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The Nutritional Power of Rice

bags-of-riceRice is the most popular grain globally and the primary dietary staple for more than half the world’s population. This tiny but mighty grain is nutrient-rich, supplying energy, complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, beneficial antioxidants and more than 15 vitamins and minerals.

Here’s the Scoop on U.S.-Grown Rice:

  • It’s a “hundred calorie pack”: one half-cup serving of rice contains only 100 calories
  • It’s a “free” food: naturally sodium-, cholesterol-, gluten- and GMO-free
  • Rice packs a nutritional punch: it provides more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals including, folic acid, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, selenium, fiber, iron and zinc
  • Whole grain goodness: one cup of brown, wild, red or black rice provides two of the three recommended daily servings of whole grains
  • White rice’s “wow” factor: one cup of enriched white rice has 23% of the recommended daily value of folic acid, a B vitamin the body needs to make new cells. It helps protect against birth defects when consumed by expectant moms. Emerging research suggests that folic acid may also play a role in improving cardiovascular health and congenital heart defects, healthy aging and overall health. Investigations continue in this area.

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Whole Grain Goodness

Step up your whole grain intake with U.S.-grown rice—a wholesome, nutritious and sustainable food you can feel good about eating.

Whole Grains Explained
Every grain starts life as a whole grain. The whole grain is the entire seed of a plant, including the bran, germ and endosperm. Together as the whole grain, these components provide protein, fiber and many important vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Research shows that eating whole grains can help reduce heart disease, may reduce the risk of certain cancers and may aid in weight maintenance.

Tips for Increasing Whole Grain Intake:

  • Make your rice colorful. Brown, wild, black, red and purple rice are 100% whole grain varieties.
  • Try mixing brown and white rice together in your favorite dish for more complex flavor and texture. It’s also a great way to encourage kids to eat more whole grains.
  • Cook a double batch of brown rice and keep it on hand for a quick start to your next meal. Cooked rice can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container for 3 to 5 days or frozen for up to 6 months.

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Gluten-Free and Flavor-Full

A growing number of consumers are going gluten-free due to celiac disease, gluten intolerance or other food sensitivities. Rice is gluten-free, highly digestible and the least allergenic of all grains, making it an important grain option for a gluten-free diet.

For more information on celiac disease, visit:
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
Celiac Support Association

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Keep Your Engine Revved All Day with Rice!

Rice is a nutrient-dense, complex carbohydrate that the body slowly digests to help you stay energized throughout the day. Plus, research shows that eating rice increases levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, which helps boost mood and keeps appetite in check. So, come on, get happy with rice!

Here are some quick tips to help you maximize your energy with rice:

  • Power up your plate: Rice pairs perfectly with other healthy energy-boosting foods such as vegetables, fruit, lean protein, seafood, beans, nuts and soy.
  • Rice + beans = nutritional power couple: When eaten together, rice and beans provide all essential amino acids and deliver complete high-quality plant-based protein.
  • Refuel with rice: Rice is the ideal addition to any meal—low in calories, gluten-free and packed with nutrients. Incorporate rice into your pre- and post-workout meals to optimize your body’s ability to recover and rebuild.

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The Role of Rice in Weight Management

When people are looking to lose weight, the first foods often excluded from the diet are carbohydrates. But not all carbohydrates are created equal, and rice in particular is one that offers many health benefits and may assist in maintaining a calorie-controlled eating plan.

Stop avoiding, and start including, rice:

  • Rice helps you take it down a notch: A recent study showed that people who eat rice were significantly less likely to be overweight or obese; they also had a 34% reduced risk for high blood pressure, a 27% reduced risk for increased waist circumference and a 21% reduced risk for metabolic syndrome.
  • Stave off hunger: A human clinical trial published in 2013 reported that having white or brown rice at a meal increased satiety and the feeling of fullness.
  • Farewell to fat: Rice is virtually fat free, containing no cholesterol-raising trans-fat or saturated fat.
  • A source of resistant starch: Both white and brown rice are significant sources of resistant starch especially when allowed to cool after cooking, prior to consumption. Resistant starch has shown real promise in helping to prevent certain cancers, as well as promoting fullness and a healthy body weight.

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Research and References

  • Batres-Marquez P, Jensen HH, Upton J. Rice consumption in the United States: Recent evidence from food consumption surveys. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109:1719-1727.
  • Fulgoni, V, Fulgoni S, Upton J, Moon M. Diet quality and markers for human health in rice eaters versus non-rice eaters: An analysis of the US NHANES, 1999-2004. Nutrition Today. 2010;45:262-272.
  • Fung KY, Cosgrove L, Lockett T, Head R, Topping DL. A review of the potential mechanisms for the lowering of colorectal oncogenesis by butyrate. Br J Nutr. 2012 Sep;108(5):820-31. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512001948. Epub 2012 Jun 7.
  • Higgins JA. Resistant starch and energy balance: impact on weight loss and maintenance. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(9):1158-66. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.629352.
  • Nicklas,T.A.,et al.(2014) Rice Consumption Is Associated with Better Nutrient Intake and Diet Quality in Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2010. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 525-532.
  • Nicklas TA, O’Neil CE, Fulgoni V (2014) Rice Consumption is associated with Better Nutrient Intake and Diet Quality in Children: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2010a. J Nutr Food Sci 4: 262.
  • Wang XS, Neill MO, Thomas W, Slavin J (2013) White and Brown Rice are Equally Satiating and More Satiating than Glucose Beverage. J Obes Weight Loss Ther 3: 202.

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