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Articles Fitness Nutrition

The Nutrition of Wild Rice

Aug 12, 2010

Wild rice is a special type of edible grass. It is an excellent low fat, high fiber grain. The rice has a dark chocolate-like color. It has a nutty, smokey taste due to the outer case it retains after harvesting. A 100 gram portion of the rice provides 100 calories. It is a good source of carbohydrates which supply energy to the body. It contains protein and dietary fiber. It also contains vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B9. Mineral content includes iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and magnesium. It is an excellent choice of grain due to its high nutritive value.

Protein

Protein content in the rice exceeds that of wheat. One cup gives you about 6.5 grams of protein. This protein contains all the essential amino acids. These are vital for all growth and repair functions in the body. Proteins are required for the formation of body cells, enzymes, hormones and antibodies. Virtually all cell functions require protein. Inadequate protein in the diet impairs the body’s immunity. Proteins also supply energy. They are an important nutrient that can help boost your productivity levels.

B Vitamins

They enhance the health of the skin, hair, eyes and liver. They also promote the health of the stomach and intestines. B vitamins play a vital role in energy production in the body. They assist in the breakdown of carbohydrates, protein and fats into glucose. The activities of the nervous system also require vitamin B for optimal performance. Wild rice is an excellent source for many of the B vitamins.

Zinc

One cup of the grain provides 15 percent of the recommended daily value of zinc. The role of zinc in boosting the body’s immunity has been widely established. It plays a vital role in cell division and helps to produce essential immune system cells. Many viral infections can be treated and prevented with zinc. It plays a vital role in the health of the skin. It facilitates healthy cell division and proper formation of tissues. Zinc facilitates the supply of vitamin A from the liver to the skin to repair damaged skin. It has been found helpful in the treatment of acne, diaper rash, cold sores and burns.

Magnesium

It supports calcium in building and strengthening bones. Magnesium facilitates proper nerve and muscle functions. It also promotes the smooth circulation of blood and maintains normal heart rhythm. Inadequate magnesium can result in soft bones, muscle weakness and elevated blood pressure. One cup of wild rice provides 13 percent of the recommended daily value of magnesium.

Cooking Wild Rice

Rinse well before you cook to remove unwanted particles. Place the grain in a saucepan and add enough warm water so that it covers the rice. Stir briefly so that any unwanted particles can rise to the top. Skim the particles and drain the water. Rinse one more time before you cook. For each cup of rice, add 3 cups of water. Boil the rice over high heat. Once the water level drops and the rice is visible, turn the heat to low. Allow the rice to steam for 30 to 45 minutes. Once cooked, the grains split to reveal a purplish-grey interior.

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