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Wild rice is a type of grass native to North America and China. And contrary to popular belief, it is actually not a grain, but a grass seed packed with proteins.
It is beautiful (and available in a wide variety of colours) and has a delicious, nutty flavour to it. But it is quite tough to cook and requires at least an hour to prepare.
Furthermore, the name "wild rice" may make you think it has a lower quality than white rice, in reality it is far superior to the latter.
So, here are the 10 amazing health benefits of wild rice.
#1 It Is A Superfood For People With High Blood Pressure
The reason why wild rice is considered a superfood for hypertensives and those with heart conditions is because this seed contains zero sodium in it.
That's why consuming it will not have any negative impact whatsoever on your blood or circulatory system.
#2 It Has 10 Times The Antioxidant Power Of Plain White Rice
Since wild rice is not a grain but actually the seed of a family of grasses, it contains a large amount of natural phytonutrients, phenolic acid and sinapic acid, which gives it 10 times the antioxidant power of simple white rice.
That's why consuming wild rice can protect you from the ill effects of free radicals, which includes cancer, ageing and coronary artery disease.
#3 It Is Packed In Folate
Folate is a naturally occurring B-complex vitamin needed to produce healthy red blood cells, DNA and RNA during cellular growth, and for the development of the neural tube in a foetus. And wild rice is packed in it.
In fact, one cup of wild rice contains 11% of the daily recommended dose of folate (vitamin B9).
So, if you are suffering from folate deficiency (symptoms include anaemia, cardiovascular disorders, and stroke) or are pregnant (folate deficiency can cause spinal cord defects in foetuses), you should definitely add wild rice to your daily diet.
#4 It Is Great For Your Digestive System
Wild rice contains a very high amount of dietary fibres (3 g in every cup), mainly in its outer sheath (which is why it is so difficult to cook). And we all know that adding roughage to your diet is great for digestion, as it prevents constipation, reduces bloating and flatulence, and can treat gastric disorders like peptic ulcers and hemorrhoids.
#5 It Can Prevent Birth Defects
As mentioned in point #3, folate deficiency in pregnant women can cause birth defects in their unborn children, as this vitamin is extremely important for the neural tube development in foetuses.
And since pregnant women need twice the amount of daily folate compared to regular adults, they should definitely increase wild rice consumption to supplement this vitamin naturally.
#6 It Can Strengthen Your Bones
Every cup of wild rice contains 134 mg of phosphorus in it, which is 13% of your daily dietary requirement. And since phosphorus is one of the primary minerals required for maintaining your bone's health, regular consumption of wild rice can strengthen your bones.
#7 It Is Rich In Proteins
Since wild rice is basically a seed and not a grain, it has a high amount of proteins in it.
In fact, every cup of cooked wild rice contains around 6.5 g of protein!
So, if you are a vegetarian, you can rejoice. Here's another food that has more proteins in it than eggs.
#8 It Is Gluten Free
Gluten is a composite protein found in common food grains, like wheat, barley, and rice, which helps bread and cakes rise in the oven and gives dough its characteristic stretchy consistency. But it is difficult for a lot of people to digest this and many are, in fact, allergic to it (a.k.a coeliac disease).
Wild rice is a great grain substitute for those with gluten sensitivity, just like quinoa and oats.
#9 It Can Help You Lose Weight
Wild rice, unlike polished white rice, is rich in dietary fibres and nutrients, but low in calories. That's why consuming it will not make you gain weight, and will instead help you shed some.
#10 It Can Stop Or Slow Down Ageing
As discussed in point #2, wild rice is rich in antioxidants. More so than white rice. That's why it is very good at scavenging free radicals, which age our body, organs, and skin.
So add wild rice to your daily diet and you will definitely notice a reduction in the fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots on your body and face.
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And come back tomorrow at 7 PM for the next post in our brand new series - Seed Superheroes - where we will discuss the health benefits of the much loved quinoa.