Ofada is a brown rice in local Yoruba cuisine, especially in Ogun state. It has a tedious pre-cooking process of cleaning, a long duration of cooking, and a unique smell.
Compared to white rice, Ofada rice offers health benefits. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, including potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and magnesium, which help to develop and strengthen the bones and protect them against diseases. It has a concentration of dietary fiber, which eases peristalsis, and helps to lower cholesterol, make digestion easy, reduce bowel disorders, and fight constipation.
Unlike white rice, which is washed and parboiled, the bran in Ofada rice is kept intact and only the husk is removed. While white rice has no antioxidant capacity, Ofada rice’s protect the cells against free radicals that are produced when the body breaks down food, which may play a role in heart diseases and cancer.
A study by Harvard School of Public Health suggests that replacing white rice with brown rice helps to reduce the risk of diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. Ofada, in particular, helps to reduce blood sugar. Surprisingly, Ofada contains ten times more vitamins B1 and B6 than white rice. Its vitamins A, C, and E boost immunity.
Ofada rice may never match the popularity of white rice, but its health benefits are unrivalled.