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DA-PhilRice highlights healthier rice in nutrition month celebration

NUEVA ECIJA -- As the country celebrates this year’s nutrition month, the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) iterates the importance of consuming healthy and nutritious rice.

To promote healthier rice, the Institute will serve brown or unpolished rice in its cafeteria for free every Monday of July.

“Brown rice is nutritionally superior to white or polished rice as it has more fiber, protein, vitamin E, B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin), and minerals (iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, zinc, and selenium),” Dr. Marissa Romero, food scientist based in DA-PhilRice, said.

She added that based on clinical studies, regular consumption of whole grain cereals, including brown rice, may help reduce the risks of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. It may also reduce cholesterol, promote regular bowel movement, and aid in weight control.

Brown rice congee, champorado, and other rice-based snack foods are offered in their CommuNutri pantry. Other healthier rice like rice togue, which is rich in gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), and rice mélange, a blend of white, black, and red rice, are distributed, along with nutritious fruits and vegetables harvested from Palayamanan farm.

The 2021 Nutrition Month theme, “Malnutrisyon patuloy na labanan, first 1,000 days tutukan!” emphasizes the importance of proper nutrition early on in life.

“The first 1,000 days of a child is considered the golden window of opportunity for nutrition interventions because this is when the foundations of optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment are established, which will affect a person’s entire life,” Romero explained.

 She stressed that the vulnerable pregnant and lactating women who often face nutrient inadequacy should be encouraged to have a diverse and balanced diet, as their nutritional status not only affects their health, but also that of their babies.

 “All sectors of society must be aware of the nutritional quality of rice and other food that we eat for proper guidance toward healthier lifestyle and improved well-being,” the chief science research specialist said. 

In partnership with various groups at DA-PhilRice, the Rice Chemistry and Food Science Division spearheads this yearly celebration of the Institute.

“DA-PhilRice will also conduct a webinar on boosting the immune system amidst COVID-19 pandemic thru nutrition, which will be live-streamed on the Institute’s Facebook page on July 22,” Henry Mamucod, this event’s lead, mentioned.

He added that games and other exciting activities that promote proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle are also ongoing. All the activities are being conducted with strict adherence to minimum public health standards.

Browse facebook.com/DAPhilRice to join activities offered to the general public. (DA-PhilRice)

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Kate Shiene Austria

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Information Officer III under the Creative Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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