Ofada rice the super food
I remember my first encounter with the local ofada rice was not very pleasant, as a 9 year old visiting my grandmother expecting the usual delicious jollof rice she would typically prefer for my brothers and I, we were presented with an off white, short, and fat looking rice that had a funny smell. I was not impressed with what she presented to us but as a well behaved granddaughter I had to eat it, I vowed to never go near that rice ever again. Needless to say I have to bite my tongue now.
Rice is a major staple food in Nigeria and it is eaten almost every day in every household. Often, you hear people say I can eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. It’s safe to say we are rice lovers. Polished rice is the most common; it has gone through many processes and as a result loses most of its nutritional value.
The reason many people prefer the polished rice (white rice) to the locally-made unpolished rice (Ofada) rice in Nigeria is the stress one has to 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 cooked in less than 20 minutes compared to the unpolished rice.
Ofada rice is a local rice produced in Nigeria, it is short and has brown stripes. It is cultivated without chemicals, and is mostly planted in Ogun state part of Nigeria. Ofada rice has so many health benefits in comparison to the polished white rice, and so many people are unaware of its benefits. Ofada rice however, contains higher amounts of vitamins and minerals, the cellulose of Ofada rice not only increases the fibre content but also contains a variety of colour pigments that is beneficial for health.
Ofada rice is so nutritious that it can be categorized under wild rice because of its high fiber content; it keeps your digestion smooth and helps lower cholesterol. Ofada rice is a good source of essential minerals such as phosphorus, zinc and folate, which give you energy and nurture your bones. Vitamins A, C and E are essential for overall health and immunity.
As mentioned above, it boasts of an impressive amount of dietary fiber. Asides from optimizing your cholesterol balance, fiber also bulks up your stool and eases your digestive process. By facilitating peristalsis, dietary fiber can help you eliminate constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, cramping, and excess flatulence, as well as more serious gastrointestinal concerns, such as colorectal cancer, gastric ulcers, and haemorrhoids.
It is a low-calorie and gluten-free food, Ofada rice can help those who are attempting to lose weight and prevent obesity. Unlike white rice, which can bulk up your diet and actually lead to gain weight, Ofada rice has a different effect, by preventing overeating due to high fiber and nutrient content, without supplying a high level of empty calories.
Other important benefits you can derive from Ofada rice are the impressive level of antioxidants. White rice typically has no antioxidant capacity, but Ofada rice contains 20-30 times more antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause healthy cells to mutate or turn cancerous. This includes the free radicals that accumulate in the skin and can contribute to signs of aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, and slower healing of blemishes. This is also true for the ocular cells, and antioxidants can prevent macular degeneration and the onset of cataracts. If you want to feel and act younger for years to come, then add Ofada rice to your diet!