Rice is the primary food for more than 3 billion people around the world. It is the grain with the second highest worldwide production, after maize ("corn"). Since a large portion of maize crops are grown for purposes other than human consumption, rice is probably the most important grain with regards to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans.
Rice is nutrient dense and contributes over 15 vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which are the best kind, stored in muscles and used to give us energy when we need it. Unusual for many high carbohydrate foods, rice contains very high quality proteins, especially when compared to other grains. Rice contains all eight of the essential amino acids, which help to build and maintain muscle tissue and make up enzymes, antibodies and hormones.
Essential amino acids consist of leucine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanain, theronine, tryptophan and valine. These amino acids are considered essential because the human body cannot manufacture them on its own, and they must, therefore, be derived from food sources such as proteins.
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