Lots of tests confirmed that there is a high content of arsenic in the conventional foods. This compound is detrimental for our health and can lead to different health issues like cancer and heart disease. It has been included in foods that we consume daily in high amounts, and rice is one of the foods which is richest in arsenic.
These are the negative effects:
Arsenic is a natural mineral that appears in 2 forms, organic and inorganic. He first one can be found in the Earth’s crust and is less toxic. It is released in the environment in many ways including the use of poultry fertilizers and pesticides. It is present in water and soil as well, thus it enters directly into the foods that absorb the nutrients like rice.
Depending on the growing method the inorganic content of arsenic in rice varies:
- The white basmati rice that comes from California, Pakistan, and India includes around half of the inorganic arsenic of all the other types of rice.
- All of the types of rice from Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana contain inorganic arsenic, except quick cooking and sushi.
- There is around 80% of inorganic arsenic in brown rice than some typed of white rice because this mineral is absorbed in the fibrous outer layer that is discarded to make white rice.
- The rice which is organically grown absorbs arsenic in the same amount and way, thus the “organic rice” is not a safer option.
This mineral is carcinogenic and its exposure can cause risks of different types of cancer like skin, lung, bladder, and many more. Constant exposure has been connected to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, damages to the health of pregnant women and fetuses (because it weakens the immune system and is a hostile utero environment).
The health community discussed the issues. The USA Rice Foundation said that white or brown rice included in the diet provide health benefits which overweight the potential risks connected to exposure to trace the arsenic levels. The FDA did not confirm this, however. On the contrary, they stated the negative effects and risks of arsenic exposure. There is no official limit of arsenic and its presence in the products, but the FDA suggested an “action level” proposal for arsenic discovered in juice.
There were great efforts made by the FDA Consumer Reports to regulate the levels of this carcinogenic food, thus 1 year ago, the FDA announced that they believe the biggest set or test findings show that the products of rice contain high arsenic levels. They even had a plan to release an official draft assessment in order to estimate the potential threats that are imposed by the arsenic exposure in conventional food. You are also able to choose to consume other grains that have reduced levels or no arsenic at all.
This list will help you avoid or reduce the consumption of arsenic, and help you follow a healthier diet. The following are the healthiest grains that do not contain or have negligible levels of arsenic:
- Polenta or grits;
Trick to reduce arsenic levels
If you cannot completely eliminate rice from your diet, then you should try this trick. Rinse raw rice with 6 cups of water on a cup of rice before you cook it. Drain the water afterwards. Some of the nutritional value may be lost, however, the most important thing is that you will remove around 30% of the inorganic arsenic.