Use This Cooking Hack to Reduce Arsenic Levels in Your Rice
Worried about arsenic in your rice? Try this simple kitchen hack: According to an experiment that aired this week on the BBC show Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, soaking rice overnight and cooking it with extra water can reduce levels of the carcinogen by up to 82%.
Experts say this cooking method is a simple way to limit exposure to arsenic, which may be especially dangerous for pregnant women, children, and anyone who eats a lot of rice.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring element that’s present in soil and can make its way into drinking water, wine, and food crops. Because of the way it’s grown, rice has levels of arsenic 10 times higher than any other dietary staple, says Andy Meharg, PhD, a professor of molecular biosciences at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
A 2014 Consumer Reports study detected arsenic in every one of the 233 samples of rice and rice-based products tested. It also found that people who ate a serving of rice had 44% higher levels of arsenic in their urine than those who hadn’t.
One form of the element, inorganic arsenic, has been linked to cancer and other health problems in humans. (The other form, organic arsenic, is less toxic but still concerning.)
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