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- National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Folate
- Linus Pauling Institute: Thiamin
- National Institute of Health: Iron
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Rice is a staple food in many diets across the globe. It is believed that the discovery of rice dates back from 3000 BC India, where it was discovered growing in the wild. White rice is stripped of the germ and bran layers and fortified with vitamins. White rice contains certain vitamins and minerals which can be a healthy addition to any diet. It can be enjoyed plain, with beans and vegetables, or in sushi and soups, chili and stews.
White rice is fortified with folic acid. According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, folic acid, also known as folate, helps produce and maintain new cells, makes DNA and RNA and helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer 13. Folic acid is an important nutrient for women of child-baring age as it can reduce the risk of spina bifida formation in an unborn fetus during the first few weeks following conception.
Thiamin, also known as vitamin B1, is a water soluble vitamin present in white rice. Water soluble vitamins should be consumed in your daily diet since any excess is excreted in your urine on a daily basis and not stored by the body. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, a thiamin deficiency affects the cardiovascular, nervous, muscular and gastrointestinal systems 2.
White rice contains a rich source of iron. Almost two-thirds of iron in the body is found in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues with smaller amounts found in myoglobin, a protein that helps supply oxygen to muscle, and in enzymes that assist biochemical reactions, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements 13. A diet deficient in iron can lead to the development of iron deficiency anemia.
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