Whole grains are healthy for you, and as a part of a balanced diet, you need them. For individuals who want a healthy alternative to white rice, brown rice has been a staple for many years, but there’s another choice you might not know about: wild rice.
As part of other rice dishes, you already have some familiarity with wild rice, but it is a nutritious powerhouse on its own that you should learn more about.
What Is Wild Rice?
Wild rice is not rice, despite its name. It is not explicitly related to it, although it is the seed of aquatic rice like grass. This grass grows naturally in deep freshwater wetlands and along the shores of lakes and streams.
Native Americans, who have used the grain as a staple food for hundreds of years, initially cultivated and harvested wild rice.
Since it looks and cooks like other types of rice, that is why it is called rice. Due to its limited accessibility and high nutritional value, and the plant’s consistency, it is precious.
Today, due to their high antioxidant, protein, mineral, vitamin, and dietary fiber content, there has been a great deal of popularity for many varieties of wild rice, almost all of which are substantially greater than regular white rice.
Just as you cook white or brown rice, wild rice is made, but a longer cooking time is needed. The grains are triple in size so that one cup of dried wild rice yields at least three cooked cups.
Serve it as a side dish or with grilled chicken or salmon alongside it. Another standard preparation that works well with a mixture of wild and white rice is rice pilaf. Instead of bread, wild rice is a common base for stuffing, adding a pleasing chewy texture.
Mix it into meatballs (also called porcupines), pop for a savory snack on the stove like popcorn, and mix it into a soup.
Nutritional Facts of Wild Rice
One hundred grams of cooked wild rice with 101 calories offers significantly fewer calories than the same serving of brown or white rice with 112 and 130 calories, respectively. Small quantities of iron, potassium, and selenium are also present in wild rice.
The low-calorie count and high nutritional value make wild rice a portion of food that is nutritional. It is an awe-inspiring mineral source and an excellent source of plant-based protein.
A serving of 3.5-ounce (100-gram) cooked wild rice delivers these nutrients to an individual.
- Carbs: 21 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Calories: 101
- Vitamin B6: 7% of the daily value
- Zinc: 9% of the daily value
- Fiber: 2 grams
Health Benefits of Wild Rice
Wild rice is a staple that all of us should have in our daily diet. The benefits of eating wild rice are abundant, making this one of the most effective superfoods globally. Here are wild rice’s top seven incredible health benefits.
1. Immunity Booster
One of the many best ways to improve your overall health and well-being is to strengthen your immune system’s health. The best method to get that immunity boost is vitamin C, which is significantly present in wild rice.
The formation of white blood cells, the first line of body defense against foreign agents, bacteria, and microbes, is stimulated by vitamin C.
Also, vitamin C is a vital component of collagen that helps us heal from diseases and is essential for developing and repairing cells, organs, tissues, and blood vessel walls. Thus, wild rice is also a fantastic food to fight the global pandemic Covid-19.
2. Weight Loss
As a low-calorie and gluten-free food, wild rice can benefit those attempting to lose weight and avoid obesity. Not like white rice, which can extend your diet and potentially help you gain weight.
Whereas, due to its high fiber and nutrient content, wild rice prevents overeating.
It does this without providing the body with a high amount of calories. Wild rice also supplies our diet with a decent balance of essential minerals.
3. Improves Digestion
Wild rice possesses an incredible amount of dietary fiber. In addition to improving the balance of cholesterol, fiber also bulks up the stool and eases the digestive process.
Dietary fiber may assist with removing constipation, diarrhea, bloating, cramping, and more extreme gastrointestinal concerns, gastric ulcers, and hemorrhoids by promoting peristalsis.
4. High in Antioxidants
The incredible amount of antioxidants is one of the most significant advantages you can obtain from wild rice. Usually, white rice has no antioxidant potential, but there are 20-30 times more antioxidants in wild rice.
Antioxidants neutralize the dangerous byproducts of cell metabolism that can cause healthy cells to mutate or become cancerous. It involves free radicals that grow in the skin and can lead to aging, such as wrinkles, signs of age, and slower blemish healing.
It is also true of eye cells, and antioxidants may avoid retinal detachments and the onset of cataracts. If you want to look younger for years ahead, add wild rice to your diet!
5. Helps to Protect Heart
Wild rice improves the health of the heart in many ways. In wild rice, there is no sodium, which helps decrease blood pressure.
There is also a high amount of fiber that is believed to flush out the cardiovascular system of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and minimize the chances of developing coronary heart disease.
Wild rice is an easy option for those who want to protect their hearts by removing the heart’s pressure and improving repair and damage control with a high vitamin C level.
6. Helps to Prevents Birth Defects
Wild rice has high vitamin levels, including vitamin B9, also known as folate or folic acid, and it has shown to decrease neural tube defects in newborns.
For all of its significant health benefits, expectant mothers should add wild rice to their diet, especially if they don’t get a sufficient B-vitamin dose every day.
7. Supports Muscle Development and Repair
The high amount of protein found in wild rice can also help our body’s growing muscle mass, proper development, and healthy growth.
Proteins consist of amino acids, so adequate amounts of protein are essential for overall health. Wild rice is a great choice, particularly for vegetarians who do not consume animal proteins in their diet.
Benefits of Wild Rice Vs. Brown Rice Vs. Quinoa
Wild rice is the better choice if you’re trying to slash calories and increase your protein consumption. There are fewer calories in a serving of wild rice, and it has twice the protein content of brown rice.
Wild rice also has all nine crucial amino acids that we need for muscle building and metabolism, mood, and immune system control.
Both wild rice and brown rice are good sources of fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients such as manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.
However, compared to wild rice, brown rice has more B vitamins making it a better option if you’re on a meat-free diet, so choosing between the two would not have any disadvantages.
Both wild rice and brown rice will minimize blood sugar if you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic.
Furthermore, Quinoa, like wild rice, has all of the nine essential amino acids. Protein, fiber, and tons of minerals such as iron and zinc are filled in that pseudo-cereal.
It’s been widely praised as a superfood for a reason. In terms of their nutritional advantages, Quinoa and wild rice are comparable. Their vitamins and minerals ratios are slightly different, but one is not inherently healthier than the other.
Quinoa is significantly higher in calories than either wild or brown rice. It’s best eaten as a side dish, in a salad, or a replacement for oats or rice in smaller portions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Wild Rice healthier than brown rice?
Yes, wild rice is healthier than brown rice because wild rice contains the highest protein content and is lower in calories. It also has the highest amount of fiber of all rice varieties. On the other hand, Brown rice has a more significant range of protein and fiber than white & jasmine rice, but it has a higher number of calories.
Is Wild Rice the healthiest rice?
Wild rice is a rich source of antioxidants and, especially when compared to white rice, is considered a healthier choice. Wild rice is a nutrient-dense food due to its low calories and high nutrient content.
Is Wild Rice a Superfood?
Wild rice, since it contains as many as 30 times the antioxidants as white rice and has many other nutrients and fiber, is one of the gluten-free superfoods.
Is Wild Rice Good For Weight Loss?
Yes, wild rice is good for weight loss as it prevents overeating because of its high fiber and nutrient content. It does this without supplying a high level of calories to the body. Wild rice also provides the right balance of primary minerals to our diet.
Is Cultivated Wild Rice Healthy?
Wild rice is traditionally handpicked and finished, and is naturally organic, just the way Mother Nature intended it to be, growing wild in natural lakes and rivers.
Wild rice has a more excellent protein content than regular rice and contains an impressive amount of antioxidants and various essential nutrients.
Moreover, regularly eating wild rice will improve heart health, reduce the risk of diabetes, with many more health benefits discussed in this article. If you have not tried wild rice yet, you are in for a treasure.
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I am Kate, a dedicated health advocate. My purpose is to educate you regarding the most current wellness trends, offer science-backed insights to enhance your understanding, and present actionable tips to support you on your journey towards a healthier and happier life. Let us commence this wellness path together!