Rice – white, brown, black, red, purple or wild!
You’ve probably heard the phrase “eat the rainbow”. It refers to the fact that including a wide range of highly-colored natural foods in our diet has enormous health benefits.
The plant pigments that give fruits and vegetables and their gorgeous, glowing colors have wonderfully health-giving properties. Think of the bright reds and greens of apples, the orange (and purple) hues of carrots, the yellow of summer squash, the vibrant purple of blueberries.
Rice is a valuable food for people who suffer from Histamine Intolerance. Some people might be surprised to learn that rice comes in a range of colors, too. We are accustomed to seeing white rice, whose grains have been stripped of the nutritious outer hull, bran layer, and cereal germ. White rice is available as long grain, medium grain or short grain, as aromatic, glutinous or all-purpose. These days “brown rice” , or “whole grain rice” is more common than it used to be, and most of us know that with its extra nutrients and prebiotic properties, it’s much better for us than the processed white version!
The Rice Association (UK) says there are more than 40,000 varieties of cultivated rice (the grass species Oryza sativa)!
The wider the range of rice varieties you eat, the more nutrients you potentially consume. In addition, you add welcome variety to your diet. Rice varieties include a rainbow of colors from white and brown through red and purple to black. These colors are given to the rice grains by plant pigments with health-giving antioxidant properties. So look for colored rices in your local supermarket or health food store.
What about wild rice? It’s not directly related to Asian rice (Oryza sativa). Like Asian rice it’s from the “Grass Family”, but instead of being from the genus Oryza, it’s from the genus Zizania. There are four edible species of wild rice. The grains are dark in coloring and like Asian rice they are gluten-free.
People who suffer from histamine intolerance can safely mix cooked wild rice with Asian rice for a delicious, nutritious meal.