The Daily Superfood 1
Red Rice (Rakta shali)
Rice- the staple of the world, the only cereal that’s light on your gut, gluten-free, hypoallergenic, packed with micro nutrients. Surprised to hear that, come let’s know more about this one type of Rice which has made the world go crazy about it and is now one of the most daily consumed superfood- ‘Red-Rice’.
We are now going to learn inquisitive things about rice though it is the most neglected & feared staple. However, Rice has a lot of nutritional value and our ancient scriptures of “Ayurveda and Shastras” have always given “Rice” as an auspicious and important position whenever it comes to introducing first-food to the little ones for the first time or as a part of important last rites or when starting any meal, making us think more about its naturally gut-healing powers and its soothing nature. How and in what way “Rice and Rice products work” let’s try to read.
You all are aware of how Paddy fields are lusciously grown and Rice grows in coastal areas and requires a lot of humidity and water for harvesting. It’s a great deal of work and effort that goes into getting the final minute or long or polished or unpolished or flattened grains of Rice & Rice products. According to the changes in continents, there are a lot of varieties of Rice that are harvested. For ex- “Red rice or Rakta Shali” is grown in the Konkan region of Maharashtra-India, Basmati is famous in Asia, Jasmine rice is famous in Japan and is consumed in almost all Western countries-America, Arbora is a renowned variety from Mexico and is very popular in Mexican & Italian cooking. Apart from these varieties, we get Brown Rice and Black Rice which have ceased the markets and are growingly popular with modern time dieting concepts. People are always in search of foods with high nutrition values and natural, rustic and rural touching meals . From all these varieties, “Red rice” has been very popular becaus of its health benefits. Red rice is now cultivated in many parts of the world. Red rice has also been mentioned in ancient texts as Rakta Shali. Our ancestors knew about Red rice, and its health benefits so why not us?
Is consumption of Rice good for health?
It’s a myth that Rice consumption is not healthy for all. Consumption of white polished rice is not beneficial to overall health but the type of Rice, the time of consumption and the way of cooking does matter.
If not white Rice, which type of rice is beneficial for our health?
Red rice, Brown Rice and black rice are beneficial for health. Red Rice is rich in antioxidants named anthocyanins. Because of the anthocyanins, it has eye-grabbing colour. This variety is usually consumed with husk or partially husked. Our ancient Ayurveda science also states that Raktashali rice(Red-Rice) is Satvik in nature and high in Prana (vital force).
Which nutrients in Red-Rice (Raktashali ) are generating more awareness among people for its consumption?
According to Ayurveda science, Red-Rice / Raktashali is Tridoshahara i.e.it pacifies tridoshas- Vata, Pitta and Kapha ( balancing three bodily humours). It enhances digestive fire (Deepan) and is easily digestible( Pachan). Because of this easily digestible property, we always give Rice as the first food for infants during Annaprashan ( Hindu rite of introducing solids to infants). Nutrition science has also specified its nutritive values per 100 gms of Rice as follows: It contains 68.75% of Iron, 66.69% of Carbohydrate, 30% Zinc, 14% Protein, 14% Fat, 7.11% Fibre and 5.45% Potassium along with anthocyanin antioxidant.
In what way does Red rice help us/ a plethora of health benefits?
Red Rice/ Raktashali is known to nourish and energise the body, promote strength(Balya), increase the production of Shukra dhatu / semen, improve metabolism, and enhance lactation if given to new mothers and is wholesome in all diseases. Red rice has therapeutic aspects according to nutrition science. As it has a low glycaemic index and high fibre content, it helps lower blood sugar levels in Diabetics. It is helpful in hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
What is the correct way to consume Red Rice (Raktashali )?
Ancient Ayurveda science and Modern Nutrition science have suggested that Red rice/ Raktashali should be consumed in the form of steamed rice, cooked in Mud pots or cast iron vessels or brass vessels. In this method of cooking, we discard the starchy water, so it becomes easily digestible and since the starch is eliminated we try to make the glycemic index lower to help with lowering the carbohydrate intake. It is advisable to avoid cooking rice in a pressure cooker as it absorbs a lot of water and starch remains in the water and sticks to the cooked grain thus becoming “ kaphakar” (heavy) takes more time and strong digestive capacity to digest. Ancient Ayurveda science also provides information about Tandulodaka (Raw rice water) for healing female genital disorders.
How much should be consumed in accordance with geographical and seasonal conditions?
As per the season, rice is most recommended in Vasant(spring) and Grishma ritu(summer) because of its cooling and easily digestible properties. Since Red-Rice is grown more in the coastal regions as it has a humid climate. It increases metabolism and hence according to both sciences (Ayurveda and Modern Nutrition), people living in coastal regions, as well as in humid climates, need easily digestible foods and strength-giving foods like Red rice to be a part of their meals. Quantity wise 1-1.5 cups of cooked Red rice should be consumed daily according to age, physical activity levels & health condition after consulting an Expert.
So stay stress-free when it comes to eating your favourite rice dishes and switch to adding “Red-rice” at least once to your daily meals. Connect with our Wellness Coaches & Wellness Experts and know more about how to incorporate this “Daily Superfood-Red Rice” into your meal plan and help yourself and your loved ones to eat naturally & locally.
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Bloggers – Mrs. Archana Patil & Dr. Shillpa Jamdarkhana (Wellness Coaches)
Credits – Mrs. Shruti Kulkarni & Dr. Tejaswini Bhale (Domain Experts)
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