Review of wild rice: Is it healthy food?
by Dr. Mariangel Leota
Wild rice is great food, which is related in form and flavor to “traditional” rice, but which is not from the same family. This grass has excellent properties and nutritional benefits.
Wild rice is an aquatic plant that is known as Zizania Palustris. That is, it is not “technically” rice, but a similar vegetable. But the truth is that, used as a supplement when feeding, their qualities are highly valued. Its flavor is more rustic, like its color. And there is no doubt that you will surely enjoy it.
Nutrition information (per 100 g)
- Proteins: 15 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 75 g
- Its content in lysine (limiting essential amino acid in cereals), and also in methionine, is a little higher than in most cereals. However, it is advisable to apply the same dietary advice to obtain a complete protein from vegetables, by combining it with legumes in the same dish.
- It can be said that it has a virtual content in fat (less than 1% of its weight) Although it is mainly rich in unsaturated fatty acids, its benefits in this food have no importance for health.
- Wild rice captures the minerals in the soil for nourishment, making it a very rich food source of potassium and phosphorus.
- Its vitamin content is comparable to that of brown rice, which stands out for the variety of B vitamins, in particular B1 or thiamin, B2 or riboflavin and B3 or niacin.
Nutritional benefits of wild rice
- High protein content. About 13 percent of the composition of wild rice is protein. Therefore, it can be very good in diets for vegetarians, replacing meat, and for anyone who avoids feeding with animals in general.
- Good to lose weight. Wild rice is very rich in fiber and relatively low in calories. Every 100 grams of product, adds about 350 kcal. But it is relatively low considering the satiating capacity that this product has: it absorbs up to four times its volume in the liquid when it is cooked.
- Gluten Free. This kind of rice can be used without any problems in cases of rejection of wheat, oats, barley, and rye. Being gluten free, wild rice is suitable for celiac.
- Vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium or iron are just some of the contents of wild rice.
- Easy to cook. Being more resistant grain, it takes longer to cook. Even sometimes it reaches an hour. But it can be used very simply in any recipe. It has as against that it is not very easy to obtain, although in herbalists or Chinese stores it can be acquired with relative ease.
Health benefits of wild rice
Healthy food for the heart
It seems we are always looking for ways to increase heart health and wild rice certainly offers it. The low level of sodium in wild rice helps reduce blood pressure, there is also a high level of fiber, which is known to cleanse “bad” cholesterol from the cardiovascular system and reduce the chances of developing atherosclerosis. By eliminating tension in the heart, it promotes repair and damage control, with a high level of vitamin C, wild rice is a clear choice for those who want to protect their heart.
Perfect for the digestive system
As mentioned above, wild rice has an impressive amount of dietary fiber. In addition to optimizing your cholesterol balance, fiber facilitates the digestive process. By facilitating peristalsis, dietary fiber can help eliminate constipation, diarrhea, bloating, cramping, and excess flatulence, as well as more serious gastrointestinal concerns, such as colorectal cancer, gastric ulcers, and hemorrhoids.
Improves the immune system
Its effect is very positive on the immune system, in general, it is one of the best ways to increase your health and one of the best ways to get it to increase immunity is with vitamin C, of which wild rice has a significant amount. Vitamin C is a powerful nutrient that boosts the immune system and stimulates the production of leukocytes or white blood cells, the cells responsible for preventing infections.
In addition, vitamin C is a critical component of collagen, which is necessary for the creation and repair of cells, organs, tissues, and walls of blood vessels, which help us recover from diseases we experience.
Strengthens bone density
As the body ages, the cells of the organism degenerate and lose their strength, especially the cells of the bones. One way to overcome this is with a fair balance of the essential minerals in our diet, which wild rice can provide. In fact, you can get much more phosphorus and zinc, which are important for the maintenance of bone mineral density and the guarantee of strong bones and joints as we get older.
Lose weight eating wild rice
Rice is a low-calorie, gluten-free food, wild rice can help you if you’re trying to lose weight and prevent obesity. Unlike white rice, which can help you gain weight, wild rice has a different effect, avoiding overeating due to high fiber content and nutrient content, without providing a high level of calories.
One of the most important benefits that can be derived from wild rice is its impressive level of antioxidants. White rice usually does not have the antioxidant capacity, but wild rice contains 20 to 30 times more antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause healthy cells to mutate or become cancerous. This includes free radicals that accumulate on the skin and can contribute to the signs of aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, and slower healing spots. These potent antioxidants are also beneficial for eye cells because they can prevent macular degeneration and the appearance of cataracts. If you want to feel and act younger in the years to come, add wild rice to your diet!
Prevents against chronic diseases
Research on the consumption of wild rice has advanced many positive results, including the prevention of important chronic diseases. All the nutrients of this superfood are able to prevent diseases such as diabetes and cancer, especially adults over 50 years. Its consumption is highly recommended.
Helps muscle growth and repair
The high protein content found in wild rice can also be good for increasing muscle mass, proper growth, and balanced development in our bodies. Proteins are the basic components of life and are made of amino acids, the protein levels of wild rice are essential for overall health. This superfood is a great option for all vegetarians who do not regularly receive animal proteins in their diet.
Prevents congenital defects with proper nutrition
Wild rice contains vitamins with very positive effects on the formation of the fetus. Its high content of important vitamins such as vitamin B1 and folic acid, transform this superfood into an ally for pregnant women. Experts recommend the consumption of folic acid during pregnancy, to prevent congenital diseases such as neural tube defect. The consumption of at least one cup of wild rice daily provides the amount of folic acid needed for pregnant women.
The high content of niacin
The content of 6 mg of niacin per 100mg of wild rice can be very beneficial for the skin, the digestive system and nerve function. Niacin also helps convert food into energy.
Powerful wild rice antioxidants
The health benefits of wild rice do not seem to end with a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Wild rice has more antioxidants than processed rice. This ensures that the body is able to fight free radicals better, thus protecting against many diseases.
Perfect food for diabetics
It is the most suitable for diabetics since it gives very fewer sugars in exchange for high nutritional value and the value of fiber. The combination keeps digestion to an even higher level, helping to maintain optimal blood glucose levels. Needless to say, wild rice is good for the digestive system and also for weight loss.
Although the variety of rice is rare and requires more time to cook, it is definitely a healthy diet to consider.
High mineral content: potassium
Consumption of wild rice that offers potassium supply anywhere between 55-300mg, helping to maintain health. Potassium not only builds protein and muscles, but it also controls the electrical activity of the heart. The mineral maintains the acid-base balance of the body, fueling healthy growth.
High mineral content: calcium
Wild rice has approximately 20 mg of calcium in a single 100gm serving, which can be vital in strengthening the bones. In addition, calcium is also required for the transmission of the signal in the brain and the release of enzymes and hormones.