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Written by Jenny Holt
Here’s a riddle to test out on your friends: What looks like rice, sounds like rice and cooks like rice, but contains more nutrients than rice, is more tasty than rice and is not rice at all? While that little conundrum has everyone scratching their heads, you will have time to pop into the kitchen and rustle up a delicious wild rice salad for them to snack on while they try to work out the answer.
That’s right, the rice that is not really a rice at all, but is actually a type of aquatic grass, is wild rice and it is quickly gaining recognition as something of a superfood. Free from grain and gluten, it is suitable for almost everyone, whatever their food intolerance, yet wild rice is packed full of nutrients. It also happens to be delicious. So let’s find out more.
Rich in Antioxidants
One of the biggest differences between wild rice and regular white rice is that the former is approximately 30 times richer in antioxidants than the latter. Antioxidants are your body’s natural weapon against free radicals, the potentially harmful molecules in the body that destroy healthy molecules in order to survive and cause cell damage, potentially leading to serious health problems.
Antioxidants are great for protecting your body’s cells and immune system, meaning healthy organs and a fitter, younger looking you.
Full of vitamins, minerals and protein
Wild rice contains many of the critical vitamins and minerals that your body needs, including vitamins A, B6, C and E, not to mention calcium, manganese and folate. It is also exceptionally protein-rich, containing around two and a half times as much as white rice.
This means it is an ideal food for people who might need a little bit of extra nutrition to keep them healthy, such as those with dietary restrictions, for example a vegan or gluten free diet, or indeed children, the elderly or expectant mothers.
A healthy nervous system
Finally, wild rice is also a wonderful source of magnesium, which is more important to our bodies than you might have realised. One of its most important properties is its contribution to a healthy and robust nervous system. This really is “central control” within the human body, and is critical to numerous other aspects of physical and mental wellbeing.
Image Source: By Wsj at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3426735