You may want to save some boiling time and eat raw rice, but you should know the risks.
Can you eat raw rice? Yes. Should you? Probably not unless you’re willing to risk an upset stomach, diarrhea, or worse. Boiled rice is best if you want to protect against chronic disease.
Avoid the raw rice and boil it for a good energy source that’s easy to digest. If you want a healthy gut, cook your rice to help manage a healthy weight.
Brown Rice or White Rice?
Rice production hasn’t changed much over the years. Rice is a plant milled with a huller that removes the outer husks of the grain or chaff. Now it’s brown rice. It can be milled more to create white rice by removing the bran, the rest of the husk, and germ.
Boiled or Parboiled? Don’t get confused.
There’s a difference between boiled and parboiled rice. Parboiled rice goes through partial boiling while still in the husk. You have to buy parboiled rice specifically. There’s white rice, brown rice, jasmine rice, Valencia rice, wild rice, red cargo rice, and more. Parboiled rice is entirely different.
Risks of Eating Raw Rice
Food poisoning from bacteria
Eating raw or even undercooked rice may increase your risk of food poisoning. Even rinsing it may not help prevent this risk.
Rice can have bacteria like Bacillus cereus (B. cereus), often associated with foodborne illnesses that cause vomiting and diarrhea. B. cereus is usually found in the soil, which is where it contaminated rice. It forms spores. Those spores act as a kind of shield which even mild cooking can’t harm.
Does that convince you to cook your rice thoroughly? Not just partially cook.
Serious gastrointestinal trouble
Can you say, “tummy ache?” You might if you overeat uncooked rice—even just a little.
Another reason is rice contains lectins which are a type of protein that serves as a natural insecticide. They’re called antinutrients. For a good cause, too, they may reduce your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Who wants to eat something like that?
Being human, you can’t digest lectins, so they pass right through you, likely causing damage to your gut wall along the way. What’s next? More vomiting and diarrhea.
General health concern
Have you ever heard of pica? It’s an eating disorder with an appetite for non-nitrative foods. Or non-foods like chalk or paper. It can also be an abnormal appetite for stuff that might be considered food but are base recipe items like flour, starch, or baking soda.
Raw rice is on the list of those with pica disorder.
When you eat raw rice, it’s dry. As it goes through your digestive tract, it’s going to absorb water and expand. You’re going to experience discomfort and bloating. Overeat, and you can have a blockage in the wrong place.
Think about the purpose of boiling? To kill bacteria, right. The raw rice you eat may have even more bacteria than mentioned above. Eating raw food in general without thoroughly washing isn’t a good idea. Rice has been through a production process after it’s been harvested. Who knows what it’s been in contact with.
Top 7 Benefits of Boiled Rice
1. Help protect you against chronic disease
According to numerous studies, make whole grain, like brown rice, part of your diet to reduce the risk of gastric cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
It’s in the bran layer, which has protective compounds called flavonoids like apigenin and quercetin. These compounds protect against disease.
2. Boiled rice is gluten-free
You want that beneficial gut bacteria going through your digestive tract. You get the best of it with the brown, wholegrain rice, which promotes healthy digestive function.
Rice is valuable to people having coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity.
3. Source of energy and restores glycogen after exercise
Boiled white rice is a refined carbohydrate, making it a quick food source to replace depleted energy—a favorite with athletes wanting to refuel after exercise.
Boiled white rice is one of the most popular and preferred sources of energy. Top athletes, bodybuilders, and professional strongmen eat cooked rice daily.
4. Can help manage a healthy weight
Brown rice has a lower glycaemic index (GI) than white rice. It contains more fiber and protein, which are known to have a satiating effect. You feel full longer.
Eat a portion of boiled brown rice, and the carbs are converted to energy at a steady pace. Doing this helps with your cravings throughout the day. It also stabilizes your energy levels.
5. Boiled rice is easy to digest – unlike eating it raw
If you have trouble with bread or oatmeal, or wheat products in general, try boiled white rice. You may find it’s easily digestible. It’s low in fiber, and if you cook it properly, you shouldn’t have any gastric problems.
6. Low cost and available
You can find rice just about anywhere you go. There are many types of rice, and since it’s the third food crop in the world, behind sugar and corn, it’s in abundance.
The cost should fit most budgets.
7. Easy to prepare and store
Boiling rice is easy and even more straightforward if you get a rice cooker or steamer. Once cooked, you can keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can even freeze it for about a month.
You can combine boiled rice with nearly any vegetable, meat, or fish. You can spice or flavor any way you want or eat it plain.
Are you convinced that eating raw rice may not be a good idea? Ask yourself in what situation you’d resort to eating uncooked rice? Reap the benefits of eating the many types of rice the world has to offer by boiling it.