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Rice is not just a food product, it is part of culture, part of civilization. In the East, it is considered a gift from the gods, a symbol of fertility and life. Poems have been written about him. Pilaf and porridge, soups, pies and desserts are prepared from it, it is processed into starch, alcohol, beer.

Rice straw is used to make valuable grades of paper ... Yakov Marshak tells about interesting facts related to rice. 

Rice is the main grain crop for most of the world's population, the inhabitants of Southeast Asia simply cannot imagine life without it, but it also occupies an important place in the cuisine of other peoples of the world. Rice has been consumed since the beginning of civilization; now there are several dozen varieties of it. Rice is used in dietary and medical nutrition. It is gluten free, which causes an allergic reaction in some people. It contains a lot of starch, vitamins B1, B3, B6, PP, E, H, amino acids, proteins and trace elements.

Already in the new history has at least two interesting events related to the use of rice. One of them is the discovery of vitamin B. At the end of the XNUMXth century, the Dutch doctor Christian Eikman found himself on the island of Java, the Dutch colony of East India, where beriberi disease had long been rampant, which became a serious problem for sailors. The sick beriberi (in Sinhalese - "extreme weakness") died of exhaustion. Doctors assumed that the reason for beriberi was rice contaminated with bacteria that cause this terrible disease.

Eikman, as a research doctor, decided to experiment on chickens in his small laboratory. - they were fed rice and they also had symptoms of beriberi, but when opening harmful bacteria they did not find, but they found inflammation of many nerves. Eikman called it polyneuritis. And suddenly, all of a sudden, all the chickens recovered. It turned out that the vivarium worker always fed the chickens with the remains of rice from the kitchen of the hospital for naval officers, but another person came in his place, who found it impossible to feed the “civilian” chickens with “military” polished rice. Cheaper brown rice made the chicks healthier in an instant. Then Eikman suggested that rice bran contains substances useful for the body that heal beriberi. For his research, the scientist received the Nobel Prize.

And in 1911, Casimir Funk isolated a biologically active substance from rice bran. It was named "vitamin", from the Latin vita - "life" and the English amine - nitrogen-containing compound. Funk suggested that other diseases can also be caused by a lack of certain substances.

The second story was told to me personally by the French nutritionist Michel Montignac. At the end of the XNUMXth century, there was an obesity epidemic in parts of India. In just a few years, farmers who have been eating rice for millennia have grown inexplicably fat. Epidemiologists, lost in conjecture, could not explain this phenomenon until someone noticed that the Indians began to eat not their traditional rice, but the one developed in the USA, much more productive, unpretentious and resistant to weather changes, and besides, and more tasty. Each grain of the new variety had more starch and this rice had a higher glycemic index. The "sweet blood" that occurs after eating naturally led to an intense release of insulin. Hyperinsulinism caused the obesity epidemic.

Montignac advised eating unpolished brown basmati, which has a low glycemic index - this particular type of rice will bring the most benefits to your health!  

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