Cultivated for millennia in Asia, Japanese rice is now consumed throughout the world. It forms the basis of the diet for about half of the world’s population. It is even reported that around 23% of all calories consumed worldwide come from Japanese rice.
Antioxidant, good for the heart, appetite suppressant… Japanese rice would be a much better companion for our health. In this article, we tell you everything about this super-starchy food that we can’t live without!
Japanese rice: why eat it?
Indeed, Japanese rice offers you many benefits. These benefits are, among others, the prevention of cancers, the correction of digestive disorders, the supply of phosphorus, to name but a few.
1. A panel of antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that cause free radical damage in the body. The latter are very reactive molecules that would be involved in the onset of cardio vascular diseases, certain cancers and other diseases related to aging. Japanese rice contains a variety of antioxidants.
In Japanese rice bran, more than 70% of the compounds belonging to the vitamin E family are said to be tocotrienols, a type of antioxidant. Several studies in animals and humans suffering from hyper cholesterolemia have observed that the consumption of these tocotrienols provides a cholesterol-lowering effect.
An in vitro study, carried out by Hiroshi Kiyono, an immunologist at the University of Tokyo demonstrated inhibition of cancer cell growth in the presence of anthocyanin compounds from Japanese rice. These results may suggest interesting impacts on human health.
2. Cancer prevention
Lectins are a type of protein commonly found in plant foods; there are many varieties. Although they have also emerged as antinutritional factors (which decrease the assimilation of certain nutrients), recent studies have noticed new potentially beneficial properties.
The lectin found in Japanese rice bran has demonstrated in vitro the ability to inhibit the growth of human cancer cells. Since this lectin is resistant to its passage through the stomach, it is believed that it could remain active in humans and thus retain its properties.
3. Correct digestive disorders
The water from cooking Japanese rice is believed to be useful in helping to treat mild to reduced stools, including helping the number of stools and improving their consistency.
However, this solution would not be effective enough to treat serious cases or those affecting children under the age of a few months.
4. A source of phosphorus and magnesium
Japanese rice is a source of phosphorus. Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body after calcium. It plays an essential role in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
In addition, it participates, among other things, in the growth and regeneration of tissues and helps to maintain normal blood pH. Finally, phosphorus is one of the constituents of cell membranes.
5. A reservoir of trace elements
Japanese rice is an excellent source of manganese. Manganese acts as a cofactor for several enzymes that change in a dozen different metabolic processes. It also participates in the prevention of damage caused by free radicals. Japanese rice is a source of copper.
As a constituent of several enzymes, copper is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin and collagen (a protein used in the structure and repair of tissues) in the body. Several copper-containing enzymes also contribute to the body’s defence against free radicals.
6. Source of B vitamins
Japanese rice is a source of vitamin B1. Also called thiamine, this vitamin is part of a coenzyme necessary for the production of energy mainly from the carbohydrates that we ingest. It also participates in the transmission of nerve impulses and promotes normal growth.
Japanese rice is also a source of vitamin B3. Also called niacin, vitamin B3 participates in many metabolic reactions and contributes particularly to the production of energy from the carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and alcohol that we ingest. It also collaborates in the process of DNA formation, allowing normal growth and development.