The Sommelier rice
Can you recognize a good quality rice? As for wines, rice too has its sommeliers able to recognize the added values of rice, the most suitable food pairings and possible defects. To recognize a quality rice, the rice sommeliers first suggest opening the package and smelling it: if the rice smells like starch, dried fruit or straw everything is ok, but if it smells unpleasant, such as rancid and mold, it means that it has not been well preserved and it must not be consumed. Pay attention also to stains and impurities among the grains: in good quality rice, the grains are uniform, without defects and breakages, which may compromise the good cooking resistance. If you want to prepare the best recipe, pay attention to the variety you use: choose Carnaroli for risotto, Originario for soups and desserts, brown rice and white rice with a needle-shaped grain for salads and side dishes.
Essential, gluten-free and vegan friendly proteins of rice
Rice contains higher quality proteins compared to other cereals. In rice we do not find the gluten proteins, so it does not cause food allergies and intolerances and it is also indicated for celiacs. However, it contains high biological proteins with a high percentage of absorption during the digestive process and assimilation in the organism. Among foods of animal origin, the proteins with the highest biological value are concentrated in eggs and meat, compared to which rice proteins are slightly lower, with the advantage of being suitable also for people suffering from kidney disease or vegan diseases.
Colored rice, the new Functional Food
The pigmented or colored rice is brown rice that has a greater nutritional value compared to all other rice. Black and red rice contain flavonoid polyphenols, called anthocyanins, powerful anti-aging antioxidants which give the typical natural color to rice. The pigmented brown rice helps to neutralise free radicals, moreover it has an anti-inflammatory action on the body and protects the heart. For their anticarcinogenic and preventive action for some diseases, pigmented rice is considered to be a Functional Food, also used in pharmacy and nutraceuticals to make dietary supplements.
Brown rice: a natural anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy food
Compared to white rice, brown rice maintains the outer film that covers it, rich in fiber, mineral salts and vegetable lipids. Fibers contained in it are soluble, so they can be assimilated by human body. In addition to lowering the glycemic index, the fibers help regulate the metabolism of intestinal flora, with an anti-inflammatory action. Plant lipids are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, useful for the formation of the so-called good cholesterol (HDL), whose presence in organism reveals a good cardiovascular status. The richest part of lipids is the gem (or germ) of rice: it contains gamma oryzanol, with antioxidant properties.
Rice is better than pasta
If you are to choose between rice and pasta, choose rice. It is not just about taste, but of well-being. Rice is mainly made of starch, a carbohydrate that forms the inside of the grain. The grains of rice starch are smaller than those of wheat and gastric juices attack them faster, this is the reason why rice is more digestible than pasta. Moreover, rice has a beneficial effect on the intestine: white rice has an astringent effect that helps in case of dysentery, while brown rice helps intestinal motility in case of constipation.
Face mask with rice flour
Rice flour has been used for centuries in Japan for the makeup of geishas, because of its opacifying agents; moreover, it is used in cosmetics to absorb excess of sebum and to lighten skin spots. Perfect for mixed and oily skin, this mask is prepared simply by mixing a tablespoon of rice flour with green antioxidant tea, and a teaspoon of honey, used as natural antibacterial. Once ready, apply the mask on the face, doing a light massage, with circular movements. Leave on for 30 minutes, then remove it with a sponge and rinse your face with warm water. You will immediately notice a smoother, softer skin.
Rice starch for hair beauty
Rice starch is a precious ally for glossy and shiny hair. Used for centuries in China by women to maintain healthy hair, starch has a nutritive action on the hair and anti-inflammatory on the scalp. With rice starch you can prepare compresses, simply mixing it with warm water, so to obtain a soft and compact consistency. Leave it on for at least half an hour and then rinse under the shower. You will immediately notice a thicker and more beautiful hair; moreover you will prevent the formation of split ends.