Rice has been around for centuries. From China and Indonesia, to Portugal and Holland, rice is the staple component of hundreds of different dishes around the world, and it comes in many different types, such as brown, white, jasmine, and basmati. Many of us consume rice on an almost daily basis. Before you ask for another serving of it, however, you may want to know what truly lies behind rice and its many forms, including its “healthier” option, brown rice.
The biggest problem that has been found with rice is that it contains arsenic. Arsenic is a toxic trace element that can be found naturally in two categories: the organic arsenic, which is mainly found in plant and animal tissues, and the more toxic inorganic arsenic, found in rocks and soil or dissolved in water, which can lead to various types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Rice accumulates more arsenic than other food crops. In fact, it is the single biggest food source of inorganic arsenic, but what’s even worse is that brown rice, the rice that we have thought to be the healthier option, contains higher amounts of arsenic because it has not been stripped of the bran and husk. And when you realize that arsenic is also found in contaminated drinking water, you may want to start looking for other options.
If you still want to consume rice, opt for aromatic rice, such as basmati or jasmine since they have roughly one-third less inorganic arsenic than other brown rice. It is recommended to switch up the types of grains you consume, however. Alkaline grains are the best substitution for any rice variety. You can determine that a grain is alkaline because, unlike rice, it contains carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, causing the grain to bounce in boiling water. Below are some examples:
Wild Rice: May help to increase muscle mass, prevent cancer, aid in digestion, and improve heart function.
Amaranth: It is gluten-free, can help support bone health, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and is a good source of nutrients for pregnant women.
Buckwheat: It provides highly digestible protein, can help prevent diabetes, and can lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.