Brazilian Natural Medicine

Cereals like rice, corn and wheat are on the table of Brazilians — Português (Brasil)

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Rice is the main representative of the cereal group and is present in the homes of many Brazilians. Its main consumption is mixed with beans. In addition to the salty preparation, which accompanies preparations such as vegetables, meat and eggs, it is also an ingredient for the preparation of sweets, such as rice pudding or milk rice.

Corn is also present in the diet of Brazilians. Consumed in the form of the grain itself or in the form of flour, it is a very beneficial cereal for health.

Wheat is consumed in Brazil mainly through wheat flour, however, the wheat grain can be used in salads, hot preparations or in soups. Broken wheat salad is commonly prepared with olive oil, tomato, onion, mint and parsley.

Rice, corn, wheat and other cereals are important sources of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Combined with beans or other legumes, cereals are also a source of excellent quality protein.

Carbohydrates should not be eliminated from the diet, nor for weight loss or any other condition, according to Mariana Melendez, nutritionist at the bariatric surgery outpatient clinic at the Regional Hospital of Asa Norte (HRAN), in Brasília/DF. “Rice and cereals are also sources of protein, but mainly of carbohydrates, that’s why we call them energy foods, which give our body quick energy”, she explains.

Excessively polished cereals, such as white rice and wheat grains used in making most wheat flours, have less fiber and micronutrients. For this reason, less processed versions of these foods should be preferred, such as brown rice and whole wheat flour.

Parboiled rice (peeled and polished after being immersed in water) is also a good alternative because its nutritional content is closer to brown rice and because it has sensory properties (aroma, flavor, texture) closer to white rice.

According to the “Food Guide for the Brazilian Population”, food should be purchased in markets, fairs, grocery stores, butchers and fishmongers that are clean and organized and that offer good quality options in a good state of conservation. In addition, non-perishable foods (rice, corn, beans, flour in general, oils, sugar, salt, powdered milk and some types of fruits and vegetables) must be stored in a dry and ventilated place, at room temperature and away from of sun rays.

Healthy eating

During the month of October, due to World Food Day, the Ministry of Health makes available a series of videos on eating habits at each stage of life, through its YouTube channel.


To learn about recipes and ways of preparing fresh or minimally processed foods that value Brazilian food culture, access the publication “In the kitchen with fruits and vegetables”.

According to the Ministry of Health, valuing and encouraging the consumption of fruits and vegetables represents an important strategy for health promotion and adequate and healthy food, contributing to the improvement of the food and nutritional standard and to the reduction of Chronic Diseases. Non-Communicable (DCNT).

Fran Martins
Ministry of Health

Official content – Fact Check – Verified

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