Wild rice is a type of whole grain which has been popular for centuries. It contains countless nutrients, making it a powerhouse of essential health benefits. It can help improve digestions, improve heart health, stimulate growth and repair throughout the body, slow down the signs of aging, protect the body from serious illnesses, prevent the onset of diabetes, strengthen bones and assist in weight loss goals.
Wild Rice: What Is It?
Although it’s called rice, wild rice isn’t actually rice at all. Confusing, isn’t it? Wild rice is the seed of four species of aquatic grass from the Zizania genus. It is also known as the water oats, Indian rice or Canada rice. Three of these species are native to North America, while the other is native to China. It is not widely consumed in other regions due to a lack of accessibility.
The outer sheath of the wild rice is actually chewy, while the innards hold a nutrient-rich grain. The rice grows on short stalks in shallow waters, where it also serves as food for many aquatic animals. Wild rice’s nutritional value and limited accessibility makes it extremely valuable to many. Even more importantly, it is a very consistent crop, as the harvesting process causes many grains to fall into the ground, where they begin to grow for next year’s harvesting season.
Wild Rice: Nutrition Facts
In today’s day and age, there are many varieties of wild rice available. People love it for its high content of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants. Studies show that almost all strains have a lower fat content than traditional rice.
3.5 ounces, or 100 grams, of cooked wild rice may provide the following nutrients:
- 14 % RDI of Manganese
- 6% RDI of Copper
- 9% RDI of Zinc
- 8% RDI of Phosphorus
- 8% RDI of Magnesium
- 6% RDI of Folate
- 7% RDI of Vitamin B6
- 2 grams of Fiber
- 4 grams of Protein
- 21 grams of Carbohydrates
- 101 Calories
The calorie content of wild rice is actually slightly lower than that of white and brown rice. Wild rice also contains small amounts of selenium, potassium and iron. Moreover, it is also a staggering source of essential minerals and protein.
Health Benefits of Wild Rice
Here are some of the best health benefits of wild rice:
Helps prevent aging. The antioxidant properties in wild rice help neutralize the effects of free radicals. This includes those free radicals in the skin, thus reducing the effects of aging and eliminating the signs of wrinkles, age spots and more.
Helps with weight loss. Since wild rice has no gluten and is low in calories, it helps prevent obesity and reduces weight. It also helps prevent overeating, since it has a rich fiber content.
Helps improve bone strength. The zinc and phosphorus content of wild rice is beneficial in the maintenance of strong bones. Furthermore, it also helps ensure good bone density.
Helps boost immunity. The vitamin C in wild rice helps stimulate the production of white blood cells. We all know that white blood cells are the first line of defense against various microbes, pathogens and foreign agents.
Helps protect the heart. Since wild rice has no sodium content, it helps boost heart health and reduce blood pressure levels. The rich fiber content also helps clear out bad cholesterol.
Helps optimize digestion. This is one of the most amazing health benefits of wild rice. The fiber helps bulk up the stool, easing the digestive process.