Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima. As a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in Asia. It is the grain with the second-highest worldwide production, after maize
, according to data for 2010.
Since a large portion of maize crops are grown for purposes other than human consumption, rice is the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans.
There are many varieties of rice and culinary preferences tend to vary regionally. In some areas such as the Far East or Spain, there is a preference for softer and stickier varieties.
Rice cultivation is well-suited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is labor-intensive to cultivate and requires ample water
. However, rice can be grown practically anywhere, even on a steep hill or mountain area with the use of water-controlling terrace systems. Although its parent species are native to Asia and certain parts of Africa, centuries of trade and exportation have made it commonplace in many cultures worldwide.The traditional method for cultivating rice is flooding the fields while, or after, setting the young seedlings. This simple method requires sound planning and servicing of the water damming and channeling, but reduces the growth of less robust weed and pest plants that have no submerged growth state, and deters vermin. While flooding is not mandatory for the cultivation of rice, all other methods of irrigation require higher effort in weed and pest control during growth periods and a different approach for fertilizing the soil.
Polished white rice is stripped of all the nutrients that make it a worthy and viable source of nutrition. That’s why a lot of the white rice in the stores are vitamin fortified because the polished rice is nothing more than refined starch.
Natural, unpolished white rice has many health benefits including: Protein – for every 150g, rice has about 5 grams of protein. Gastrointestinal – Because it’s low in fiber and easily digested, white rice is great for relieving diarrhea and even morning sickness. Muscle building – Muscles need amino acids to grow and rice is a great source. Overall energy – the body needs carbohydrates to function and white rice is an excellent source.
Also See Brown Rice, Wild Rice, Red Rice, Basmati Rice
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