White rice’s health benefits: The science
By Ravi PrasadThe world’s best-selling white rice is one of the most popular white foods and the source of millions of dollars in US food aid, according to a report published this week.
The US Department of Agriculture said it supports the research and research and nutrition projects in the US and worldwide that aim to improve the nutritional profile of white rice.
In a review, the USDA said that, for all practical purposes, white rice has been a staple food in the developing world for hundreds of years, and has a low incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
“There is an urgent need for reliable and consistent data to support recommendations that white rice be further promoted as a health food and an ingredient in nutritional products,” said Dr Andrew Srinivasan, the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
“In particular, white grain is an essential ingredient for many dietary and lifestyle products including white rice and low-fat dairy products, which are essential to human health,” he said.
“This study provides an important new perspective for policymakers, regulators and consumers as they consider the nutritional needs of consumers.”
The USDA said the research was being conducted at the USDA Agricultural Research Service, part of the Agricultural Research Services Division, a federal agency, and at a research facility in Minnesota.
The researchers used a new method called quantitative bioassay, which was developed by scientists at the US Department’s Agricultural Research Research Service (ARS), the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Using a protein powder, the researchers analysed the starch of rice grains, which were then tested for their levels of flavonoids, a group of compounds that are found in some plant foods.
The scientists found that the starch content of white grains was very similar to that of other cereals, including barley, sorghum and quinoa.
The rice grains also contained about the same amount of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins as other grains.
However, the team did not find any differences between white rice grains and other cereans.
The findings were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The study’s co-author was University of Illinois food scientist John E. Kuchenberg, who said he was excited by the research.
“White rice has an excellent nutritional profile that is particularly well suited for consumption in many Western countries and in the Western hemisphere.
The nutritional benefits of white grain are well-established,” Mr Kucenberg said.
The report is based on a survey of 1,800 adults and 2,000 children, aged 10 to 18, from 20 countries in the Americas and the Pacific islands.
The authors said they wanted to find out how white rice’s unique nutritional profile impacted health and well-being.
“Our findings indicate that rice’s high protein content, high micronutrient content, and high antioxidant content, which make it particularly attractive to children and adults with a diverse diet, may provide a nutritional edge in healthy diets,” they said.
Mr Kucens said there was a lack of research on the impact of rice on the body.
“Research is needed to further elucidate the physiological mechanisms by which rice influences health,” Dr Kuches said.
“Rice’s unique protein content and micronuteness are essential for the health of the body.”
“If rice is a healthy choice, it should be a health-promoting choice, and the scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of rice is compelling,” he added.
“Rice is a valuable source of protein and a rich source of micronuting carbohydrates that is good for the body, particularly the heart, brain and liver.”
The study is the first to use quantitative bioanalysis to study white rice, which is grown in South America and Asia and has been growing in popularity in recent years.
It was published in a special issue of the Journal Food and Agricultural Chemistry.