Health Benefits of Brown Rice

Brown Rice

Rice is a staple diet for many people especially in Asian countries. Many prefer white rice to brown rice as it is easy to cook, can be stored for many months and is easily available. But do you know that white rice is stripped of all its nutrients and fiber in the milling process. Moreover it increases risk of type 2 diabetes. Brown rice is a healthier option than white rice. What is brown rice?  Why should we include brown rice to our diet ? Let us see the health benefits brown rice offers us.

Brown rice is a whole grain of rice that has several layers. It has a mild nutty flavor and is chewier than white rice. In brown rice only the outer layer or the hull which is not edible is removed through milling. So the fiber and the nutrients are retained.

White rice is actually what is inside brown rice. The brown rice is processed and milled and converted into white rice. According to WHfoods “the process of milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. By law in the United States, fully milled and polished white rice must be “enriched” with vitamins B1, B3, and iron. But the form of these nutrients when added back into the processed rice is not the same as in the original unprocessed version, and at least 11 lost nutrients are not replaced in any form even with rice “enrichment.”

A cup of brown rice provides 14.0% of the daily value for fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels. The oil in whole brown rice lowers cholesterol.

As brown rice has more fiber (because only the outer layer is removed), it aids in weight loss. Fiber present in brown rice keeps us full for a longer time, thereby preventing us from gorging on unhealthy food in between. It is found that people who eat whole grains like brown rice tend to be leaner than those who don’t.

Brown rice being an excellent source of fiber helps to relieve constipation

Including brown rice in our daily diet lowers risk of heart disease.

Brown rice has a good source of selenium.The high amount of fiber in brown rice is excellent for cleansing the colon. Selenium present in brown rice has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Brown rice is also an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of the minerals selenium and magnesium. Magnesium, has been shown in studies to be helpful for reducing the severity of asthma, lowering high blood pressure, reducing the frequency of migraine headaches, and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

A diet rich in fiber from whole grains, such as brown rice, and fruit offered significant protection against breast cancer for pre-menopausal women. Pre-menopausal women eating the most fiber halved their risk of developing breast cancer.

Brown Rice and other whole grains substantially lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk. White rice lacks nutrients and bran that could cut diabetes risk.

Brown rice helps prevent Gallstones. Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as brown rice, can help women avoid gallstones, shows a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

After reading all the health benefits of brown rice, I am sure you will include Brown rice in your diet frequently.

When buying brown rice, look for the expiry date as brown rice tends to get rancid soon.The essential oil in the germ of the rice is very susceptible to oxidation and soon goes rancid. Freezing or refrigeration will greatly extend its storage life. 

About cooking brown rice -Brown rice takes a longer time to cook than white rice. Check out ” How to cook Brown rice ” for  more details regarding cooking brown rice. Also find a delicious and easy to make Brown Rice salad recipe.

Reference –  WHFoods