Jungle rice or Echinochloa colona is a kind of annual weed which produce tiny yellowish white grains. The grains are consumed as staple food in some countries such South Africa, Australia, Egypt, and countries around west and south Asia. The grain looks like rice but it is smaller. And the fact that it grows at waste areas, roadsides, or even jungle instead of farm field, makes it well known as jungle rice. Sometimes, it also grows in between paddy field.
Not only filling, the consumption of jungle rice enables us to have the health benefits of jungle rice. About the taste, it tastes good with many kinds of side dishes, just like the common rice. In India, people consume jungle rice during the fasting month and in religious ceremony.
They eat it as the replacement of regular rice, as jungle rice can be filling but felt easy in the stomach. Therefore, they will feel comfortable with their digestion during the fasting hour. People also consume jungle rice as the replacement of white rice since jungle rice contain very low glycemic index.
The Nutritional Information Of Jungle Rice
Just like the common staple foods, jungle rice is high in calorie. The calorie is mainly credited to the content of carbohydrate. Here is the nutritional information from 100 grams of jungle rice.
- Calories 171
- Fat 1 gr
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 10 mg
- Total carbohydrates 36 gr
- Dietary fiber 2 gr
- Sugars 0 gr
- Protein 3 gr
- Vitamin A 2%
- Vitamin C 1%
- Calcium 5%
- Iron 10%
The Health Benefits Of Jungle Rice
As mentioned above, we can have the health benefits of jungle rice by regularly consume this tiny grained rice. Just like the common Benefits of Seeds and Grains for Overall Health, here are some health benefits we can get from consuming jungle rice.
- Good for diabetic
Although jungle rice contains good amount of carbohydrate, it is proved to be low in sugar content. It makes jungle rice or samo is very good for people with diabetes. It is possible since diabetic should consume foods with low glycemic index.
This way, diabetic is able to avoid spike up blood sugar by replacing white rice with jungle rice. In addition, they don’t have to worry about the taste, as the jungle rice is able to be combined with their usual favorite side dishes for rice and the most important thing, it is equally filling.
- Lose weight
The high level of dietary fiber in jungle rice enables you to feel full a little longer after eat this rice. This way, you can prevent cravings and manage your food intake. It is very suitable for you who are in weight loss diet program. Jungle rice will do amazing thing to your weight.
You might also try the Health Benefits of Rice Noodles as one of the healthy Asian cuisine with the ability of controlling weight.
- Maintain healthy digestion
Not only the excellent in controlling weight, the dietary fiber in jungle rice is beneficial for the whole digestive system.
This digestible food is able to maintain bowel movement, so that it is potential to prevent constipation. In addition, the minerals such selenium and manganese is able to protect the gastro intestinal lining by form a shield, so that it is not easily infected.
- Gluten free
Some staple foods with high nutrients contain gluten, such as noodle and bread. As we know, foods with gluten can be allergic for some people. In this case, people need to replace their staple foods with the gluten free food. One of the nutritious filling gluten free foods is jungle rice or samo. The other grain with zero gluten content can be obtained from Health Benefits of Jowar.
We can consider jungle rice as one of the healthy and beneficial staple foods for some reasons. One of the reasons is that it has balanced carbohydrate, protein, and fat. It is just as suggested by the healthy Ayurveda food. The perfect composition of carbohydrate, protein, and fats as the main sources of energy is able to provide us with energy.
In spite of the energy content in jungle rice, it yet still feels light in the digestive tract. The benefits can also be obtained from regular rice with a super food Quinoa, which own the Health Benefits of Rice and Quinoa. Or else, you can try Health Benefits of Sago Rice as the great energy supplier.
- Improve heart health
The dietary fiber in jungle rice is also good to improve the health of the heart. It is possible since the healthy food with high fiber content is able to cut off the bad cholesterol in the blood. As we know, cholesterol is strongly linked with the health of heart. This way, the consumption of jungle rice is able to reduce the risk of heart diseases, such as coronary heart.
- Boost immune system
Samo or jungle rice also contains a good amount of vitamin C. the existence of vitamin A, C, and fiber as the antioxidants in jungle rice is able to prevent many diseases development. The antioxidants are able to combat the attack from free radicals and help eliminating unwanted material in the body.
Here are some other health benefits of jungle rice:
- Prevent aging
- Promote recovery
- Nourish skin
- Recommended for vegan and vegetarian
- Help eliminating digestive problem
- Good for pregnancy
- Prevent chronic diseases
- Improve muscle strength
Recommendation In Cooking Jungle Rice
Most people in India still stick in traditional way of cooking plain jungle rice on a stove. It is possible since they cook jungle rice as a part of their religious habit which begins from long ago. However, today we are able to cook jungle rice in some other ways. We can have the tastier and healthier jungle rice.
First, you can cook it on stove and stuff it with your favorite vegetable and seasoning. First, heat pan and add a teaspoon of butter, or it will be better with ghee. After that, put the seasoning you like for your rice. For example, you can add garlic with pepper or chili. When it is set, add a glass of washed jungle rice. Stir well and pour some water. You can add vegetable after you pour the water. Cover the pan and cook it for about 20 minutes. It will present you’re the healthy and tasty meal.
The second, if you are a busy mother, you might not have enough time to cook only a dish in 20 minute. You are wasting your cooking time.
You need to be simple, quick, but healthy and also tasty. For this problem, you can cook the jungle rice with your microwave or pressure cooker. Just in the same way, you can add some hard vegetable such potato and carrot before you add water and close the lid. The jungle rice will set in just 10 using pressure pan, and 7 minutes using microwave.