"May your rice never burn!" is a Chinese New Year's wish. He shows that cereal rice plays an enormous role in the Asian region. In Asia, about 80 percent of the total food is rice, so in many Asian languages even the words food and rice are the same. But while China consumes more than 90 kilograms of rice per capita every year, in Germany it is just over three kilograms. Rice is an extremely healthy food: because it contains many complex carbohydrates, rice makes you full for a long time, but still has only a few calories.
Rice: saturated with carbohydrates
Together with wheat, rye, oats, barley, corn and millet, rice is one of the seven most important cereals. Rice is extracted from the rice plant (Oryza sativa). Cultivated rice plants can grow up to 1.60 meters and carry up to 3, 000 fruits. There are now over 8, 000 different types of rice worldwide.
The ingredients of rice depend on the variety, but also on different environmental conditions and cultivation techniques. Common to all varieties, however, is that rice consists largely of carbohydrates. For example, 100 grams of rice contains an average of 77.8 grams of carbs. Due to the many carbohydrates, rice is an important energy source.
In addition, 100 grams of rice are also composed of 12.9 grams of water, 0.6 grams of fat and 6.8 grams of protein.
Valuable donor of protein and potassium
The protein in rice is particularly valuable for us humans, because the proteins are made up of essential amino acids, which the body can not produce itself. In addition, rice also contains fiber and minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium. The high potassium content ensures that the body is drained and purified. This promotes the metabolism and less stress on the heart and circulation.
In addition, a portion of rice but also provides us with important vitamins, especially with vitamin E and with various vitamins from the B group. Among other things, the vitamins from the B group are responsible for the smooth functioning of our nervous system.
Cultivation and production of rice
Rice is grown today mainly in China, India and other areas in Southeast Asia. More than 95 percent of the world's rice comes from these areas.
After harvesting, the rice is threshed and then the water content is reduced. Then the husks are removed. What is left now is the so-called shelled rice, which consists of a body of flour, seedlings and silver skins. By grinding, seedling and silver skins can also be removed. Finally, to make the best-selling white rice, the grains must be polished with glucose and talcum.
Generally, it should be noted that paddy rice has a much higher nutritional value than white rice at the end of the production chain. Because vitamins in rice are mainly found in the silver skin, which is removed when grinding. By combining with other foods such as fish, meat or vegetables, rice remains an important and low-fat food.
Rice is good for the line
Since rice contains a great deal of carbohydrates, but only little protein and fat, the grain is easily digestible and its consumption hardly pollutes the organism. Because of the many complex carbohydrates, which can be processed slowly in the body, rice also provides a long-lasting satiety.
Because rice is full for a long time, but not thick, rice is also good for diets. On average, 100 grams of rice contain more than 300 calories, but the calorie information refers to raw and not cooked rice. 100 grams of cooked rice only have a little over 100 calories. On the other hand, the same amount of noodles brings about twice as many calories.
But not only for diets, but also for people who suffer from celiac disease, rice is ideally suited. Unlike other cereals like rye or wheat, rice does not contain gluten.
Whole grain rice with lots of fiber
Unpeeled rice also has the advantage that it brings the digestion into motion due to its high fiber content. Fiber is predominantly indigestible food components. They swell in the stomach and thus provide a stronger feeling of fullness.
Therefore, people who incorporate rice in their diet should buy as possible, whole grain rice, as it contains a lot of fiber. Due to the swelling of the fiber, the volume of the chyme increases. This enhances the irritation exerted on the intestinal walls and stimulates intestinal activity.
Only enjoy rice in moderation
But as healthy as rice is, it should still be enjoyed in moderation. Because various studies have shown that rice and rice products such as rice waffles or rice flakes can have a relatively high level of inorganic arsenic. This is considered carcinogenic and should therefore be taken in the smallest possible quantities.
The arsenic passes through contaminated water or soil in the rice. The exposure to arsenic varies, depending on the growing area, but also on rice variety and processing - even organic rice may contain arsenic.
Nevertheless, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment advises not to delete rice from the menu. Limits for the maximum permissible level of arsenic in rice and rice products help to reduce arsenic levels. Above all, it is important to eat a balanced and varied diet and to feed especially infants not exclusively with rice. Possible alternatives to rice include millet, bulgur, amaranth or polenta.
In order to reduce the arsenic load in the rice, it is also recommended to wash the rice before cooking and boil it in plenty of water, which is then poured away.
Delicious recipes with rice
In many Asian cultures, rice is a symbol of life and fertility. For example, the custom of throwing rice at a bride and groom on a wedding day comes from China. Apart from such rituals, rice is usually only used in the kitchen.
Rice is used as a side dish for many dishes. It can be prepared quickly and easily. In ten or 20 minutes, the rice cooks practically by itself. For many dishes, rice is also mixed with other ingredients and then fried. The best-known rice dishes include paella, risotto or sushi.
Rice is also used for the production of liquids. Rice and rice milk are made from rice. In Southeast Asia rice is even used for the production of beer. In addition to the rice fruit but also find some other ingredients of the rice plant use. Not in food production, however, but in other areas. For example, the soft rice straw in East Asia is used for the production of shoes and hats and the husks of the rice kernel serve as mattress filling.