colored rice has a nutty, earthy taste.
Forbidden Rice: A black colored rice.
That turns purple upon cooking and has a sweet taste and sticky texture.
Everyone knows that rice is an ancient food, but only recently have we discovered how ancient it is.
Rice was believed to have been first cultivated in China around 6,000 years ago.
But recent archaeological discoveries.
Have found primitive rice seeds and ancient farm tools dating back about 9,000 years.
For the majority of its long history, rice was a staple only in Asia.
Not until Arab travelers introduced rice into ancient Greece.
And Alexander the Great brought it to India, did rice find its way to other corners of the world.
The Moors brought rice to Spain in the 8th century during their conquests.
While the Crusaders were responsible for bringing rice to France.
Rice was introduced into South America in the 17th century.
By the Spanish during their colonization of this continent.
The majority of the world's rice is grown in Asia.
Where it plays an important role in their food culture.
Thailand, Vietnam and China are the three largest exporters of rice.
How to Select & Store:
Rice is available pre-packaged as well as in bulk containers.
If purchasing brown-rice in a packaged container.
Check to see if there is a "use-by" date on the package.
Since brown-rice, owing to its natural oils, has the potential to become rancid if kept too long.
Research recently published.
Suggests that some non-organic U.S. long grain rice.
May have 1.4 to 5 times more arsenic than rice from Europe, India or Bangladesh.
For this reason, select organically grown rice whenever possible.
As with any other food that you may buy in the bulk section.
Make sure that the bins are covered.
And that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure its maximal freshness.
Whether purchasing rice in bulk or in a packaged container.
Make sure that there is no evidence of moisture.
Since brown rice still features an oil-rich germ.
It's more susceptible to becoming rancid than white rice.
And thus should be stored in the refrigerator.
Stored in an airtight container, brown rice will keep fresh for about six months.
While white rice varieties should also be stored in an airtight container.
They can be kept in a cool, dry place rather than the refrigerator.
Stored properly, they will keep fresh for about one year.
The storage of cooked rice is controversial.
Most organizations recommend 4-7 days of storage in the refrigerator at most.
From the available evidence and to err on the safe side.
It's best to cook only the amount of rice you can consume during the day it is cooked, or at most, the following day.
Several potential toxins can be produced in rice.
Under certain conditions involving time, temperature, presence of moisture, bacterial spores or fungi.
It appears that some fungi.
Can turn one of the amino acids (tryptophan) in rice into alpha-picolinic acid.
And that this substance, when excessive.
Can cause hypersensitivity reactions to rice in some persons.
Another mycotoxin (fungus-triggered toxin) called T-2.
Can also be produced in rice by the fungus Fusarium.
About 300 mycotoxins are commonly found in many grains.
And not only rice, when these grains are allowed to become moldy.
The research we've see on these potential toxins involves cultivation.
And harvesting of rice at the agricultural level rather than cooking and storage of rice at home.
But, we still suggest erring on the safe side here.
Be sure to keep your cooked rice in a tightly sealed container when stored in your refrigerator.
Tips for Preparing Rice:
Like all grains, before cooking brown-rice, especially that which is sold in bulk.
Rinse it thoroughly under running water and then remove any dirt or debris that you may find.
After rinsing brown-rice, add one part rice to two parts boiling water or broth.
After the liquid has returned to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.
To prevent them from sticking.
Wash medium grain and round rice (like Arborio).
Under cool running water before cooking.
To cook Basmati rice, which has a lighter, fluffier texture.
Soak it in a bowl of cool water before cooking.
Stirring frequently and replacing the water four or five times.
Until the water no longer has a milky appearance.
A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
Heat up cooked rice with milk or soymilk.
Add in cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and honey for a delicious rice pudding.
Make homemade vegetable sushi rolls.
By wrapping brown-rice and your favorite vegetables in sheets of well-moistened nori.
Use brown-rice leftovers for cold rice salads that are great for on-the-go lunches.
Be creative and add either chicken or tofu.
Plus your favorite vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices.
For a simple yet delicious lunch or dinner entrée.
Serve beans and rice accompanied by the vegetables of your choice.
Brown-rice as a side dish need not be served plain.
Spruce it up with the toppings of your choice.
Some of our favorites include nuts, sesame seeds.
Healthy sautéed mushrooms, and scallions.
Place rice and chopped vegetables in a pita bread.
Top with your favorite dressing, and enjoy a quick and easy lunch meal.
And, if you're wondering what to have with dinner this evening;
Brown-rice & Honey ~ Stuffed Peppers
Searching for something different?
Try this honey-sweetened take on the traditional stuffed pepper.
Packed with brown-rice, chickpeas, almonds and spices.
* 1 1/4 c. brown-rice
* 4 lge. green bell peppers, cored and seeded
* 1/2 c. slivered almonds
* 1 Tbs. olive oil
* 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp. sea salt
* 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
* 1/4 c. honey
* 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
* 1/4 c. raisins (recommended but optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Prepare the rice according to package instructions.
2. Meanwhile, coat an 8" microwaveable baking dish with cooking spray.
Set the bell peppers upright in the dish, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high power for 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft.
3. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes, shaking frequently.
4. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the oil, cinnamon, salt, ginger and honey.
Cook, stirring constantly,for about 2 minutes, or until well blended.
Do not let it come to a boil.
Set aside 2 Tbs. of this honey mixture.
5. In a bowl, combine the cooked rice, chickpeas, toasted almonds and raisins, if using.
Add the honey mixture from the saucepan.
Evenly divide the honey and brown-rice mixture and fill the bell peppers.
6. Drizzle with the reserved 2 Tbs. of honey mixture, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes, or until heated through.
7. Uncover and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Fat 11.4 g.
Saturated Fat 1.2 g.
Cholesterol 0 mg.
Sodium 569.4 mg.
Carbohydrates 61.3 g.
Total Sugars 29.5 g.
Dietary Fiber 8.7 g.
Protein 10.5 g.Tweet
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