Rice is a staple dish in any Asian country, more specifically with those from the Eastern area of the continent. Countries like Japan always incorporate rice into their meals, be it as a side dish or as a main ingredient to the cuisine. This would not come as a surprise for those who like to eat sushi, since white rice is a significant ingredient in the production of this dish.
White rice itself is nutritious. It is a rich source of carbohydrates, and a subtle source of protein and fats. We should consider that carbohydrates provide us with the energy we need to be able to do our tasks well. White rice is also an excellent source of nutrients, such as iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and thiamine, among others. These nutrients are essential in keeping the body functioning and healthy.
While we know that white rice has a lot of nutrients in its grains, remember that too big an intake of white rice could contribute to an increase in your weight. This is the reason why people who are trying to lose weight cut their rice intake.
Now, if we are going to think about it, the Japanese – though big eaters of rice – still remain fit and well. There is a secret behind it, and it may be found in the kind of rice they eat. We call this multigrain rice. What is multigrain rice? What effects does it have on our health? In this article, we are going to be identify the wonders of multigrain rice. Specifically, we are going to discuss how multigrain rice could work wonders for our health and physical beauty.
Cover photo credit: theilr
What is Multigrain Rice?
To put it simply, multigrain rice (known in Japan as Zakkokumai) is a mixture of different grains of rice. Usually, brown rice (which is regarded as the healthiest rice) is used as the main ingredient in the mix. Other grains of rice or seeds, which are also considered healthy, are also included in the mix. Some of the most common grains and seeds include black rice, quinoa, and black sesame seeds. Black rice, in particular, has been hailed as the new brown rice, because of the nutrients it contains.
Other multigrain rice mixtures can also include white rice, albeit in smaller amounts. White rice can be bad for the health when consumed in large quantities, so other types of rice are included to keep the white rice portions to a minimal amount.
You do have to be cautious, though, since multigrain rice is not as tasty as white rice. If you prioritize your health, however, the taste may be something that doesn’t bother you or you easily become accustomed to.
What are the Types of Grains in Multigrain Rice?
As mentioned earlier, brown rice, black rice, and sesame seeds are some of the major ingredients of Japanese multigrain rice. However, it should be noted that there are also other grains added to the mix. These grains could be purchased separately. Other grains have already been premixed, making it easier for you when you cook them.
The following are just some of the most common ingredients of multigrain rice or Zakkokumai: amaranth (Amaransu), black beans (Kuromame), common millet (Kibi), dried azuko beans (Azuki), dried soybeans (Daizu), foxtail millet (Awa), Japanese barnyard millet (Hie), Job’s tears (Hato mugi), quinoa (Kinia), rolled barley (Oshi mugi), rye (Hadaga mugi), sticky rice (Mochi), and uncracked grains of barley (Maru mugi).
These are all examples of whole grains. Naturally, these are more nutritious than white rice. So, it’s no wonder that they are beneficial to one’s health and physical beauty.
Benefits of Multigrain Rice to your Health and Beauty
Being more nutritious and healthy than white rice, multigrain rice, or zakkokumai, really works wonders for your health and beauty. Multigrain rice has various benefits, depending on the type of grains and seeds that are contained in the mixture. However, if we are going to generalize these benefits, let’s discuss some of them.
As mentioned earlier, the components of multigrain rice are whole grains. Since whole grains provide a significant amount of fiber, multigrain rice could help control blood sugar, and lower the amount of bad cholesterol in the body. Because of the decrease in cholesterol, blood pressure will lower, decreasing the risk of heart disease.
Additionally, zakkokumai also has effects in terms of improvement in digestion, and the absorption of nutrients into the body. Because of this, you may gain more essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, and the different B vitamins.
In terms of beauty, multigrain rice could help you to shed a few pounds. Research shows that whole grains are loaded with fiber, giving you a feeling of fullness when eating them. They help keep your hunger at bay. So, you prevent yourself from eating more than you need.
Continuous intake of whole grains such as multigrain rice could help you lose around ten pounds in a span of twelve weeks.
How to Prepare Multigrain Rice
If you go to a health food store in Japan, or any Japanese health store in general, you might be able to find yourself a premixed pack of multigrain rice. However, if you cannot find one, don’t fret as it is very easy to prepare.
The first thing that you are going to do is to prepare the grains you are going to add to your mix. Place everything in a container until they are evenly mixed. In a casserole dish, add one tablespoon of the mixture for each cup of rice. You add the amount of water by half a teaspoon whenever you add a tablespoon of the mixture.
If you want to cut some carbohydrates, and burn more calories without sacrifice of cutting rice intake, you should opt for multigrain rice. Not only is it healthy and nutritious, but it is also delicious. Combining different flavors of rice grains into one dish is something out of the ordinary. Plus, it also contributes to your health and wellness. So, if you ever go to Japan, you should stop by restaurants that serve multigrain rice and try it yourself. Or better yet, you can concoct your own mixture of different grains to create your own multigrain rice. Try it now!
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