You have probably heard of wild rice, and you might even have tried it, but do you really know what it is? And more to the point, did you realize that it carries a whole host of health and nutritional benefits that make it far superior to ordinary white or brown rice? Add to that the fact that most people think it is more tasty too, and you might just find you become a wild rice convert for good.
Perhaps the first thing we need to make clear is that strictly speaking, wild rice is not actually rice, although it looks like rice and is cooked in more or less the same way. Officially, it is a type of aquatic grass seed, native mostly to North America, although some varieties can be found in Asia. Like ordinary rice, it is suitable for those on a gluten-free diet, but the difference is that it is also grain-free.
We all know how difficult it can be to find a nutritious, appetizing meal for those with special dietary requirements. This is where wild rice can be a real Godsend. It works in vegan, grain-free and gluten intolerant diets. But best of all, is that wild rice is more nutritious than white or brown varieties of rice.
Wild rice contains double the protein content of white or brown rice, and is an exceptionally good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two of the most important antioxidants for protecting your body against the cell-damaging effects of free radicals. That’s right, in a way, wild rice can counter the effects of ageing; no wonder some people are calling it the next big superfood!
Wild rice is also particularly rich in minerals such as zinc, calcium, and folate, and it is also a good source of vitamins A and E. If there are young children or an expectant mother in the family, add some wild rice to the menu and you will know they are getting a good portion of the nutrients they need most.
A versatile, tasty alternative
As well as being exceptionally nutritious, let’s not forget that wild rice also tastes great, and is simple to cook. So whether you are looking for an interesting alternative to go with your steak or chicken, or you want to create a delicious meal that will suit your vegan, grain intolerant friends, add wild rice to your shopping list now!
Sally Collins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.