It’s thrown at brides for happiness, fills shakers with rhythm producing sound, and by nature, an important whole grain. Worldwide there are more than 120,000 varieties of rice! Long, medium, short grained, sweet, aromatic, or wild, are just some of them. With its whole grained vitamin and mineral package and wide variety of preparations…rice is more than just nice for nutrition and diet programs.
Why Rice Is So Nice
According to a recent study, people who eat rice have diets higher in 12 vitamins and minerals, lower in saturated fat and added sugar, and have a lower risk of high blood pressure and of being overweight. But do use brown or whole grain rice, in favor of white rice.
Rice is quite international—and blended with seasonings and ingredients particular to an area or cuisine can offer your kids meal plans with continued interest and an international flair! Just try to avoid prepared restaurant dishes such as fried rice that use more fats and thus have more calories than diets might require.
“Dazzling” With Rice
Despite rice’s lackluster color, rice becomes dazzling in dishes–because it goes so well with the most colorful vegetables. Just think of “Spanish” rice, often a mélange of rice, tomatoes, green/and or red peppers and onions.
Here’s a healthful variation for Spanish vegetable rice:
To your whole grain or brown rice add: a can chopped tomatoes, 1 small can mild green chilies, 1 ml. olive oil, steam and puree 3 carrots and 1 sweet potato, 30-45g.lowfat grated Mexican cheese.
For another “exotic” flavor experience add to your rice while cooking 5 ml each curry, turmeric and minced garlic, 45ml. olive oil and add 1 package frozen baby limas, or peas. Top the prepared rice mixture with chopped tomatoes and onion, and 1 cup of plain nonfat yogurt.
Rice entrees can be nice and light—and even served room temperature or cold over mixed greens.
Try Rice With Chickpeas and Feta
Prepare brown rice or whole grain rice and let cool. Can be prepared a day prior.
Combine: large can chickpeas-drained, 120g. crumbled low fat feta cheese, 1 red pepper diced, 1 small red onion chopped, oregano, chopped fresh parsley, salt and pepper to taste, 60ml. lemon juice, 60ml. olive oil, optional kalamata olives.
The homey favorite, rice pudding, can be healthful using brown rice, skim milk, and egg whites. Use ½ the sugar, and add a small sliced apple to the cooking for sweetening.
Why We Like Rice
When you eat whole grains such as whole grain rice and brown rice which have the outer layer of bran and fiber intact, the body’s absorption rate of sugar is slowed down, keeping you feeling full longer and stopping your blood sugar from spiking up and down.
And we all know what happens when our blood sugar starts jumping around. We eat more — usually more carbs. But all the goodness in rice, is not so much in the white variety. The antioxidant levels in whole grain rice are significantly higher than in white rice, and serve to prevent the effects of aging and cell damage.
Brown rice specifically has been found in studies to help reduce high levels of cholesterol, lower the risk of the onset of type 2 diabetes, lower cardiovascular disease by 21%, and reduce possibilities of certain cancers.