Is Rice Not Nice?


Rice is a staple for the vegans.  Brown rice is a good source of B vitamins and slow release carbs.  Unfortunately, rice takes up inorganic arsenic as it grows. This is associated with lung and bladder cancer and damage the nervous system. Most of the arsenic is stored in the outer husk so unprocessed rice may contain more arsenic than polished, white rice which is not as good from the point of view of keeping blood sugar levels stable.  So should we not eat rice? My advice would be to limit rice to a couple of times a week.  Why not try other grains in place of rice?  Try millet, quinoa, amaranth, barley, farro or freekeh. 

Recently I have also change how I cook rice too.  I now cook rice in more water than I used to so that some water remains at the end of the cooking time.  I can then pour the excess water off and hopefully most of the arsenic.

The other problem with rice is that it can cause food poisoning if you are not careful. Uncooked rice contains bacillus cereus which is largely killed by the cooking process but some spores do remain.  If the rice is left at room temperature for any length of time these multiply with the potential to cause food poisoning. To avoid this cool rice quickly and store in the fridge for no longer than a day. If you are re-heating make sure the rice is piping hot throughout, and do not re-heat rice more than once.

Happy eating!
Janet x

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