What happens if you eat uncooked rice?

In this brief guide, we will provide an answer to the question, “What happens if you eat uncooked rice?”. We will further elaborate on whether eating uncooked rice is healthy or not along with the side effects of eating uncooked rice. 

What happens if you eat uncooked rice?

If you eat uncooked rice, you may get sick. Eating uncooked rice is not healthy at all. It can deplete your body of essential nutrients and can also lead to some serious health problems including pica, food poisoning and other gastrointestinal problems. 

What are the risks of eating raw or uncooked rice?

Consumption of uncooked rice is associated with many health concerns such as:

  • Food poisoning
  • Gastrointestinal illness
  • Pica
  • Some other health problems

Rice is one of the staple foods all around the world. These are not so expensive. So, everyone can afford it. Rice is a good source of energy which is found in many varieties.

Let’s have a look at these health concerns:

Food poisoning

Excessive consumption of uncooked rice can increase the risk of food poisoning. A major reason for food poisoning is the harmful bacteria called Bacillus cereus which is present in almost half the varieties of rice that are available commercially.

When we consume uncooked rice that harbours harmful bacteria, the risk of food poisoning increases. 

B. cereus is found mostly in the soil where it is easy to contaminate the raw rice. B. cereus synthesises a shield on the surface of the rice by forming a spore which allows the survival of B. cereus from heat while cooking.

The good news is, the risk of food poisoning can be reduced when the rice is cooked because at high temperatures the growth of bacteria gets retarded while in the case of uncooked rice, the growth of B. cereus could get promoted due to the storage of rice at cool places.

You may experience the following symptoms of food poisoning after consuming contaminated rice:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting (that might be severe in some cases)
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhoea (which could happen within 15 to 30 minutes of eating)

Gastrointestinal illness

Uncooked or raw rice consists of several hazardous components that might cause digestive illness. Lectin is a protein present in rice. It performs the activity of natural insecticide. 

Besides, lectins are also considered antinutrients which means they retard the growth of many other nutrients in the body. Lectins while passing through the digestive tract remain unchanged and they could also disturb the normal microbiota of the gut along with damaging the gut wall.

You may experience symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea after consuming uncooked rice. However, the risk could be reduced when the rice is cooked as most of the lectins are removed by heat during cooking.


Sometimes, some people even crave uncooked rice. This condition is specifically named Pica. This craving mostly corresponds to unhealthy and non-nutritive food products.

Pica is not mostly common but it is usually observed in pregnant women and children. It could be overcome by physiological counselling.

If you eat uncooked rice in a high quantity, you could suffer serious side effects such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Deficiency of iron known as anaemia
  • Tooth damage

If you know someone who is going through pica, you must advise him to take medical help to get rid of this. Otherwise, long-term consumption of uncooked rice will pose serious threats.

Other health effects 

Consumption of uncooked rice does not have any health benefits while they cause severe health problems in the body such as vomiting, anaemia, hair loss, and cramping in the stomach.

If you want to get healthy rice then you must go for black, wild, red, and brown varieties of rice.

In a comparison made with white rice, these above-mentioned varieties have more antioxidants which play a significant role in the body, especially in vision. They also consist of more minerals, vitamins such as vitamin B.

It has even been found that consuming uncooked rice could increase the bleeding during the menstruation cycle; it can omit the appetite and you will crave only for uncooked rice; it can cause constipation that might be severe in some cases.

Weight gain is also one of the major issues that you could face due to the consumption of uncooked rice. Skin problems such as acne and hair loss have also been reported.

So, it is highly not recommended to eat uncooked rice in any case.

Other FAQs about Rice that you may be interested in.

Can you cook wild rice in a rice cooker?

Can you cook white rice and quinoa together in a rice cooker?

Can you cook white and brown rice together?


In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “What happens if you eat uncooked rice?”. We have further elaborated on whether eating uncooked rice is healthy or not along with the side effects of eating uncooked rice.