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The Philippines promotes adlai as an alternative to rice

Adlai is a cereal originating in Southeast Asia with healthier nutritional properties compared to rice, the basis of the diet of the Philippine population.


A basket with adlai grains.

Philippine Secretary of Agriculture William Dar; the Philippine national security adviser, Hermogenes Esperon; the secretary of communications, Martin Andanar; and the presidential aide for the Visayas, Mike Dino, expressed their support in promoting the adlai millet as a healthier alternative to rice, the base of Philippine food, in an information published by the PIA Agusan del Norte office.

Adlai or Adlay millet (Coix lacryma-jobi), also known as tigbi, Job's tears, or pearl barley, is a cereal native to Southeast Asia and belongs to the same family as rice and corn.

However, it provides an energy level similar to brown rice but higher than white, contains fewer carbohydrates and almost twice the protein. In addition, it has less fat than brown rice and three times its dietary fiber, with almost half the glycemic index, as well as three times more calcium than brown rice, and more iron than white rice, being also a cereal without gluten.

According to an article published by nutritionist-dietician Roni Matalog on the Humble Market for Sustainable Living website, adlai is a staple crop for many indigenous peoples. It is grown in northern Mindanao, as well as in the Cordillera region in northern Luzon (Philippines).

Those interested in making the transition to adlai should know that it is a larger grain than white rice, with a nutty flavor and a chewy texture.

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