Rice is the staple food for half the world’s population. It provides energy and protein. It originated in southern Asia and has been cultivated in India and China for 6,500 years.

Rice is used in natural medicine to cure digestive problems. The BRAT diet is enormously helpful for curing bouts of diarrhoea. The B is for bananas, the R is for white rice, the A for apples, and the T for white toast. I had occasion to try this last summer, and it really works!

New research suggests that eating rice bran may reduce the risk of bowel cancer. Certainly it helps to alleviate diverticulitis. I have always believed that brown rice is better for you than white, but too much brown rice can inhibit the absorption of calcium and iron.