Rice is a hugely popular foodstuff. Often combined with Eastern cuisine, it is a simple crop which can be eaten as part of sweet and savory dishes alike. Therefore, it’s seen as incredibly versatile. There are plenty of different varieties, and it’s perfectly possible to change the flavor of rice to your own specifications as you wish.
But how much do you really know or understand about the grains you eat? Take a look at these 18 fun facts about rice to sharpen your knowledge up.
1. Which rice to choose?
Two of the main types of rice you will commonly find, of course, are brown and white. But other than color, what really is the main difference between them? Believe it or not, it’s refinement.
Brown rice is, in fact, seen as much healthier for you than its white variant. Much like bread, this is because it boasts whole grain properties. Brown rice is crammed full of antioxidants, whereas white rice tends to be devoid of much nutritional benefit.
2. What exactly is rice, anyway?
Rice is a plant known as a monocot. It’s perfectly possible for the plant to grow for up to 30 years in specific areas of the world, particularly those with intense temperatures.
3. We’ve enjoyed rice for a long time.
People have been growing and enjoying rice for centuries. In fact, it is thought that African people have been growing rice for more than 3,000 years!
4. Rice is very versatile.
Rice can be grown and harvested in myriad different ways. However, you will generally find that many rice sources out East follow similar harvesting techniques. It all depends on type and plant varieties, too!
5. It’s almost endless.
Rice is rife! It’s thought that just one single rice seed can produce up to 3,000 grains. It’s unlikely we’ll be running out any time soon, then – fingers crossed!
6. It’s great for boosting you!
Rice is fantastic for providing energy, as well as for helping to keep you regular!
7. Could it be the fountain of youth?
8. It’s grown almost everywhere.
You’ll find rice is grown just about everywhere on the planet. However, the once place you won’t find it is Antarctica – for obvious reasons!
9. It’s really easy to grow rice.
It’s grown in so many places because, on the whole, it is really adaptable and easy to cultivate.
10. China is big on rice.
China is well-known for its rice production. In fact, a popular greeting in the country is to ask if someone has ‘eaten rice today’! It’s the Chinese equivalent of asking how you are!
11. Rice helps to fight back famine.
Rice helps to feed the world on a massive scale. In fact, it is thought to make up around 20% of the energy the world gets from its individual diets. There’s rice in more than you think!
12. It can be savory and sweet.
Rice is used in sweet dishes and foods almost as much as in savory ones. For example, the British dessert rice pudding is – naturally – made with real rice.
13. It’s actually very good for you.
Rice is free from all sorts of different nasty additives and nutrients which are bad for you if stacked up. For example, you will find zero cholesterol in rice, and there is no sodium. That’s why some people add salt while cooking rice, though many advise against this for health reasons.
14. No, really!
Rice is, however, crammed full of amazing nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It’s a brilliant source of vitamin B1, as well as zinc, dietary fiber, riboflavin, and iron.
15. Fill that growing belly!
It’s also a great source of folate, which is useful for growing cells. This is beneficial to pregnant women who want to keep their babies healthy.
16. Rice is culturally important.
Rice growing is seen as a spiritual act in many countries and cultures. For example, in India, many associate the growing and harvesting of rice with the god Lakshmi. Lakshmi is associated with prosperity and wealth.
17. It soaks up a lot of water.
Rice is extremely water-hungry. Not only will you need a hefty pot of H2O to cook it properly, you need around 5,000 liters of water to get even a kilogram of rice healthily harvested!
18. Rice is truly ancient.
While African people have been producing rice for thousands of years, it is the Chinese who are said to hold the record for the oldest production on record. Research suggests that China started growing rice around 2000 BC.
FAQs about Rice
Is rice healthy to eat?
Yes, in many ways. However, as it is rich in carbohydrates, it pays to go easy on the diet!
Can eating rice cause belly fat?
Believe it or not, white rice might not actually lead to the weight gain problems that many believe it to - the jury is out!
Can I lose weight eating rice?
It depends on what you eat it with, and how much - it could cause further problems if you don’t balance your diet out!
Do you know any fun facts about rice? Share them in the comments below!