Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rice and Arsenic

Rice is a staple in many households.  It is considered a healthy, pure food, especially brown rice with its fiber and vitamins.  Yet, arsenic, a cancer causing poison, has been found in our current rice supply.  It is in white rice, rice cakes, rice cereal and in higher amounts in brown rice because the chemical concentrates in the bran.  Rice seems to take up more arsenic from soil than other grains do.  Yet, arsenic is in much of our food supply including fruits, vegetables, chickens and other grains.  Arsenic is also in our water supply, but the amount legally allowed in the drinking water is limited (only a reverse osmosis water purifier can remove it).

Alarming people without some constructive choices is not my style.  First, we can continue to eat rice but limit it to one and a half to two cooked cup servings once or twice a week.  Second, the arsenic level in rice can be decreased to about half by rinsing the rice before cooking and cooking one part rice to six parts water until a desired consistency is reached and draining the excess water.  Finally, not all rice products have the same levels of arsenic, so educate yourself with a list that has been compiled by Consumer Reports.

When there are so many toxins and contaminants we are exposed to daily, it is easy to get overwhelmed.  People can react by getting very severe by eating nothing and moving to a low population area, or people can react by ignoring the toxins since it is so prevalent.  The middle course is to educate yourself and try to avoid the really harmful threats and limit the other ones the best you can.  In Ayurveda, the goal is balance.  Fresh, pure food is best, but being stressed and judgmental will offset the benefit of pure food.  Illness can be brought on by physical factors, but it can also be brought on by having a weakness of spirit.  Being conscious and educated arms you to make the best choices for yourself and your family. 

Stay healthy & well,
Lisa

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