As a Registered Dietitian one of my top tips is to have a pantry that is well stocked with certain staple foods, USA Rice being one of the items at the top of the list. Some clients are surprised when I mention rice as a food to keep on hand in their home, especially if they are working to undo food ideas that are based in restrictive eating. I’m happy to empower them (and you!) with nutrition knowledge of rice and why it can be a trusted food staple in your kitchen.
Let’s start with something that is on a lot of consumers’ minds right now, their food budget. Now more than ever my clients are looking for ways to stretch their dollars and at a cost of about 10 cents per half cup serving, rice supports this goal. In addition, certain varieties such as long grain white and brown rice (a nutritious whole grain) yield three times their volume when cooked. This means with rice you can buy a little and feed a lot! Huge bonus when looking at food cost savings.
Now let’s take a peek at gut health. For some, rice is a more favourable carbohydrate source because it is naturally and completely gluten-free. Rice is also one of the least allergenic foods out there, making it a great choice for people with a variety of food sensitivities. When it comes to fueling your body, I often recommend different varieties of rice. Brown rice serves up complex carbohydrates for long lasting energy, while white rice provides quick digesting fuel for your mind and muscles. Rice provides energy for everyday tasks and high demand workouts.
Rice packs a nutrient dense punch with Vitamin B6, iron and magnesium. Vitamin B6 supports the processing of amino acids, which are the building blocks of all proteins and some hormones. Vitamin B6 helps to make and take apart many amino acids and is also needed to make serotonin, melatonin and dopamine. Vitamin B6 also aids in the formation of several neurotransmitters and is therefore an essential nutrient in the regulation of mental processes.
Iron supports the transport of oxygen through the blood and to different parts of the body. Without enough iron, ATP (the fuel the body runs on) cannot be properly synthesized. As a result, some iron-deficient people become fatigued even when their hemoglobin levels are normal. Magnesium supports important functions such as bone, protein, and fatty acid formation, making new cells, activating B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood, lowering blood pressure and forming ATP — the energy the body runs on. Insulin secretion and function also require magnesium. As you can see the nutrition in rice does a lot for the body!
USA Rice is a versatile food that can be eaten savory or sweet, it is affordable and great as a snack, in soups, salads, casseroles or even dessert. Rice is a great batch cooking food because it reheats so well. Simply add 2 tbsp. (30 mL) liquid, cover and heat on the stove top, oven or microwave and then fluff with a fork.
So, there you have it. Your Registered Dietitian approved reasons to stock rice in your pantry and into your meals. Need more ideas on how to include rice in your diet? Check out https://riceinfo.com/ for plenty of ways to incorporate USA Rice into a number of meals