Is Wild Rice Healthy?

Wild rice isn’t really actual rice, despite its name. It is not related directly to rice, despite being the seeds of a grass.

Is Wild Rice Healthy?

Natural habitats for this grass include the margins of streams and lakes as well as inaccessible freshwater marshes.

Wild rice comes in four different species. One is a vegetable that is a native of Asia.

The remaining three are grown as grains and are indigenous to North America, most notably the Great Lakes region.

Native Americans were the first to cultivate and harvest wild rice, and they have been consuming it as a staple diet for centuries.

Only because it cooks and looks like other forms of rice is it referred to as rice.

However, it usually costs more and has a greater flavor. Whole grains like wild rice have become more and more well-liked in recent years.

It is incredibly nutrient-dense and reputed to have a host of health advantages. Despite the paucity of research, several of the studies have been very promising. You may learn all there is to understand about wild rice from this article.

Wild Rice Dietary Information

A portion of wild rice weighing 3.5 ounces (100 g) has the following nutrients:

  • 101 calories
  • 21 g of carbs
  • 4 g of protein
  • 2 g of fiber
  • Vitamin B6: 7% of the recommended daily intake 
  • Folate: 6% of recommended daily intake
  • Magnesium: 8% of recommended daily intake
  • Phosphorus: 8% of recommended daily intake
  • Copper: 6% of recommended daily intake
  • Manganese: 14% of recommended daily intake
  • Zinc: 9% of recommended daily intake

100 g or 3.5 ounces of cooked wild rice have 101 calories, which is a few calories less than the same amount of white or brown rice, which have 113 and 131 calories, respectively.

Small levels of potassium, iron, and selenium are also present in wild rice.

If you’re looking for a healthy wholegrain, wild rice is a great option because of its low calories and high nutritional content. It is also high in protein and a very outstanding amount of minerals.

Greater Protein And Fiber Content

Compared to other grains and conventional rice, wild rice has a higher protein content.

Wild rice has 4 g of protein per 3.5-ounce (100 g) serving, which is double as much as ordinary white or brown rice.

Wild rice is regarded as a high quality protein, meaning it includes all nine amino acids, despite not being a particularly abundant source of protein. 

Wild rice and brown rice both provide 1.8 g of fiber per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, the same amount as brown rice. White rice, however, offers very little to no fiber.

Strong Antioxidant Source

Antioxidants are crucial for good health in general. They are thought to prevent aging and lower your risk of a number of ailments, notably cancer.

Antioxidants have been found to be abundant in wild rice. In fact, it was discovered that wild rice has 30 times more antioxidant properties than white rice in an examination of 11 samples of the grain.

May Be Beneficial To Your Heart

While there is little study on wild rice alone, numerous studies have looked at how whole grains like wild rice can improve heart health.

A higher consumption of wholegrains is typically correlated with a reduced risk of heart problems.

According to a study of 45 research, those who included the most wholegrains in their diet had 21% less risk of cardiovascular diseases than those who consumed the least.

One investigation found that by increasing your daily diet of wholegrains by 25 g may reduce your possibility of experiencing a heart attack by 13%.

According to another study, consuming at least six portions of wholegrains per week slows the development of arterial plaque. Reduces The Likelihood Of Developing Diabetes

Wild rice and other whole grain-rich diets may reduce your risk of developing diabetes by around 30%.

This reduced risk is mostly related to the fiber, plant chemicals, minerals, and vitamins found in wholegrains.

Whole grains, such as brown rice, were connected to a decreased risk for diabetes in an analysis of 16 studies, whereas refined grains, such as white rice, were associated with an increased risk.

Is Wild Rice Healthy?

According to research, consuming at least two portions of wholegrains daily may lower your risk of developing this condition.

Consuming wild rice has been demonstrated to enhance blood sugar regulation and lessen insulin resistance in rats, although not having been tested in humans.

The GI (glycemic index) is a gauge for how rapidly food raises blood sugar levels in a person. Wild rice has a GI of 57, which is comparable to the GIs of oatmeal and brown rice.

Possible Negative Effects

Consuming wild rice is typically harmless for people. However, it might contain heavy metals or be infected with ergot.

Ergot Poisoning

Wild rice seeds could be harmful to consume if they contain the deadly fungus ergot.

Ergot poisoning can have a number of negative side effects, such as mental impairment, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. 

Ergot poisoning in humans is extremely uncommon because grain regulations and agricultural practices in most nations assist in preventing contamination.

Heavy Metals 

Wild rice can also contain heavy metals like ordinary rice. Heavy metals can build up in your body over time and lead to health issues.

26 kinds of wild rice purchased in the US have been found to contain toxic heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, and lead.

These shouldn’t be an issue for those who eat a diversified diet, but they could become troublesome if consumed frequently in excessive amounts.

Preparing Wild Rice

Wild rice has a chewy texture and a nutty, earthy flavour. It works well as a substitute for rice, pasta, or potatoes.

While some people mix it with some other grains like rice, others choose to eat it alone.

As an alternative, you may use wild rice into a wide range of recipes, including salad, soup, casserole, or even desserts. Although it is easy to prepare, cooking takes 45 to 60 minutes.

Making large portions and freezing the extras for later meals may therefore be a good option.

Final Thoughts

A unique variety of chewy and flavorful grain has been conversely named wild rice.

It has a larger protein content than conventional rice, as well as a significant number of essential elements and antioxidants.

Additionally, regular consumption of wild rice may enhance heart health and reduce your risk of developing diabetes. You’re in for a delight if you haven’t eaten wild rice yet.

Johnathan Norris
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