Is Arsenic in Rice Safe?

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Arsenic In Rice

Is Arsenic in Rice Safe?

Do you know that Arsenic is the world’s most toxic substance? It is found in many of our food items. The increasing pollution is the main cause behind the increasing levels of arsenic content in foods and now it is found in high levels in rice, the staple food in most of the countries. Arsenic is of two types, organic and inorganic arsenic. Organic arsenic is usually found in plant and animal tissues while inorganic arsenic is found in soil and rocks. It is found in the water as well. The inorganic arsenic levels, the most toxic form are increasing in food due to pollution especially rice.

Arsenic In Rice

Arsenic in Diet:

Below is a list of foods in which it is present in high quantities.

  1. Contaminated water

  2. Seafood such as shellfish, shrimps, fish etc.

  3. Mussels and few types of seaweeds

  4. Rice based foods such as rice, rice milk, rice bran, cereal, crackers, brown rice syrup, cereal bars, etc.

Why Rice Consists of So Much Arsenic?

Arsenic levels are different in different areas. These are well present in the soil, water and rocks. Through these sources, it enters the food chain accumulating in plants in animals. These days pollution has increased due to human activities as a result of which the levels of this toxic element have increased rapidly. This toxic element is present highly in pesticides, herbicides, wood preservatives, industrial wastes, etc. The element is present in the ground water through which it reaches the wells and from there the crops.

Among all the types, paddy rice is the most susceptible one due to few reasons. It is grown in the paddy fields that require more water and this water contains more arsenic. If this arsenic gets accumulated in the soil, the problems become worse as a result of which rice absorbs the element from both water and soil. If the cooking water also consists of arsenic, then it becomes worst.

arsenic-in-food-rice-chickens

The Health Concerns:

  1. High levels of arsenic in body can cause adverse health effects and even death.

  2. It can cause chronic diseases such as cancer, narrowing of blood vessels or vascular disease, hypertension, heart disease, type – 2 diabetes, and many more.

  3. It can also affect the functioning of brain especially in children. It can affect learning and concentration capabilities, reduction in memory and intelligence, etc. Sometimes it can happen in foetus resulting in birth defects.

So, it is clear that arsenic can have adverse effects on your health especially to Asians.

How to Reduce its Toxicity by Reducing Arsenic in Rice?

It is very important to reduce the arsenic content levels in the rice you eat. With few steps and precautions you can do it at home.

  1. Reduce the content by not using water rich in arsenic. Use only clean water to cook your rice. This will reduce arsenic content up to 57%.

  2. Use more water instead of less water to cook the rice.

  3. Before cooking, it is essential to wash it well. It will eliminate up to 28% of this element.

  4. Brown rice consists of more arsenic compared to white rice. So if you eat more quantity of rice, then prefer white rice over brown rice.

  5. Aromatic rice such as jasmine or basmati is better than the other types.

  6. Get the rice from North India or Himalayan region. This is because these areas are lesser prone to arsenic.

  7. Say no to rice grown in dry season since more arsenic rich water is used at this time.

  8. Eat different types of food but not only one type. Don’t let rice dominate all the other type of foods. Eat it in moderate quantity.

RiceYou can take proper precautions and follow simple logic to avoid arsenic reach your rice and prevent the toxic element get into your body and harm you.

Hope this article on ‘Is Arsenic in Rice Safe’ is helpful.

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