Rice as an African Staple

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riceRice was domesticated in Asia about 10,000 years ago. And although its parent species are native to South Asia and certain parts of Africa (particularly around the Niger river), it has become commonplace in many regions around the world. As a stable in many regions of the world, it has fed more people over a longer period of time than has any other crop, making its domestication one of the most important developments in human history.

Africans have been domesticating rice for about 2,500, with the grain becoming a staple around the continent. Although some species of rice are native to the continent, they have been largely replaced by their Asian counterparts, which were introduced by Malayo-Polynesian and Arab colonizers in ancient times. Nevertheless, the grain has been incorporated in many African cuisines, with many–mostly soups and stews–being served with rice. Africa without rice is almost like Ireland without potatoes.

Nutritional Value of Rice

More people depend on rice for their nutrition than they do any other food item. It’s a good source of proteins, phosphorus, iron and Magnesium. It also contains some amounts of calcium. Most of the nutrients and minerals in rice are concentrated in the outer brown layers known as husk and germs. Brown rice only has the husk removed, making it more nutrtious than other types of rice which tend to have more than the husk removed. Despite this, white rice is preferred by consumers my a great margin.

Health Benefits of Rice

According to organicfacts.net, the nutritional value of rice makes it good for indigestion, diarrhea, dysentery, nausea, skin disorders and high blood pressure.