Ofada rice is a type of local brown rice grown in Nigeria which is unpolished and not genetically modified.
Rice is the primary staple food in Nigeria eaten every day, but the most common rice is the polished rice which has gone through many processes of redefining before it is ready to be sold.
The reason many people prefer polished rice (white rice) to the locally-made unpolished rice (Ofada) rice in Nigeria is the stress they go through in picking the latter before cooking it, compared to the polished rice which is very clean and ready for boiling and also can be prepared in less than 20 minutes compared to the unpolished rice.
Not many people know that the unpolished rice has more health benefits than polished rice. Ofada rice is local rice produced in Nigeria; it is short and has brown stripes before cultivating without chemicals, grown in Ogun State.
Ofada rice emits a unique aroma when cooking, it is self-preserving and one of the foods that add value to the lives of health-conscious people including those who have diabetes and has been warned not to eat rice.
According to food experts , during a summit for farmers in Ogun state, both the white and brown rice contain similar amounts of energy- carbohydrates and protein, Ofada rice, however, contains higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.
The cellulose of Ofada rice not only increases the fibre content but also includes a variety of colour pigments that are beneficial for health.
Here are some health benefits of Ofada rice.
1. Good for bone health
Essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and folate are in Ofada rice. They also help in the absorption of other bone health nutrients required to nurture your bones and prevent bone diseases.
2. Boosts your immunity
The presence of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, C, and E help to make the body stronger and increase the immune system strong against certain diseases. Ofada rice also contains three times more vitamin B# and ten times more vitamin B1 and B6 than white rice.
3. Lowers bad cholesterol levels
The high amount of dietary fibres in Ofada reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol levels which are responsible for excessive weight gain due to insulin resistance.
4. Contains a lot of antioxidants
The amount of antioxidants in Ofada rice is 20-30 times more than that in white rice. Antioxidants help to prevent the damage to the system caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules produced in your cells during your metabolism which could cause healthy cells to mutate. Intake of foods and drinks that can neutralise these free radicals are highly encouraged.
5. Fights diabetes
Due to the cellulose and fibre content of Ofada rice, it is suitable for calorie management in health conditions such as diabetes.
6. Prevents constipation
A healthy digestive system is a good thing. Ofada rice contains a whole lot of dietary fibre which fight constipation, diarrhoea, bloating and other gastrointestinal cancers such as gastric ulcers.
7. IT REDUCES BREAST CANCER RISK
SUITABLE Phyto nutrient lignin contents help in defending against breast cancer and heart disease. A study on senior women proved that eating whole grain food such as unpolished rice increases the level of Enterolactone, associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer.
8. IT PREVENTS HEART DISEASE
Being high in fibre, it helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. Ofada rice lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of plaque build-up in the arteries, thereby helping to prevent the development of heart disease.
9. IT PROTECTS AGAINST COLON CANCER
It contains selenium, which has been shown to reduce the likelihood of colon cancer. The high amount of fibre in the rice accelerates the transit of cancer-causing chemicals in the gastrointestinal tract and thus can help protect against colon cancer.
10. IT MAINTAINS A HEALTHY NERVOUS SYSTEM
Ofada rice is rich in magnesium which is necessary for a healthy nervous system. The nutrient also aids in the production of sex hormones by synthesising fatty acids and producing cholesterontain health bones.
One cup of Ofada rice provides nearly 21 per cent of the recommended daily intake of magnesium. Magnesium is also for the absorption of calcium. Another essential nutrient for bone health.