Ever heard of bamboo rice and the health benefits of Bamboo rice? Well not the paddy grain that is infused with bamboo juice, but the real bamboo rice.
Bamboos live for around 50 to 60 years and when they flower, it is understood that they are ready to die. Yes! Bamboo plants flower only once in their life time and then after fruiting they go into senescence, or death. Thus it becomes necessary for it to pack in all its energy and nutrients required to carry on its generations for next 60 years.
5 Health Benefits Of Bamboo Rice
Bamboo seeds are nutrient rich and replace paddy in many tribal villages of western ghats and the north east. In fact the protein content of Bamboo seed is higher than that of rice and wheat.
Other than protein the rice also has carbohydrates, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and B6, minerals calcium, iron and phosphorus, and fibre. This makes the rice highly nutritive especially to small children because of the immediate release of energy it gives.
- Enhances Fertility
The health benefit of bamboo rice is studied extensively in the Kani tribes of Kanyakumari. The study has reported that consumption of the rice is beneficial in the reproductive ability and fertility of the tribe.
2. Controls rheumatic pain and joint pain
Since bamboo rice is rich in calcium, bone health is maintained and pains related to joins, rheumatism, arthritis and backbone are controlled.
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3. Controls Diabetes
The glycemic index of the rice is low and hence diabetes is controlled. It also is a rich source of phosphorus and iron, which makes sure that your heart is healthy and controls heart enlargement.
3. Lowers Cholesterol Level
There is not fat in bamboo seeds. The carbohydrates that is present also increase the blood glucose level in a slow pace, this helps in reducing cholesterol accumulation. Burning fat that is already accumulated is also possible because of this low glycemic index.
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4. High Phosphorus content
Bamboo seeds contain about 218 mg % of phosphorus in them which is quite a commendable amount for any rice.
Phosphorus plays a vital role in
- formation of bones and teeth.
- also determines how the body uses carbohydrates and fats
- helps body to accumulate more protein for growth maintenance and repair of vital organs and tissues.
- Combines with B vitamins to make sure, kidney function, muscle contraction, heart beat and nerve signaling are normal.
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5. Regulates Blood Pressure
Consuming the rice regularly keeps your blood pressure in the normal range by maintaining the mineral constituents in the body. Iron, calcium and phosphorus act simultaneously in keeping the heart and brain coordination working in unison.
What Is Bamboo Rice ?
Bamboo belongs to the grass family and its inflorescence is similar to other grasses such as wheat, rice and so on. The seeds of bamboo also look very similar in size and shape of the paddy rice. These seeds are the bamboo rice. It is exactly like any other rice variety however bamboo rice or Mulayari as it also called are found to be extremely nutritious.
The nutrition basically is because of the long time it takes for the plant to produce inflorescence. The rice a little chewy when cooked is studied to provide the best nutrition for children and adults too
In deep Indian forests you would see bamboo plants growing in clusters. These plants are sturdy and grow to 8 ft tall some even taller and just as any other grass is juicy.
In fact ayurveda uses bamboo juice for its health benefits against asthma, cough and to cleanse liver. For reaping the benefits of bamboo juice you will need to use a young plant. Young bamboo shoots also have health benefits.
Bamboo shoot is taken as food in many parts of India for the medicinal property of bamboo shoots.
The Bamboo flowers are whitish red in colour and bear 1/3rd inch sized seeds which look like barley seeds and are green in colour initially. It is called as Moongil arisi in Tamil.
How Does Bamboo Rice Look?
If you were to visit Wayanad Sanctuary in Kerala you would not miss the site of young children and women of the tribes who reside there collecting rice from below every bamboo grove you cross. For this they will clear the area around the grove, some even spread a clean cloth around the grove and let the bamboo rice fall on it.
Bamboo rice a minor forest product in these areas and the indigenous tribes are given rights to collect them. This Mulayarisi or moongil arisi forms the main source of income to these tribes and also serves as their major source of nutrition.
Bamboo rice is green in colour and small tiny rice shaped seeds when harvested. Just like any other grain, these are dried to make sure the extra moisture is removed so that it would easy to store. Once dried these grains become slightly wheatish in colour.
Is Bamboo Rice Different From Other Rice?
To look at Bamboo rice is very similar to paddy rice. Raw rice tastes like wheat but does not have gluten. There is a light pungency in the smell of these seeds, however they are sweet to taste.
When cooked the rice become a little bit sticky and is chewy when consumed. The process of cooking is very similar to any other rice and can be consumed in place of rice with dal or sambar, Banbooo rice kheer is a special savoury prepared on auspicious occasions, Bamboo rice pongal or kichdi also tastes awesome.
Can You Give Bamboo Rice To Children?
The health benefits are so many that it has proven to be a very good supplement for children, mainly due to the high nutritive value. The rice helps children in the following ways
- High in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals hence make the child energetic.
- detoxes the vital organs and helps to boost the functionality of every organ.
- Improves appetite and cures indigestion.
- relieves pain and stops any kind of bone disease from arising
- helps in development and strengthening of the bones and muscles
- helps in teeth development and maintains oral health
Easy Bamboo Rice Recipes For Kids
The bamboo rice becomes sticky when cooked as you do the other normal cereals and millets, hence it is necessary to know exactly what kind of preparation would be suitable with this rice.
Easy Bamboo Rice Powder Porridge
Clean the bamboo rice and powder it, this is the easiest form of consumption, especially for children.
Make porridge using this rice powder and give your child every morning, works like magic with the children in increasing weight, alertness as well as becoming more active.
How to make Bamboo Rice Powder Porridge?
- Take one spoon of the rice powder and mix it with half a cup of cold water to make it into a slurry.
- boil 1 cup of water, add the slurry to the boiling water
- using a laddle blend them well and stir away quickly till the rice powder gets cooked.
- Add jaggery, castor sugar or palm sugar according to your kids taste.
- give a few more whisks and remove from heat.
- your easy bamboo powder porridge is ready.
Bamboo Rice Sweet Porridge /Kheer
- Bamboo rice : 1/4 cup
- Milk : 1/2 L
- Sugar : as per your taste
- Coconut milk thick : 1 cup
- Ghee : 1tsp
- Cashew : 4-5
- Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Pressure cook in 3/4 cup of water for 6 whistles and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Boil milk in a thick bottomed vessel. Add the cooked rice to it and continue heating till the milk is reduced to half its quantity.
- Add the coconut sugar and coconut milk. Continue heating for another 10 minutes.
- Fry the cashew in ghee and add to kheer.
- Serve hot or cold.
Bamboo Rice Khichdi /pongal
- Bamboo rice : 1 cup
- Moong dal : 1/3 cup
- Water : 3 cups
- Ghee : 1 tbsp
- Pepper : 1 tsp
- Cumin : 1 tsp
- Ginger : 1 tsp finely chopped
- Cashew : 5-6
- Curry leaves : 4-5
- Hing : a pinch
- Salt : as needed
- Wash and soak the bamboo rice for 30 minutes. Pressure cook the mixture of rice and dal in 3 cups of water for about 6 whistles and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add salt and hing to the cooked rice. Heat ghee in a kadai and fry all the remaining ingredients in the order given. Add them to the rice and mix well.
- Serve hot with coconut chutney.
You can also make sticky bamboo rice and have it with fish curry, mutton curry or some spicy Indian curries, this will up for the stickiness.
You can also try these recipes with other rices like the black rice, budha rice or the red rice