13 Interesting facts about rice (African Edition)

Amarachi Okike
Amarachi Okike
My name is Amarachi Okike, a content writer and lover of the African culture especially its traditional dishes.
- Advertisement -


was header pic rice

What is rice?

Rice is one of the most popular grains in the world, especially in Africa and Asia, mostly grown in Nigeria, South East Asia, and East Asia, the population of these continents and countries are fully dependent on rice crops for food. Due to the versatility of Rice, it can be boiled and eaten in different ways.

A country can have varieties of Rice dishes, and these dishes would be consumed daily, they could also be served as a main dish or side dish in some countries.

Interesting facts about rice 1:

Did you know there are different types of rice?

Rice exists in different sizes, shapes, lengths and even colors. Asides the physical appearance of the different types of rice, the differences also extends to the health benefits. The health benefits also differ across the different types of rice.

This is just one of the many interesting facts about rice, there are more to come.

What are the types of rice?

There are two major types of rice that are common, and they are;

  • Brown rice
  • White rice

White Rice

The white rice does not possess as many nutrients as would be identified in the brown rice. Irrespective of the lack of nutrients, white rice is said to be consumed more by people around the world.

What are the differences between the types of rice?

Interesting facts about rice 2: There are differences between the types of white rice

The parboiled white rice undergoes certain processes that involve the removal of the germ and bran before the milling process, this is mostly done to retain a good amount of the rice nutrients, although the bran and germ are considered to the nutritious parts of the grain.

Another amazing fact about white rice is that it is considered to be the major source of carbohydrates and empty calories.

A table showing the number of nutrients and vitamins present in white rice:

Vitamin B6 5%
Manganese 24%
Iron 1%
Zinc 3%
Phosphorus 4%
Magnesium 3%


Brown Rice

Brown rice is considered to be the healthier choice, this is due to the presence of the bran and germ, which consists of a generally good amount of nutrients. The brown rice contains all the parts of the grains, they usually don’t undergo intense processing leading to the reduction of nutrients present in the grain, like that of white rice.

It is due to the presence of the bran and germ, that brown rice is considered to be healthier than white rice. The presence of the bran and germ in the brown rice leads to an increased amount of fiber, minerals, and several vitamins.

Image from: Pinterest.com


What are the advantages of rice?

Interesting facts about rice 3: Disadvantages and advantages of the types of rice

The advantages of brown rice over white rice are countless, but the most common and important advantage is the nutrient content. Brown rice is considered to have more antioxidants and fiber, as well as important vitamins and nutrients

  • Antioxidants in the bran

Brown rice has also been found to help in the reduction of several risks of heart disease. Due to the levels of antioxidants present in the bran of brown rice, the appropriate consumption of brown rice can help in the prevention of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

  • Brown Rice And Weight Loss

Are you looking for some weight loss tips? You don’t need to look too far anymore, just add brown rice to the menu.

Brown rice is said to aid in the process of weight loss, the circumference of the waist and hips, and the general body mass.

This is not restricted to just brown rice; The appropriate consumption of whole grains can aid the weight loss process.

A table showing the number of nutrients and vitamins present in brown rice;

Vitamin B6 7%
Manganese 45%
Iron 2%
Zinc 4%
Phosphorus 8%
Magnesium 11%


For a nutrient-filled meal, brown rice should be your go-to, white rice could also be a good choice, but a better choice would be brown rice.

What are bran and germ in rice?

Interesting facts about rice 4: What Are Bran And Germ

The Bran of whole grain is a section of the gran which includes a certain amount of layers of protein, vitamins, oil, and minerals, but most especially fibrous tissues.

The Germ of whole grain can be described as the embryo; The embryo of a plant is usually where the plant emerges.

The germ and bran of rice hold the majority of the nutrients, when the grain undergoes some intense industrial processes, these nutrients would be reduced or removed completely, hence leaving the rice with little or no nutrients.

what are the disadvantages of rice?

Interesting facts about rice 5: Put Your Moderation Into Consideration

It is very important to understand the power of moderation, rice gives a good amount of nutrients to the body, and ensures good living, but it can have different effects on general health.

Inappropriate consumption of white rice may lead to some negative effects, like;

  • Risk Of Constipation:

Rice is a major source of energy, but it is important to understand the right amount and putting in some extra efforts to make sure you consume in moderation. Due to the low fiber content in white rice, it may lead to constipation and some other digestive disorders.

  • Blood Sugar Levels

There is a high amount of glycemic index in white rice, this often, may lead to an increase in sugar levels. A reduction or control in the consumption of white rice will definitely aid in the regulation of blood sugar levels.

  • Obesity

Exercise should be an important aspect of the day-to-day activities, this would ensure to aid in digestion and prevention of obesity. Consumption of white rice without a certain level of exercise may lead to obesity. This is can also be a result of a lack of moderation in your rice intake.

Remember to pay attention to your rice portioning and exercise to aid digestion and ultimately, good health.

Africa and rice

Interesting facts about rice 6: African edition (Africa And Rice)

Africa as a continent has varieties of dishes, Africans are also known to be creative with their meals, in Nigeria alone, each state has its distinctive traditional soup. That’s one of the beautiful things in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

So you can never have to think of what to eat when you’re in Africa, there are different types of food to suit your appetite. Nigeria is the largest rice-producing country in Africa as well as the largest rice-consuming country in Africa.

There are countless types of rice dishes from all parts of Africa, they are mostly from Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Cameroon, North Africa, West Africa and so many more.

African Rice Dishes

Under the interesting facts about rice, this is the African edition, you would get familiar with several African rice dishes, and get to see the creativity African generally possess, especially when it comes to their local dishes.

Getting to know the interesting facts about rice would enlighten you on the health benefits and the thousands of rice recipes that are available for your use.

So get ready to be creative, take these interesting facts about rice and use them for your good.

Palm oil rice

Also known as Concoction Rice and mostly found in Nigeria. The term ‘Concoction rice’ was derived due to the addition of several ingredients all at once into the rice.

The special ingredient added to bless this dish would be palm oil. How do you prepare concoction rice without palm oil?

To spice things up you should ensure to incorporate various kinds of meat, assorted, fish, and peppers into your recipe.

There are some basic ingredients needed for the preparation of concoction rice:

  • Palm oil
  • Rice
  • Smoked fish
  • Stock fish
  • Crayfish
  • Meat
  • Onions
  • Pepper

Tuwo Shinkafa

Also known as rice pudding dish, mostly found in the Northern part of Nigeria. Tuwo Shinkafa is the main dish in the Northern part of Nigeria, it is advisable to serve hot alongside a variety of soups. The light texture of this dish can be used as a substitute for other heavy swallow meals like Fufu, Eba, Amala, and Semo.

Tuwo shinkafa is made from rice flour, and Miyan Kuka is usually eaten with the meal. Miyan Kuka is a soup made of dried okra and baobab leaves.

interesting facts about rice

Image from: Pinterest.com

Fried rice (Party rice)

This is originally a Chinese dish but considered to be a very popular dish in Nigeria, not just for the great taste but also for the period it is most commonly served. Fried rice is considered a ‘Party rice’, mostly served during festive periods and celebrations.

This dish can also be considered a ‘vegetable and rice stir fry’ due to the recipe, which involves varieties of vegetables, chicken, meat, and liver.

What can you add to your fried rice?

  • Carrots
  • Spring Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Kidney Beans
  • Chicken
  • Liver
  • Green peas
  • Shrimps
  • Cabbage
  • Hot dogs
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beef

Be Creative with your African rice dishes

It’s always interesting when you can be creative in your kitchen, there are a lot of ways to prepare fried rice, you can choose to mix things up and get amazing flavors, colors, and taste in one meal.

There are countless types of fried rice you can have and they don’t exist in just Nigeria, they come from various countries in Africa, some examples are;

Don’t they all sound delicious? The next time you throw a party, it is very important you have fried rice on the menu because what’s a party without the party rice?

fried rice

Image from: pinterest.com

Ayimolou (Rice and Beans)

A Togolese meal, one of the delicious meals in Togo, mainly consisting of rice and beans. Ayimolou is easy to prepare a meal, hence is considered a ‘go-to meal’. This tasty meal is prepared with black eyes beans and rice. You can have ayimolou with chicken, egg or fish on the side.


  • Black-eyed beans
  • Jasmine rice
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Tomato

Ivoirian Chicken Jollof Rice

Also known as the reddish one-pot fish, the Ivoirian chicken Jollof rice is very popular amongst the West African countries, these countries include; Togo, Ivory Coast, Cameroon.

There are several recipes for this dish, this varies across countries. What is it they say about variety? Oh, That it is the spice of life.

Do you know one thing that’s better than Jollof rice? More Jollof rice.

You would need a few ingredients for the preparation of the Ivoirian chicken Jollof rice. They include;

  • Rice jasmine
  • Tomatoes
  • Chicken
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Spices
  • Garlic and ginger
  • Cayenne

Jollof Rice

Jollof rice would be considered to be the king of African dishes, it is most commonly consumed in the western region of Africa, most in countries like Ghana, Togo, Senegal, and many others.

Remember when we said the only thing better than Jollof rice is more Jollof?

Across these countries, the recipe for Jollof rice varies. This dish is a very popular meal in West Africa, probably considered the ‘King of African food’. This is not just because of the fame but it has an adequate amount of nutrients. Explains why we can’t get enough of Jollof rice.

The nutritional content of Jollof rice is adequate and satisfactory due to the presence of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and fibers.

Jollof rice can also be eating with various sides. You have not eaten Jollof rice properly if you have not tried it with plantain! Plantain and any type of rice dish would have you begging for more over and over again. You can also have Jollof rice with a salad, chicken, fish, eggs, and even shrimps.

As earlier said, the recipe for Jollof rice varies across countries, but some basic ingredients are generally used for the preparation.

  • Tomato
  • Thyme and curry
  • Onions
  • Rice

7def1b3be0daa69fd0e5db80a7bb57ec 3

Image from: Pinterest.com

Waakye Rice and Beans

With the main ingredients for Waakye rice being rice and beans, this dish remains one of the most popular dishes in Ghana, the Waakye rice is also easy to prepare and tasty.

This Ghanaian dish can be eaten any time of this better served hot with a side of either chicken or fish. This dish varies in the recipe, but it does not stop it from having an amazing taste.

You don’t have to be selective about the type of beans to use, it is fully dependent on your preference. Plantain goes well with this dish as well, also vegetables and tomato sauce.

The basic ingredients needed for the preparation of Waakye rice are;

  • Rice
  • Kidney beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Salt and spice
  • Water
  • Plantain
  • Cooking oil


Image from: Pinterest.com

South African Yellow Rice

Yellow rice is very common in South Africa, it is very similar to palm oil rice and is also very quick to prepare. Palm oil rice and yellow rice both share very similar recipes, this is because you also add all the ingredients all at once to the rice.

Some basic ingredients for the preparation of yellow rice are;

  • Rice
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Vary Arminana (Collard Green And Rice)

This dish is very common in Madagascar, the meal consists of majorly greens and rice. The Vary Arminana is a very healthy meal that can be eaten at any time of the day, the presence of various kinds of vegetables and sauce would have your body excited and happy.

The common vegetable used for this dish would be the Collard green, you can also add vegetables of your choice, it all depends on your preference.

The recipe for this dish varies across countries, but it all depends on the ingredients used for the preparation like;

  • Collard greens
  • Spices
  • Pepper
  • Vegetable oil

9e657ca079c59d94053c75fb1503049f 3

Image from: pinterest.com

What are the uses of rice?

Interesting facts about rice 7: The uses of Rice

There was a mistake earlier, when we said rice was the king of African food, we meant to say rice is the king of all food. Did you know rice has countless uses? Not just for your consumption alone.

Rice is a very versatile food, it can be used to do countless things around the house, for your skin, for your hair, even for your cleaning. Isn’t that amazing?

This is a secret most people do not know about, are you not lucky to be among the few that know about the magic of rice? Rice can be used for so many activities around the house and even in your personal life.

These are few tips on how to use your rice to its full potential, and you are getting it for free.

  • Interesting facts about rice 8: USE RICE TO SHARPEN YOUR BLUNT BLENDER BLADES

Using a blender over time can cause the blades to wear out and the blades would not be as sharp as they used to. You don’t have to go around looking for a new blade to buy or even a new blender. All you need to do is get yourself a cup of rice!

It is as simple as pouring a cup of rice into the blender and pulse it for about 2 minutes and you are good to go

  • Interesting facts about rice 9: RICE IS ALSO A LIFESAVER, BUT FOR YOUR PHONE

This has got to be the most interesting fact about rice because it is absolutely easy to do and very effective. How many times has your phone fallen into a pool of water or a bowl of water? Countless times, no doubt.

Well, you don’t need to run around panicking anymore, the king of food is here to save the day!

All you need is a bowl or a zip-lock bag, fill it up with rice and gently place your phone inside. After a couple of days, the rice would have absorbed all the water from the phone, then you can remove the phone and go back to enjoying your device.

  • Interesting facts about rice 10: RICE AS A UTENSIL HOLDER

Rice is very popular for its ability to absorb moisture in its environment. Your utensils should be kept dry to prevent the attraction of bacteria. Using a bowl or a common utensil holder is good, but using rice as your utensil holder is better.

The rice keeps your utensils dry and free from rust. All you need to do is get a cup of rice, pour it into a bowl and place your utensils inside. Enjoy your dry and rust-free utensils, clean and ready to use.

  • Interesting facts about rice 11: GROW YOUR HAIR WITH RICE TODAY

Do you see people with long hair almost every single day and you feel a little bit of jealousy? You don’t have to be jealous anymore, you can also get that hair and all you need is fermented rice water!

This is going to be a little secret; you don’t have to spend your money on expensive hair products that have been filled with chemicals that could change the pH balance of your hair.

The next time you cook rice for dinner, don’t throw away the water, keep it and let it cool. After some minutes, pour the water into a spray bottle and let it ferment. After a few hours, you can begin spraying on your hair every day. Your hair would begin to look healthier and longer.

  • Interesting facts about rice 12: RIPEN YOUR FRUITS WITH RICE

Sometimes you cannot just wait to have a taste of the fruit you bought a few days ago, but you can’t because it is unripe. You don’t have to wait for so long to enjoy your fruits anymore. You can speed up the ripening process in your house!

Place your fruit in a bowl of rice, ensure the rice is uncooked, the rice in the bowl will trap the ethylene hence helping your fruit ripen faster. Make sure you check on your fruits because this is a very fast process.

  • Interesting facts about rice 13: TEST YOUR OIL TEMPERATURE

Have you ever wanted to fry something but you can’t seem to tell if the oil is hot enough? Do you have rice? Well don’t stress yourself out anymore, all you need to do is get a grain of rice and drop it into the frying pan.

To know if the oil is hot enough, the rice would come to the top of the oil and begin to cook, this means your oil is hot and ready to use. Enjoy your fried meal and thank the king of food for saving the day again.

As earlier said, rice is a pretty versatile food, if not the most versatile amongst others. Alongside its great nutritional values, rice is can also be a good help around the house.

Rice is there for you, on your good days, to party, to have a large meal, a go-to meal, a light meal, and also a helper for your personal needs. What else do you want from a grain?


Share this post:
Amarachi Okike
Amarachi Okike
My name is Amarachi Okike, a content writer and lover of the African culture especially its traditional dishes.

Must Try Recipes

You'll also love