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Eat Rice Dumplings with Grains for Protection Against COVID-19 and Better Health in Summer

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  • Modify Date:Modify Date:2023/09/27
  • Publish Date:Publish Date:2022/06/01

  In the face of the current severe pandemic, in addition to washing your hands frequently and wearing masks to protect yourselves, eating a balanced and healthy diet to boost your immune system is essential. In welcoming the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival, the Health Promotion Administration provides several creative tips to save time for you to easily make rice dumplings. You will also be taught, from the perspectives of nutrition, health, and traditional Chinese medicine, how to use seasonal whole grains and unrefined cereals rich in nutrients as ingredients to make rice dumplings in order to keep you healthy while enjoying the festival.

Key Tips for Better Protection Against COVID-19 by Eating Rice Dumplings 

  Traditional rice dumplings with meat fillings often contain peanuts, pork belly, salted egg yolks, and other high-calorie/low-fiber ingredients. These ingredients can cause stomach upset easily, increase your weight, and be detrimental to your body. HPA Director-General Wu Chao-Chun said that people should not underestimate whole grains and unrefined cereals that are common in our daily life, such as adzuki beans, green beans, Job’s tears, lotus seeds, lotus root, taros, and chestnuts. All of them can prevent and control chronic diseases, help stay in shape, and promote digestive function1. A study indicates that, out of all unhealthy eating habits, diseases resulting from under consuming whole grains and cereals are most detrimental to our bodies. Consuming more whole grains and cereals is the most effective way to reduce the risk of illness2. On the other hand, from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese yam, lotus seeds, Job’s tears, and lotus root are helpful in taking care of the spleen and stomach, clear summer heat from the body, and improving our immune system, making them ideal in summer time; black rice, red quinoa, and multigrain rice not only are rich in phytochemicals, but also remove free radicals and mitigate inflammatory reactions. Moreover, B vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber in whole grains and unrefined cereals also provide multiple benefits, such as keeping our bodies functioning and boosting stomach health. The Health Promotion Administration designed the following three types of rice dumplings with whole grains and unrefined cereals based on the eating habits of Taiwanese people:

 ●Multigrain rice dumplings with chicken (Southern rice dumplings): Replacing high-fat pork belly with chicken and adding white Chinese yam and lotus seeds good for the spleen and stomach during summer time for easy digestion and better protection.

 ●Black rice dumplings with Adlay (Northern rice dumplings): Using green bamboo shoots produced in Northern Taiwan along with black rice and Adlay high in iron and B vitamins, enabling a healthy nervous system and a stronger immune system.

 ●Vegetarian rice bean dumplings with quinoa: Adding high-plant-based-protein tofu skin and edamame, cooked with camellia seed oil with monounsaturated fatty acid, and using curry powder containing curcumin as an antioxidant.

  This time, an influencer with over a million followers, Amy, is invited to offer a simple and quick way to wrap rice dumplings without complicated and time-consuming processes: Mix steam-cooked whole grains and cereals with the sauce for stir-fried ingredients and lay them on a bamboo leaf along with the ingredients. Lay another layer of whole grains and cereals, a layer of stir-fired ingredients, and finally a bamboo leaf on the top. Use a steamer or a steam cooker to cook the rice dumplings, and voila! Here come the delicious rice dumplings with a bamboo leaf aroma.

  As a reminder from the Health Promotion Administration, eating glutinous rice with oily foods may cause a delay in the emptying of the stomach and intestines, easily leading to hyperacidity, abdominal bloating, and other indigestion symptoms. It is advisable to chew rice dumplings thoroughly and avoid overeating. Here are three tips for enjoying rice dumplings: “Avoid overeating by sharing,” “Eat greens and fruits for a balanced diet,” and “Use less sauce for less calories,” allowing you to eat rice dumplings in a healthy way while enjoying the Dragon Boat Festival.

1. Drewnowski A, et al. (2021)Perspective: Why Whole Grains Should Be Incorporated into Nutrient-Profile Models to Better Capture Nutrient Density. Adv Nutr. 12:600-8.
2. Afshin, Ashkan et al.(2017)Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. The Lancet, 393:1958-1972

Press release questions: Division Head Su-Ying Lo, Community Health Division. Cellphone: 0988-595-568, 02-25220750
Press release contact: Technical Specialist Yung-Chih Yeh, Surveillance, Research and Health Education Division. 0972-725-705, 02-25220585