Uncommon cereals: panìco millet and black rice

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Robert Maurer
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Cereals are seen as one of the most important foods for mankind and are linked to the key passage in the evolution from nomadism to sedentary lifestyle, with the advent of agriculture which was the first basic brick of urban sociology and therefore of civilization.


In addition to fulfilling this historical role, cereals are one of the primary foods in the world, easy to grow, highly nutritious and energetic thanks to the high starch content, and easy to store and workable to create flours and therefore breads, biscuits, polenta, pastas, sheets, etc.


Generally they are considered cereals, which in any case does not represent a botanical name, the seeds of plants belonging to the Graminaceae (or Poaceae), to which pseudocereals, or Amarantaceae, Polygonaceae and Chenopodiaceae, are added if desired.

Among the many different types of most common cereals, we will go in this article to get to know two in particular: a less known millet and a rice and therefore very interesting; indeed many modern disorders such as celiac disease are linked not only to an abuse of cereals, too present in our diet, but also to a scarce variety, often limited to wheat, corn and rice.

 

Read also Millet, properties and benefits >>

 


The panìco mile among uncommon cereals

Let's start by saying that despite being included among the miles, the panìco mile it is not, in fact, a real mile. In fact, millet represents a group of cereals of the genus Panicum, native to the steppes of Central Asia, between China and the Caucasus.

The panìco properly called responds to the scientific name of Setaria el paeseca and in fact it looks a lot like millet, being called in fact also foxtail in many languages, as traditionally happened in el Paese, or panìco, a name shared with the genus of millet and which derives from the Latin word for “cob”. In fact, the seeds are collected in small panicles that resemble the shape of a fox's tail.


It comes from the remote valleys between China and India, and is used both for human and animal nutrition and from remote antiquity, in fact it is the first species of millet ever cultivated.

Because it's interesting? First of all it is gluten-free and it's ideal in the diets of those who want to lose weight; its particular carbohydrates do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels but they are released very slowly; And rich in iron, copper and fiber. It is typically used for keep the level of the immune system high.

 

Black rice among the uncommon cereals

The long black rice called Zizania acquatica is native to the areas halfway between the USA and Canada, that is the area of ​​the Great Lakes.


It takes the name of zizania, also known in the bible, with which the Greeks called minor grasses that grew with their grain. Historically it was collected by passing by with canoes and beating it with oars, but only in the middle of the last century did its commercialization and diffusion begin.


As in the case of the panìco col millet, also black rice or aquatic zizania it is not actually related to actual Asian rice, belonging to the genus Oryza.

The reasons why we should introduce black rice into our diet are obvious: high level of protein (second only to oats), andamino acid lysine, fundamental for human life and not synthesizable; also it is rich in dietary fiber and low in fat; rich in zinc, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin B6.


Together with quinoa it is considered one of the tastiest alternatives to common cereals, due to its easy-to-chew consistency and nutty aftertaste.

Its regular consumption proves that it can prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

 

Read also Venere rice: properties, nutritional values ​​and calories >>

 

 

 

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