Why Is Haiga Rice So Good For You?

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Haiga rice is growing in popularity and demand not only because of its quick-cooking time and neutral brown/white rice flavor combination, but also because it is easy to digest with high nutritional value. Haiga (haiga means “germ” in Japanese) rice goes through a special milling process that keeps the nutritional germ intact but removes the slow-cooking rice bran. It has the same tender texture of white rice but a natural brown rice flavor that is not too overpowering.

Rice germ is the nutritionally dense part of rice, containing vitamins like B1, B2, B6, E, and most notably Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This chemical is made naturally in our brains providing anti-seizure and anti-anxiety effects. It works by blocking certain neurotransmissions — brain signals — that in effect relieve anxiety, depression, physical stress, and promote calmness, good sleep, and good moods.

Because Haiga rice has the rice germ and not the bran, it is a great source of GABA and a great alternative to white rice for consistent consumption. Adequate intake of GABA can soothe the mind, enhance memory, and resist development of memory impairment conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, low levels of GABA have been clinically associated with an array of conditions including generalized anxiety and major depressive disorders. Increasing GABA in your diet is a gentle way to soothe the body, mind and spirit.

This Haiga rice soup recipe is self-care for acid reflux and cold stomach.

Haiga Rice Soup

1 cup Haiga rice

5 cups water

3 slices organic ginger root

1 oz organic carrot cut into slices

2 oz organic baby bok choy cut into small pieces

2 oz organic chicken cut into small pieces

½ tsp sea salt

3 black peppercorns

3 pieces Sichuan pepper

Use high heat to bring to a boil, then low heat cooking for 30 minutes. Serve as dinner or lunch.

Dr. Ming Wu, Ph.D., is a doctor of Chinese Medicine and a 20th generation practitioner of Fengyeng Taoist Chinese Medicine. He is also a Master practitioner of tai chi and qigong. Dr. Wu has been carefully instructing students in qigong and tai chi in the US for over 26 years and is the director of Wu Healing Centers in W. Hartford, CT and Maynard, MA. Visit www.wuhealing.com. Attend Ming’s Sunday morning Qigong class at 10am or his Instant Pain Elimination workshop Saturday at 3:30 at the Natural Living Expo, November 11-12 in Marlboro, MA.