Rice… a food which has neither caste nor religion. It is one of the oldest cereal grains, believed to have been grown for at least 5000 years! It is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population, particularly those living in southern and eastern Asia.
Let us jump into some amazing facts about this superfood! Shall we?
HISTORY of RICE
Many cultures have evidence of early rice cultivation, including China, India, and Southeast Asia. Historians believe that the cultivation first started in the foothills of eastern Himalayas. Cultivation of rice has been prominent even during the period of Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is said that large tanks were built during those times for serving the agricultural needs.
SOME FACTS AND FIGURES
- The scientific name of rice is “Oryza sativa”.
- It is the second most important crop grown all over the world, which is 20% of the world’s energy supply. First is corn.
- India is the second-largest producer of rice in the world producing 106 million tonnes (as of 2016) China being first (145 million tonnes)
- More than 40000 varieties are being grown across the world.
- Indians consider it a symbol of fertility and life which is why it is thrown as a tradition during Indian weddings.
- It can be grown in almost any type of soil in humid to sub-humid climatic conditions.
- The principal rice-producing countries are China, India, Japan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar (Burma).
RICE – NUTRITION FACTS
It comprises mostly of carbohydrates, a small amount of protein and very little fat. A single serving of 100 grams of cooked white rice has –
It is gluten-free and thus, a great option for those with gluten insensitivity.
The vitamins in rice have many benefits. A vitamin called thiamine helps with the metabolism of carbohydrates. Magnesium helps in enzyme reactions and also in DNA synthesis. Manganese helps in the maintenance of nerve health and muscle contraction.
Finally, rice is also easier to digest than some of the other sources of carbs (like wheat, millets etc.). It’s no wonder then that it is the first choice when someone is sick, eh? 🙂
WHAT IS IT WITH RICE AND DIABETES?
Since Rice has a high component of carbohydrates, eating it in excess quantities means consuming higher amounts of starch. These are then converted into sugars, and the excess is stored as fat. Due to this, there is a rise of insulin levels in the body which becomes problematic for people with diabetes as they have very low resistance towards insulin.
That doesn’t mean someone with diabetes should avoid it. Just ensure you have it in moderation and during hours when you’ll use the carbs more (for example, earlier during the day!)
The next time you suggest a diabetic person consume less rice, don’t forget to tell them the reason behind it!
RECIPES YOU MUST NOT MISS!
TYPES OF RICE YOU NEVER KNEW!
Arborio rice – Generally used in Italian dishes, this type of grain is short, bold with a white dot at the center.
Black rice – Also popular as “Emperor’s rice” and is rich in nutrients. It was eaten mostly by the emperors of China and so it has that name. This type is widely used in Asian cuisines.
Jasmine rice – Floral aroma is the specialty of this type. This is originated in Thailand and is a perfect choice for a royal style dinner.
Wild rice – As the name itself suggests, this is commonly grown in wetlands and areas around rivers, lakes, and bays in the United States. This is nothing but grass! Yeah, that’s right. The interesting part lies in cooking it. While cooking, the skin of the grain splits revealing the white interior of the grain.
So, these are some fun and amazing facts about this magical grain! See you soon with some more interesting facts!
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