Don’t be mistaken sago rice with tapioca though some people out there thought they are the same thing. Sago rice is a type of staple food derived from the center of certain varieties of palm tree while tapioca is extracted from cassava root. So, in summary they are totally different things though the starchy substance usually used as substitute to each other. However, if what you need is the health benefits of sago rice, even tapioca cannot substitute it.
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What is Sago Rice?
Sago rice is very popular among Asian people than the Western people. Sago rice is usually offered in the form of pearls or small balls made from sago powder which derived from inside the trunks of some varieties of palm tree especially sago palm which has scientific name Metroxylon sagu which is widely found in New Guinea. Sago rice is also well known as sagu or rabia.
Right now sago rice is commercially cultivated in some part of Southeast Asia especially Malaysia and Indonesia because sago has been part of Asian people’ culinary recipes since ancient time and consumed as staple foods, while in Europe or other western countries, sago is only used for cooking purpose. There are some popular cuisines from Southeast Asia well known made from sago such as Papeda from Maluku and New Guinea and sago is also one the main ingredients of famous Palembang’s cuisine called Pempek. Brunei also has its own signature dish made from sago well known as Ambuyat. Sago is not only commercially offered as sago rice but also sago noodles, sago are also one of the main ingredients of a beverage widely known as bubble tea.
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Nutritional Value of Sago
Serving Size: 100 grams
|Dietary Fiber||0.5 g|
|Total Fat||Less than 2 grams|
|Potassium||Sago rice may be lacking of several minerals but there are enough trace of potassium and copper found in sago.|
|Folic Acid||Some vitamins found in sago are only some traces of folic acids and vitamin B complex.|
|Vitamin B Complex|
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From the table mentioned above you may say that sago rice is lacking of some vitamins and minerals but don’t take it for granted because in some countries, sago is essential staple foods. Some health benefits of sago rice mentioned below may open your eyes how important the role of sago rice in supporting world’s food campaign.
- Excellent Solution to Gain Weight
Though there are a lot of people out there who are striving to lose weight but there must be the time when you need to gain weight fast after illness. From the nutritional table above you could see how much calories you could get from sago rice. Yes, it is true that per 100 gram serving of sago rice, you could get at least 350 calories that could be an excellent solution to gain weight. So, if it is what you really need, why don’t you change your current staple food with sago rice for a while?
- Lowering Blood Pressure
There is no easy way to deal with blood pressure but sago rice may be beneficial in this matter. One of the effective ways to lowering and managing blood pressure is by consuming foods rich of potassium. Luckily the amount of potassium found in sago rice is quite high. Potassium will help your body removing the excessive sodium in your blood stream that is harmful for your cardiovascular health and the main factor that could cause the blood pressure. Moreover, potassium has been well known as excellent vasodilator which main function is relaxing the blood vessels and decrease the pressure in heart.
- Great for Digestive System
You have problem with your digestion perhaps you could consider sago rice as the choice of staple food. Some studies have suggested consuming sago rice for those who have weak stomach. It is because, according to those studies, sago rice is much easier to digest compared to other types of staple foods. So, you won’t face conditions like constipation anymore because the starchy texture will help improving the movement inside your bowel to support optimal metabolism.
- Excellent Energy Booster
Well, surely you have known that foods that are rich of calories are excellent energy booster and sago rice is no exception. The 350 calories per 100 gram are enough calories to provide energy you need to do activities all day. However, you should know as well that calories may great for energy booster but if those calories are not used as energy, the effect is weight gain because those calories will be stocked as fat cells. In other words, if you want to add sago rice as your daily staple food for its energy, just make sure that you really need that energy to do activities.
- Helps Maintaining Bone Density
There are a lot of studies that stated only foods rich of minerals are great for bones. Well, perhaps that statement is not quite true because actually to promote bone density you just need certain amount of minerals like iron, copper and calcium. As long as you could find those combinations in food are enough to help maintaining your bone density. Simple example is those minerals found in sago rice are not quite high but enough to promote bone density.
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- Improve Muscle Endurance
If you currently in an intensive workout program, adding sago rice to your diet is highly recommended. It is because sago rice could help improving your muscle endurance during a workout. During a workout, your muscles are usually forced to work beyond its limit since it is the point of workout. Some studies showed that sago rice contains some organic compounds that could accelerate the muscle recovery and repair them while at the same time is supporting their growth as well.
- Highly Recommended Diet during Pregnancy
Modern research studies always associate the successful of pregnancy with the amount of folic acid consumed by mothers during pregnancy. It is because folic acid is the key role to the development of brain cells and nerve systems. Folic acid found in sago rice is quite high and enough to fulfill the pregnant mothers’ daily intake. Furthermore, folic acid could prevent baby born with neural birth defect and it has been proven and recommended by many experts.
- Great for Nerve System
As mentioned in point number seven that folic acid found in sago rice is the key role to optimal development of nerve system in fetus. However, some experts also said that the same thing applies to adult as well. Furthermore, though sago rice is not so rich of minerals but it contains potassium which could act as electrolyte to balance the fluid in your body. Some studies said that electrolytes are also essential to for nerve system because it could affect the nerve system significantly.
- Promotes the Production of Red Blood Cells
The deficiency of iron could lead to certain health conditions because iron is essential to the production of red blood cells. From the nutritional value table you could see that the amount of minerals found in sago rice is not really high but the amount of iron is enough to promote better circulation in your body. Normal pace of blood circulation will lead to optimal body metabolism and oxygen will be maximally distributed to body cells.
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Cautions of Sago Rice
Sago rice is considered as staple foods with excellent source of energy. That’s why sago rice is quite popular in country with food crisis problem. So, if sago rice is not your typical staple foods there are some cautions you should aware of before you decided to add sago rice to your daily diet though the health benefits of sago rice mentioned above said otherwise.
- Surely you have known that sago rice is an excellent source of carbohydrate and calories. If your goal is to gain weight, adding sago rice to your daily diet is an excellent idea but if you are currently struggling to lose weight, avoiding sago rice at all cost is much more recommended.
- The starchy textures of sago rice may be a bit difficult to consume by some people. So, if you are not really familiar with the texture, you should be careful in consuming it or you could get chocked. That’s why, sago rice is not recommended to be consumed by children younger than 5 years old because the effect could be really fatal if they choke.
- Sago rice may be rich of carbohydrate but it is lacking some important nutrients like protein and minerals. So, if you are about to serve it to your family, you should really creative with the additional foods to make sure the daily intake of other nutrients are fulfilled.
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In summary you could say that sago rice is not for everyone because even not everyone is eating rice or whole wheat. It means, sago rice may be beneficial for some people in some regions but even you could enjoy all the health benefits of sago rice as mentioned above, for example when you need rapid weight gain, you could consume sago rice or when you think you need excellent energy booster, adding sago rice to your breakfast may help, however just be creative with the side dishes to make sure you get enough nutrients in daily basis.