Wild Rice – 12 Health Benefits, Uses, and Side-effects

Wild rice is the four species of grasses that make up the genus Zizania and can be harvested from them. The grains were historically harvested and consumed in both North America and China. Although now a delicacy in North America, grain is less commonly eaten in China, where the plant stem is used as a vegetable. Wild rice is a freshwater grass that has been growing in popularity in recent years and for good reason. (1)

Benefits of Wild Rice

It is often assumed that wild rice is a member of the rice family due to its name and shape, however, this nutrient-rich grain is a step more than basic rice types. The health benefits of wild rice are such as helps optimize digestion, boost the immune system, enhance development and repair to help improve bone strength, resist birth defects, promote weight loss, prevent long-term diseases, protect the heart, help prevent aging, and a super food for people on a gluten-free diet and helps prevent macular degeneration. This article discusses the health benefits of wild rice. 

Nutritional value per 100g of Wild Rice 

Nutrients Value 
Energy 423 kj (101 kcal) 
Carbohydrates 21.34 g 
Dietary fiber 1.8 g 
Fat 0.34 g 
Protein 3.99 g 

Nutritional value of vitamins per 100g of Wild Rice 

Vitamins Quantity % DV
Vitamin A equiv. Lutein zeaxanthin 64 μg
Thiamine (B1) 0.052 mg 
Riboflavin (B2) 0.087 mg 
Niacin (B3) 1.287 mg 
Vitamin B6 0.135 mg 
Folate (B9) 26 μg
Vitamin C 0 mg 
Vitamin E 0.24 mg 

Nutritional value of vitamins per 100g of Wild Rice 

Minerals Quantity % DV
Calcium 3 mg 
Copper 0.121 mg 
Iron 0.6 mg 
Magnesium 32 mg 
Manganese 0.282 mg 
Phosphorus 82 mg 
Potassium 101 mg 
Sodium 3 mg 
Zinc 1.34 mg 

Benefits of Wild Rice

1. Helps in optimizing digestion 

Wild rice has an impressive amount of dietary fiber. In addition to optimizing cholesterol balance, fiber facilitates digestion. By facilitating peristalsis, dietary fiber can help relieve constipation, diarrhea, bloating, cramping and excess bloating, as well as more serious gastrointestinal concerns, such as colorectal cancer, gastric ulcers and hemorrhoids. 

2. Boosts immunity 

Improving the health of a person’s immune system is one of the best ways to improve their overall health. One of the greatest ways to boost your immune system is with vitamin C, which is abundant in wild rice. 

Vitamin C makes the production of white blood cells, which are the body’s first line of defense against foreign agents and germs. Moreover, vitamin C is an important component of collagen, which is needed for the creation and repair of cells, organs, tissues and blood vessel walls, which helps us heal from disease. 

Read Also: Benefits of Brown Rice

3. Promotes growth and repair 

The high protein content found in wild rice may be good for increasing muscle mass, proper development, and balanced development in the human body. Proteins are made up of the building blocks of life which are essential for overall health, and wild rice is an excellent alternative, especially for vegetarians who don’t regularly get animal protein in their diet. 

4. Improves bone strength 

With age, the human body, including bones, begins to break down. To maintain strong bones, eating phosphorus-rich foods like wild rice can be quite helpful. Phosphorus and zinc are important for maintaining bone mineral density and ensuring strong bones and joints as you age. If a person is sensitive to osteoporosis or is already starting to experience those bone pains, switching to wild rice is a wise option. 

5. Prevent birth defects 

Wild rice contains important levels of vitamins, including vitamin B6, also known as folate or folic acid, and has been shown to reduce neural tube defects in newborns. Expectant mothers should add wild rice to their diet for all its important health benefits, but especially if they don’t get a proper B vitamin fix every day. 

Read Also: Health Benefits of black gram

6. Helps in weight loss 

As a low-calorie and gluten-free food, wild rice can help those trying to lose weight and prevent obesity. Unlike white rice, which can significantly increase a person’s diet and actually help gain weight, wild rice has a different effect, preventing overeating due to its high fiber and nutrient content, without providing high calories to the bones. One way to overcome this is a proper balance of essential minerals in our diet, which wild rice can provide. 

7. Prevents chronic diseases 

Although research into chronic disease takes many years for solid results to be publicly accepted, wild rice antioxidants reduce the risk of certain chronic disease conditions, including cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and even some forms of cancer. This is due to the neutralizing effect on dangerous free radicals. 

8. Natural treatment for osteoporosis 

Osteoporosis can affect anyone. Although there are many modern medicines available today to treat osteoporosis, they cannot compare with natural treatments. Wild rice is known to have some healing properties that can treat osteoporosis naturally, especially the mineral compounds found in this type of rice. 

9. Helps to protect the heart 

Wild rice definitely contains nutrients that help promote heart health. Wild rice contains no sodium, which helps lower blood pressure, but at the same time contains high levels of fiber, cleans bad cholesterol from the cardiovascular system and is known to reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis. By taking the pressure off the heart, and enhancing repair and damage control with high levels of vitamin C, wild rice is an obvious option for those who want to protect their hearts. 

Read Also: Health benefits of flattened rice

10. Superfood for those in a gluten-free diet 

A gluten-free diet has been shown to have many health benefits. People on a gluten-free diet sometimes find it difficult to meet the daily intake of certain nutrients but now wild rice is more than adequate to provide the daily intake of nutrients the body needs. That’s why wild rice is considered one of those superfoods for followers of a gluten-free diet. 

11. Helps in preventing macular degeneration 

Any food rich in antioxidants has the ability to prevent macular degeneration situations. The condition is sometimes difficult to deal with in senior years but starting a healthy lifestyle as early as possible can counteract the condition. Regular consumption of wild rice can control eye problems and bone fractures that accompany aging. 

12. Helps in preventing aging 

Wild rice contains a layer of antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, dangerous by-products of cellular metabolism that can cause healthy cells to change into cancer. It includes free radicals that build up in the skin and can contribute to signs of aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, and slow healing of scars. This is also true for ocular cells, and antioxidants can counteract macular degeneration and the onset of cataracts. 

Uses of Wild Rice 

Wild rice has a brown flavor and chewy structure. It’s an excellent substitute for potatoes, pasta or rice. Some folks eat it alone, while others mix it with other rice or grains. Alternatively, wild rice can be added to various dishes, such as salads, soups, casseroles, and desserts. 

Side Effects of Wild Rice 

Wild rice is generally safe for human consumption. However, in some cases, it can be contaminated with ergot or heavy metals. Wild rice seeds can be infected with a poisonous fungus called ergot, which can be dangerous to eat. Some of the side effects of poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, seizures, and mental disorders. Similarly, like regular rice, wild rice can contain heavy metals. Over time, heavy metals can accumulate in the body and cause health problems. 

Therefore, wild rice should be used in the right amount considering its advantages and disadvantages as excessive use of any ingredient can harm our health. The above information is provided for general information purposes only. It is recommended to consult a doctor before using wild rice in treatment. 

Conclusion

The information discussed in this article has introduced you to the health benefits of wild rice. In this article, you will learn about the benefits, harms, uses, and information of wild rice. I hope the information mentioned in this article will be useful to you. Thank you!

FAQ 

1. Is wild rice good for health? 

Ans: Wild rice is a wonderfully balanced food source, providing a healthy blend of protein and fiber. Manganese has also been shown to play a role in maintaining a healthy metabolism. Wild rice is a good option for people with celiac disease as it is gluten-free. 

2. Is wild rice inflammatory? 

Ans: Wild rice is high in dietary fiber, protein, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. The inflammation factor rating for wild rice is 103, which is considered moderately inflammatory. 

3. What happens if I eat wild rice every day? 

Ans: It is higher in protein than regular rice and contains several important nutrients and an impressive amount of antioxidants. Furthermore, eating wild rice on a regular basis may improve heart health and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. 

4. Is wild rice healthier than white rice? 

Ans: Wild rice contains antioxidants and is considered a healthy alternative, especially compared to white rice. Low calories and high nutritional content-dense food. It is a very attractive source of minerals and an excellent plant-based protein source. 

5. Is wild rice hard to digest? 

Ans: Wild rice is the easiest rice to digest and contains no arsenic like other types of rice. Although brown and black rice is healthy, some people on grain-free and gluten-free diets may still find rice intolerable, making wild rice the right option. 

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