Amongst the different nutrition-rich food items that are gaining much importance in the current times, wild rice happens to be one of the most prominent names on the list. Wild rice is a freshwater grass that has become popular due to it being packed with several important nutrient elements. Although it is known as wild rice, yet it does not belong to the family of Asian rice.(1) In fact, the wild rice belongs to the genus of Zizania which is a grain native to North America. It is also referred to as Canadian rice, Indian rice, or water oats.
9 Health Benefits of Wild Rice
Wild rice is a grain that is packed with several important nutrient elements. This is exactly why it can be rather beneficial for the human body and can help to keep several ailments and diseases at bay. Let us take a look at the health benefits of consuming wild rice.
Wild rice is rich in dietary fiber. This is one of the main reasons why eating wild rice can help to improve your gut health. It is one of the simplest ways through which you can foster a better digestive process.(1) Consuming wild rice regularly can be a great way of eliminating diarrhea, constipation, cramping, bloating, excess flatulence, and several other gastrointestinal problems.
Heart Health Benefits of Wild Rice:
Wild rice happens to be devoid of sodium. This helps the food element to keep a good check on your blood pressure level. The fiber-rich food element can also help to keep low density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol in check.(1,2) This improves your cardiovascular functioning and keeps different heart-related ailments at bay. It is also rich in vitamin C, which boosts the rate of damage control and repair in your heart. This is a clear sign of why wild rice can be great to keep a healthy heart for people of all age groups.(2)
Health Benefits of Wild Rice for Better Immune System:
In the previous segment, it has been mentioned that wild rice happens to be rich in vitamin C. Since Vitamin C is extremely helpful in stimulating the production of white blood cells it also helps to boost the immune system of the human body. Vitamin C also happens to be critically important for collagen in your body. Collagen is essential for the repair of organs cells, tissues, and blood vessel walls. In general, it helps your body to recover from different kinds of ailments.(3)
Wild Rice Helps to Control Diabetes:
Although wild rice contains a good amount of carbohydrates, compared to the regular white rice it is lower in glycemic value. Since wild rice is rich in fiber content, digesting it also takes a greater amount of time. This can be quite helpful for people suffering from diabetes.(1) If consumed in limited quantities, wild rice can be extremely helpful in checking your blood sugar level.
Health Benefits of Wild Rice for Better Bone Strength:
With age like all other parts of our body even our bones tend to grow weaker. To maintain strong bones, we must eat food that is rich in phosphorus. It is, in this context, wild rice can be particularly helpful. Since it is rich in zinc and phosphorus as a result it helps to maintain a strong skeletal condition and also helps to maintain the bone mineral density. This keeps your bones and your joints strong even when you age.(1) If you are suffering from the condition of osteoporosis, it is time to switch over to wild rice and observe the change in your bone condition.
Weight Management Benefits of Wild Rice:
Wild rice contains low calorie. It is also gluten free and high in fiber. These features of wild rice make it extremely helpful in your weight reduction program. People who are suffering from obesity can switch from white rice to wild rice in restricted quantities. Since it is rich in fiber, eating small quantities of wild rice can make you feel full and satiated. It will satisfy your craving for rice while calories provided to your body will be limited.(2) It is also a source of several essential minerals and thus will help you to maintain a balanced diet.
Anti-Aging Benefits of Wild Rice:
Wild rice is packed with antioxidants. Research conducted on wild rice has confirmed that wild rice contains as much as 20 to 30 times antioxidants as in white rice.(4) Antioxidants help to neutralize dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism and free radicals. They can contribute to preventing the signs of early aging such as age spots, wrinkles, blemishes, etc. They also help to prevent muscular degeneration, the onset of cataracts, etc. Hence, if you wish to feel younger for years to come, it is imperative you add wild rice to your daily dietary intake.(1,3)
Health Benefits of Wild Rice to Prevent Chronic Diseases:
It has also been found that the antioxidants derived from wild rice can be extremely beneficial to keep conditions like cardiac disorders and even some types of cancer in check.
Health Benefits of Wild Rice in Prevent Birth Defects:
Wild rice is rich in vitamin B9 or folic acid. It can also help to reduce defects in newborns due to neural tube problems.(1,3) Mothers expecting their children can add wild rice to their diet to ensure proper intake of Vitamin B every day. This is not only beneficial for their health but also the health of their fetus.
An increasing number of people are trying to switch to this power-packed grain from their regular white rice. However, the problem is wild rice is not available everywhere till now. It is also expensive in comparison to white rice that people are habituated to buy and eat.(4) Even then an effort to switch to this healthy option can be a great way of maintaining better health and keep several ailments at bay.
- Terrell, E.E. and W.J. Wiser, Protein and lysine contents in grains of three species of wild-rice (Zizania, Gramineae). Bot. Gaz., 1975. 136(3): p. 312-316.
- Lorenz, K., Wild rice: the indian`s staple and the white man`s delicacy. CRC Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr., 1981.