A huge share of the global population eats rice as a basic staple. The Asian, European, and South American nations - all of them have a rice-based cuisine.
In Africa, rice is a sign of food and nutrition security. This is because it’s readily accessible and inexpensive in contrast to vegetables and fruits.
However, considering that rice is obtained from vegetation, does that indicate it is a vegetable? Let's check that out.
Is Rice a Fruit or a Vegetable?
By definition, vegetables are herbs grown as eatable food. They are a common part of a balanced diet. By that rationale, rice may be regarded as a vegetable.
This means not only will rice be seen as a vegetable, but so will papyrus reeds, oranges, etc. They will all then be labeled the same. Yet, nobody in their right mind would ever say they’re vegetables. So, what qualifies as a vegetable? Is rice considered a vegetable by experts? What method of classification excludes items from the vegetable section?
Rice is an edible starch-based cereal crop. It is eaten as a primary meal in many areas of the globe.
As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there seem to be 5 vegetable categories. All vegetables are grouped under them.
There are starch-based vegetables and orange vegetables. Then there are beans and peas, red and dark-green vegetables, along with many others. These vegetables include yams, broccoli, Navy, and pinto beans. Potatoes, kidney beans, onions, peas, romaine lettuce, and lettuce are also among them. In addition, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, spinach, corn, green beans are there too.
All this shows that there are still a lot of plant-based items that are missing from this category. They are grouped in the other food items, including fruits, cereals & grains, and protein.
Or is rice considered as a Grain like wheat?
Rice is classified under grains, much the same as grains, maize, oatmeal, barley, and corn. A healthy balanced diet always includes grains. Experts may separate them into 2 categories – whole and processed.
Brown rice is a type of whole grain. But its white equivalent is extracted from it via grinding. This takes out the shell, bran, and germ parts of the brown grain. The parts taken out are very healthy in dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals. That’s why brown rice is a better food choice than white rice.
So, to sum it all up, rice is not usually considered a vegetable but a type of grain. It is an important component of daily diets for millions around the globe. As per the National Institute of Aging, a healthy diet needs to be balanced. It should have greens, fruit, whole grain, proteins, low-sugar, low-fat, and low-sodium meals.
And more importantly, a modest quantity of rice as well, especially brown rice. Rice can improve your health by assisting in weight reduction, controlling diabetes. It’s also great for keeping healthy blood circulation and improving cardiac health.