Food & Wine

Tips on eating Zongzi during Duanwu Festival

Updated: 28 May 2009
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 Zongzi or Glutinous Rice Dumpling doesn't digest easily


The Dragon Boat Festival has come and a variety of tasty Zongzi or Glutinous Rice Dumplings are available. However, this delicious food may do harm to your health if not served properly. 


"I ate two Zongzi for breakfast, but they kept upsetting my stomach for hours, then I had to go to the hospital where the doctor said Zongzi was made of glutinous rice, which easily upsets the stomach especially for children and the elderly. Eating too much is likely to result in abdominal distension, diarrhea, and other symptoms," said Miss Chen, who lives in Hunbin Dong Road.


As Zongzi is mainly made of glutinous rice, it is non-digestible for its high viscosity and lack of fiber, and it usually contains too much fat, salt and sugar. For example, a normal bacon Zongzi equals to about 1 ~ 1.5 bowls of rice, with 400 ~ 500 calories. So experts suggest that women should not eat more than 3 Zongzi a day and men should not have more than five.


Eating Zongzi with vegetables and fruits can help the gastrointestinal motility to avoid indigestion caused by eating these glutinous rice dumplings. In addition, it is better not to eat Zongzi within two hours of bedtime. Do not eat watery fruits such as watermelon and so on, to avoid diarrhea or abdominal pain.


Some people like to eat Zongzi for breakfast or midnight snack, thus the glutinous rice will stay longer in the stomach, stimulating the secretion of gastric acid and this may lead to the relapse of chronic gastritis, esophagitis, and other probelms.


Some people also like to preserve Zonzi in the fridge before eating it which will make Zongzi cold and hard, so it’s better to heat it until it becomes soft before eating.


Bacon and egg yolks are common fillings of Zongzi, making it a high-fat and high-protein food, so it is advisable that a number of specific groups should eat less or not eat Zongzi, especially those who suffer from hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and coronary heart disease.


In addition, pay special attention to the labels when buying Zongzi. Check carefully to see if the manufacturer, production date, shelf life, and packaging specifications are clearly marked.


Due to the hot weather in summer, the shelf life of non-vacuum packaging Zonggzi is short if not preserved in the fridge. Once expired, it will do harm to your health after consumption.


Translated by WOX



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