Whether you’re a proponent of the raw diet or you simply love the crunchy feel of it in your mouth, eating raw rice can be detrimental to your health. At first, it may seem as though that there is nothing wrong with this habit of yours. Raw rice, after all, comes from nature so it should be devoid of health-damaging chemicals that are commonly found in so many of today’s processed food products and fast food meals. While this is an absolute truth, the fact remains that eating uncooked rice is not at all as healthy as you would like think it is.
Some grains may be eaten raw without causing alarm on your part. However, there are also those that are simply not suited for consumption uncooked, and rice is one of them. Together with other types of grains that are unsuited for you to eat raw, according to the experts, consuming rice without cooking it first can actually cause a variety of problems.
Rice, just like many other grains and vegetables, is coated by a protective substance called cellulose. It is there to shield rice grains from anything that can damage them. Unfortunately, your digestive tract is not equipped with the means to digest cellulose. With the cellulose intact, your body is unable to enjoy the nutritive content of rice. A way to breakdown this protective substance called cellulose? Cook rice before consuming them.
Ingestion of Bacteria
Food is cooked not only to make it easier to digest and cause its various nutrients trouble-free for the body to absorb, but also to kill microbes. One type of bacterium found in a lot of uncooked foods that you should be particularly wary of is bacillus cereus.
Some strains of this bacterium tend to compete with the friendly bacteria in your gut that keep the number of the bad ones in check. Other strains of bacillus cereus are downright bad for you. For instance, there is a strain in raw rice that may cause nausea and vomiting. Experts say that these ill effects may be encountered within 24 hours after the consumption of uncooked rice with the particular bacterium’s strain.
Ingestion of a Natural Insecticide
Rice and various other grains as well as beans have their own insecticide called lectin. A type of protein, lectin is actually known as one of the leading causes of food poisoning. Exposing foods to high temperature can cause this natural insecticide to get destroyed, thus rendering it harmless when consumed.
Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may be encountered upon the consumption of raw rice with lectin. This natural form of insecticide may also prevent the damaged cells of the digestive tract from being repaired. The ill effects of lectin on your body do not end there. According to the experts, it is associated with the development of problems such as diabetes, Celiac disease and even colorectal cancer!
Associated with Pica
Pica is a condition wherein an individual has the desire or compulsion to eat non-food or non-nutritive substances. Some people with it tend to have the appetite to consume the likes of hair, sand, paint and paper. There are instances when those afflicted with pica opt for uncooked ingredients such as flour, salt and rice.
One of the reasons why pica occurs, according to the experts, is deficiency in certain minerals such as zinc and iron. Such can be observed most especially in pregnant women, brought about the fact that there are growing fetuses within them that take from the nutrients in the food they eat. There are also instances when pica is due to the pleasure obtained by having certain types of textures in the mouth.