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How to Cook Rice to Lower Arsenic Levels

August 26, 2019


[Music] cooking rice in a high water to rice ratio reduces toxic arsenic content meaning if you boil rice like pasta and then drain off the water at the end you can drop arsenic levels in half 50 to 60 percent of the arsenic gets poured down the drain where’s the typical way we make rice boiling the water off like a in a rice cooker pot doesn’t help or may even make things worse if the water you’re using to cook the rice has arsenic in it too a problem that exists for about 3 million Americans is about 8% of public water supplies exceed the current legal arsenic limits but cooking rice and excess water and then discarding efficiently reduces the amount of toxic arsenic in the cooked rice yeah but how much nutrition are you pouring down the drain when you do that we didn’t know until now unpolished brown rice naturally contains nutrients that are lost when the bran layer and germ are removed to make white rice to compensate since the 1940s white Rice’s had vitamins and minerals sprayed on it to quote-unquote enrich it that’s why cooking instructions for white rice specifically say don’t rinse it and cook it in a minimal amount of water in other words the opposite of what you do to get rid of some of the arsenic but brown rice has the nutrients inside not just sprayed on for example rinsing white rice like putting it in a colander under running water removes much of the enriched vitamins sprayed on to the white rice surface during manufacture removing most of the B vitamins but has almost no effect on vitamins in whole grain brown rice because it’s got the nutrition inside same thing with iron rinsing white rice reduces iron levels by like 3/4 but the iron in brown rice is actually in it and so rinsing only reduces the iron concentration in brown rice by like 10% but rinsing didn’t seem to affect the arsenic levels so why bother now if you really wash the rice like agitate the uncooked rice and water for three minutes and then rinse and repeat you may be able to remove about 10 percent of the arsenic and so this research team recommends washing as well as boiling in excess water but enough that 10% is worth the extra wash time but that blowing like pasta and then draining the excess water really does cut way down on the arsenic and while that also takes a whack on the nutrition in white rice the nutrient loss in brown rice is significantly less as is not so much enriched as it is rich in nutrition in the first place cooking brown rice in large amounts of excess water reduces the toxic arsenic by almost 60% and only reduces the iron content by 5% but does reduce the vitamin content of brown rice by about half here it is graphically a quick rinse of brown rice before you cook it doesn’t lower arsenic levels but boiling it instead of cooking to draw and draining off the excess water drops arsenic levels 40% that was using like 6 parts water to one part rice what if you use even more water boiling at 10 to 1 water to rice 60% dropped in arsenic levels with white rice you can rinse off a little arsenic but after cooking you end up with similar final drops in arsenic content but the iron gets wiped out and white rice by rinsing and cooking whereas the iron and brown rice stays strong similar decrements in the B vitamins with cooking for brown and unrest white once you rinse white rice they’re mostly gone before they even make it into the pot what about percolating rice we know regular rice cooking doesn’t help but boiling like pasta and draining does steaming doesn’t do much but what about percolating rice is a radical rethink to optimize arsenic removal so they tried like some mad scientist lab setup but also just a regular off-the-shelf coffee percolator but instead of putting coffee they put rice percolating 20 minutes for white 34 Brown ain’t got about a 60 percent drop in arsenic levels using a 12 to 1 water to rice ratio here’s where the arsenic level started and ended up the squares are the brown rice circles are the white so raw Brown may start out double that of raw white but after cooking with enough excess water and draining they end up much closer though 60% percolating in a 12-1 ratio what’s about what we got boiling at just 10 to 1 so I see no reason to buy a percolator but even with that 60% level what does that mean by boiling and draining a daily serving of rice we could cut excess cancer risk more than half from like 165 times the acceptable cancer risk it’s only like 66 times the acceptable risk [Music] you

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