There are many health benefits of wild rice that make it a spectacular addition to your diet. If you’re a fan of brown rice, hopefully you’ll be willing to give wild rice a try once you learn all the benefits it contains. Not to be confused with wild rice blends, true wild rice is high in nutrients. Wild rice by nature is mixed in color and has a much darker hue than varieties such as brown and white rice. Check out these benefits of wild rice and buy yourself a batch this week. Cooked up savory or sweet, wild rice will become your new favorite rice in no time!
1. Easy to Digest
Wild rice is actually the seed of a grass and not a grain at all, which is one of the most popular benefits of wild rice. Grasses are much easier to digest than grains, especially for those sensitive to gluten or who have digestive issues such as IBS or general gastrointestinal struggles. Wild rice appears and cooks similar to other rice varieties, which is why it’s often referred to as a grain. Wild rice, like all other rice, is completely gluten-free.
2. Higher in Antioxidants
Brown rice is full of antioxidants but it doesn’t come close to those found in wild rice. Wild rice is a Native American plant originally harvested in Minnesota. It has been used throughout ancient cultures primarily due to the way it sustains harsh winter conditions. This high sustainability factor also increases the antioxidant value of the rice and makes it a rich source of immune-boosting properties.
3. B Vitamins
Wild rice is much higher in B vitamins than brown rice, specifically containing more riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin B6. B vitamins are important for energy, healthy blood pressure, digestion, and metabolism.
Brown rice is a stellar source of magnesium, but wild rice is a much better source. Magnesium is important for a healthy nervous system, it keeps your regular, provides you with energy, and helps you get a good night’s rest. Magnesium also reduces stress, headaches, overall anxiety, and fatigue.
5. Better Flavor
Wild rice also has a much better taste profile than brown rice. It lends a sweeter, almost nutty flavor that’s more complex and enjoyable. Remember that true wild rice should be mixed in black and brown colors, which signifies the nuttier flavor. Wild rice blends usually contain some brown rice and even white rice, so stick to real wild rice for optimal flavor.
6. Twice the Fiber
Rice is actually a very low fiber food, which makes its carbs less superior to grains like oats, which have more fiber out of all the carbohydrates the grain contains. Brown rice only contains 1 gram of fiber per ¼ cup out of 40 carbs total. Considering we need almost 30 grams of fiber a day, it would be hard to get the needed fiber from brown rice. Wild rice, however, contains almost three grams per ¼ cup, making it a much better source of fiber.
Wild rice is a rich source of potassium, which can help keep your blood pressure healthy and reduce bloat. Wild rice contains twice the potassium of brown rice, making it a fantastic overall source.
Wild rice can be cooked with savory spices like oregano, black pepper, turmeric, and vegetable broth, or you can cook it like oatmeal for breakfast with cinnamon and almond milk. You can find wild rice at most supermarkets nationwide and online. I like Lundberg brand’s Organic Wild Rice as well as Reese’s brand Minnesota Patty Grown Wild Rice, which are both non-GMO and gluten-free. Have you ever had wild rice?