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Wild Rice Benefits, Nutrition

Most of us tend to avoid white rice, when we are trying to lose weight and stay fit. For the sake of cutting down on intake of calories and carbohydrates, rice-lovers need not completely eliminate this food grain from their diets. Health experts generally advise weight watchers about the various benefits of eating wild rice, instead of polished rice. Contrary to what the name suggests, however, wild rice is not really a type of rice. It is actually the seed of a certain marsh grass, mainly found in the Great Lakes area.
While white rice is a refined grain, it can be regarded as a whole grain. It is, therefore, an important part of a well-balanced diet.

What are the different wild rice health benefits?

Choose wild rice over other refined grains, and enjoy the many health benefits of this grain. Some of the most common wild rice benefits are listed below:
  • The number of calories present in one serving of wild rice is lower than other cereals. It could, therefore, help you maintain healthy body weight.  
  •  According to the USDA and most other food pyramids, we should consume between 6 to 10 servings of whole grains. Consuming wild rice could ensure that you get the required nutrients, without packing on the pounds. Wild rice is low in calories, fat and sugar, but contains a good amount of important nutrients, vitamins and minerals, which include Vitamin B, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, fiber and protein.
  • People who are on a restrictive diet because of health problems are usually advised to eat wild rice, as it does not contain cholesterol, sodium or gluten. In fact, studies indicate that people could reduce their risks of health conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and obesity by consuming wild rice regularly.

Wild rice is not easily available in stores at all times, which is probably why it is a lot more expensive as compared to many other rice varieties. Unlike white rice, wild rice takes almost an hour or so to cook. Often referred to, as the “Caviar of all grains”, wild rice has a slight nutty flavor to it. There are several benefits of eating wild rice regularly, yet it is important that you consult a doctor before adding this food grain to your diet. Also read about brown rice diet

Wild Rice Nutrition

It is better to get acquainted with wild rice nutritional facts before you decide to add it to your daily diet or recommend it to a friend. Listed below are the nutritional facts for a cup (around 165 grams) of cooked wild rice:
  • Calories: 166 cal
  • Calories from fat: 5 cal
  • Total fat: 0.6 g (1%)
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
  • Sodium: 5 mg (0%)
  • Total carbs: 35.0 g (12%)
  • Dietary fiber: 3.0 g (12%)
  • Sugars: 1.2 g
  • Protein: 6.5 g

Nutrients in Wild Rice

Wild rice is loaded with various nutrients and micronutrients. Given below are the cooked wild rice nutritional values (based on a 2000–calorie-a-day diet), for one cup or 165 grams:
  • Folate: 21%  
  • Iron: 7%
  • Magnesium: 13%
  • Manganese: 17%
  • Niacin: 11%
  • Phosphorus: 11%
  • Zinc: 15%


Most diabetics restrict their intake of rice, in order to control the levels of sugar in their bodies. However, it is not necessary for diabetics to avoid all types of rice completely. Many dietitians recommend the use of wild rice for diabetics, instead of regular, polished rice. This healthy food grain can be consumed in several different ways. You could serve your meat, vegetables or gravy over a bed of wild rice. Alternately, wild rice can be used in pilaf, biryani or fried rice. Some people just enhance the flavor and texture of their dishes by adding wild rice to their salad, soup, casserole or even stuffing. Given below is a recipe using wild rice for diabetics:

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup:


  • ¼ Cup of chopped carrots
  • ¼ Cup of chopped celery
  • ¼ Teaspoon dry thyme
  • ½ Onion, finely chopped
  • ½ Cup chicken or vegetable broth (fat-free and low-sodium)
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 Cup cooked wild rice
  • 2 Tablespoons of flour
  • 2½ Cup of fresh white mushrooms, sliced
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Take a large pot and bring it to a medium heat, before pouring in the olive oil. Add the carrots, celery and onions and cook them, for a few minutes.
  2. Once the vegetables are tender, add the sliced mushrooms and broth. Bring the soup to a boil and cover the pot with a lid.
  3. In a bowl, blend the flour with pepper and thyme. Once that is done, add the cooked wild rice to the bowl
  4. Pour the rice mixture into the pot of soup. Cook the rice with the soup and veggies for a few minutes, on a medium heat.
  5. Once the soup has thickened to the desired consistency, take it off the fire.
  6. Serve immediately

Weight Loss:

If you happen to be a rice lover, you need not eliminate your favorite food from your diet plan, just because you are trying to lose weight. However, instead of eating polished white rice, which has been stripped of its nutrients, you could opt for wild rice, as it contains complex carbs and belongs to the low glycemic index foods list. Apart from enabling you to lose weight, wild rice also reduces the risks of diabetes and heart problems.


It is a well-known fact that body builders need to eat a high amount of protein rich foods, in order to build their muscles. At the same time, they also need to eat foods that contain carbs, so that they get the surge of energy required to workout. Simple carbs and sugar may provide the body with energy for a short while, but they usually bring on an energy-crash Body builders should consume foods that are high in complex carbs, which will help them feel energetic for a longer period of time. Wild rice is an excellent addition to any body builder’s diet, because it is high in complex carbs and protein. Moreover, wild rice can be consumed with other high protein foods like chicken, turkey, beans, meat, cottage cheese, and so on, making it an ideal choice for body builders. There are several recipes for soup, snacks, salads, main course, using wild rice for bodybuilders, easily available through books and online resources.


Candidiasis, or Candida, is a condition that occurs because of an overgrowth of the Candida Albicans fungus in the body. Under normal circumstances, Candida cells are present in the mouth, intestines, vagina and several other organs, without causing any problem. However, an overgrowth of the yeast-like fungus could lead to infections, fatigue, weakness and digestive disorders. Fortunately, most cases of Candida can be treated using medication and home remedies. It is also essential to follow a Candida-diet while recovering from an infection. Foods that contain yeast, processed food, sweets and red meats should be strictly avoided. Instead, people suffering from a Candida overgrowth should eat high amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Wild rice, being a nutritious whole grain, is excellent for people suffering from Candida. While using wild rice for Candida treatment, however, it is important to ensure that the food is consumed in moderate quantities only. An excess of wild rice could lead to further problems.

Submitted on January 16, 2014