Nutritional facts of rice

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Which Is Better for You?

Here are a few key differences between white and brown rice. The exact nutritional components will vary depending on the rice manufacturer, so be sure to read the food label on any rice that you buy.

Brown rice is generally higher in fiber than white rice. It typically provides 1 to 3 g more fiber than a comparable amount of white rice.

Although fiber is best known for constipation relief, it offers a number of other health benefits. It can help you:

  • feel fuller faster, which can aid in weight management
  • lower your cholesterol levels
  • control your blood sugar levels, reducing your risk of diabetes
  • reduce your risk of heart disease
  • nourish your gut bacteria

Generally, men under the age of 50 need 38 g of fiber per day, and men who are 51 years or older need 30 g.

Women under the age of 50 typically need 25 g per day, and women who are 51 years or older need 21 g.

Your daily recommended amount of fiber is based on several factors, including age and caloric intake, so talk with your doctor if you’re unsure of how much you need.

Manganese

Manganese is a mineral that is essential for energy production and antioxidant function. Brown rice is an excellent source of this nutrient, while white rice is not.

Selenium

Brown rice is a good source of selenium, which plays an integral role in thyroid hormone production, antioxidant protection, and immune function. Selenium also works with vitamin E to protect cells from cancer.

Magnesium

Unlike white rice, brown rice is typically a good source of magnesium. The average serving of cooked brown rice, about 1/2 cup, can provide around 11 percent of your daily recommended amount of magnesium.

Magnesium is necessary for many vital functions, including:

  • blood coagulation
  • muscle contraction
  • cellular production
  • bone development

The recommended daily intake of this important nutrient is determined by sex and age. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding typically require a higher daily intake. The average adult needs between 270 and 400 mg daily.

Folate

Enriched white rice is a good source of folate. An average 1 cup serving can contain 195 to 222 micrograms (mcg) of folate, or about half of your daily recommended amount.

Folate helps your body make DNA and other genetic material. It also supports cell division. Although folate is an essential nutrient for everyone, it’s especially vital for women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.

The recommended daily value for most adults is around 400 mcg. Women who are pregnant should consume 600 mcg, and women who are breastfeeding should get 500 mcg.

What to know about rice

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One of the oldest cereal grains, rice (Oryza sativa) is believed to have been grown for at least 5000 years.

It is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population, particularly those living in southern and eastern Asia.

White rice is the most commonly consumed type, but brown (whole grain) rice is becoming increasingly popular in some Western countries due to its health benefits.

Various products are made from rice. These include rice flour, rice syrup, rice bran oil, and rice milk.

It is usually white in color, but brown rice can come in a variety of shades; brown, reddish, purplish, or black.

Nutrition Facts

Rice is composed of carbs, with small amounts of protein and virtually no fat.

The table below contains detailed information on all of the nutrients in 100 grams of short-grain, cooked white rice. (1)

Carbs

Rice is primarily composed of carbs.

Carbs in rice are mainly in the form of starch, accounting for up to 90% of the total dry weight and 87% of the total caloric content (1, 2).

Starch is the most common form of carbohydrates in foods, made up of long chains of glucose known as amylose and amylopectin.

Amylose and amylopectin have different properties that may contribute to both the texture and digestibility of rice.

Rice that is high in amylose, such as basmati rice, does not stick together after cooking.

Amylose also slows down the digestion of starch and is often associated with so-called resistant starch, a type of healthy fiber (3, 4).

On the other hand, rice that is low in amylose and high in amylopectin is sticky after cooking.

Perfect for risottos and rice puddings, sticky rice (glutinous rice) is also preferred in Asian cooking because it is easy to eat with chopsticks (2).

High digestibility is one of the downsides of the carbs in sticky rice. For a high-carb food, good digestibility is not always favorable because it may cause an unhealthy spike in blood sugar, especially among diabetics.

Bottom Line: Rice is mainly composed of carbohydrates. Some types may cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar, making them unsuitable for diabetics.

Fiber

Brown rice contains a fair amount of fiber (1.8%), while white rice is very low in fiber (0.3%) (1).

One cup of boiled brown rice (195 grams) contains approximately 3.5 grams of fiber (1).

Varying amounts of resistant starch are also found in both white and brown rice.

Resistant starch helps feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut, stimulating their growth.

In the colon, resistant starch leads to the formation of short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate, which may improve colon health and cut the risk of colon cancer (5, 6, 7).

Aside from resistant starch, the fiber is concentrated in the bran, which has been stripped from white rice.

The bran is mainly composed of insoluble fibers, such as hemicellulose, and contains virtually no soluble fiber.

Bottom Line: White rice contains virtually no fiber, whereas brown rice is a good source. Both types may also contain varying amounts of resistant starch, which may promote colon health.

Vitamins and Minerals

The nutrient value of rice depends on the variety and cooking method.

Many vitamins and minerals are concentrated in the bran and germ, which are components of brown rice, but not white.

  • Manganese: A trace mineral found in most foods, especially whole grains. It is essential for metabolism, growth, development, and the body’s antioxidant system.
  • Selenium: A mineral that is a component of selenoproteins, which have various important functions in the body (8).
  • Thiamin: Also known as vitamin B1, thiamin is essential for metabolism and the function of the heart, muscles, and nervous system.
  • Niacin: Also known as vitamin B3, niacin in rice is mostly in the form of nicotinic acid. Soaking rice in water before cooking may increase its absorption (2).
  • Magnesium: Found in brown rice, magnesium is an important dietary mineral. It has been suggested that low magnesium levels may contribute to a number of chronic diseases (9).
  • Copper: Often found in whole grains, copper is low in the Western diet. Poor copper status may have adverse effects on heart health (10).

Bottom Line: Rice is generally a poor source of vitamins and minerals. However, considerable amounts may be concentrated in the bran of brown rice.

Other Plant Compounds

A number of plant compounds are found in rice, some of which are linked with potential health benefits.

Pigmented rice, such as red-grained varieties, have been found to be particularly rich in antioxidants (11).

  • Phytic acid: An antioxidant found in brown rice, phytic acid (phytate) impairs the absorption of dietary minerals, such as iron and zinc. It can be reduced by soaking, sprouting, and fermenting the rice before cooking (12).
  • Lignans: Found in rice bran, lignans are converted to enterolactone by gut bacteria. Enterolactone is an isoflavone (phytoestrogen) that may have several health benefits (13, 14, 15).
  • Ferulic acid: A strong antioxidant found in rice bran. May protect against various chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (16, 17).
  • 2-acetyl 1-pyrroline (2AP): An aromatic substance, responsible for the taste and smell of scented rice, such as jasmine and basmati rice (18).

Bottom Line: White rice is a poor source of antioxidants and other plant compounds. However, the bran of brown rice may be a good source of ferulic acid, lignans, and phytic acid.

White vs. Brown Rice

White rice is highly refined, polished, and stripped of its bran (seed coat) and germ (embryo).

This is done to increase its cooking quality, shelf life, and tastiness, but unfortunately, it comes at the cost of reduced nutritional value (19, 20).

Brown rice is an intact whole grain, containing both the bran and the germ. For this reason, brown rice contains substantially more fiber than white rice.

Being the most nutritious parts of the grain, the bran and germ are rich in fiber and several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

However, the bran is also a source of antinutrients, such as phytic acid, and may contain high levels of heavy metals if grown in polluted areas (12, 21).

Eating white rice may have an adverse effect on blood sugar balance, and should be avoided by people with diabetes.

On the other hand, brown rice is generally regarded as a low-glycemic food, with beneficial effects on blood sugar control (22, 23).

Brown rice is clearly a winner when it comes to nutritional quality and health benefits.

Bottom Line: Brown rice is generally considered much healthier than white.

Health Benefits of Brown Rice

Aside from providing energy and basic nutrients, refined white rice does not have any health benefits.

On the other hand, regular consumption of brown (whole grain) rice can be beneficial.

Heart Health

Heart disease includes heart attacks and strokes, and is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

Observational studies have linked the consumption of whole grains with reduced risk of death from heart disease (24, 25, 26, 27, 28).

One study followed 86,190 men for 5.5 years. Those who consumed one serving or more of whole-grain breakfast cereals every day had 20% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease than those who never or rarely consumed whole grains (25).

Another study followed 75,521 women for 10 years. High whole grain intake was found to be linked with a 30% reduction in cardiovascular disease risk compared to low intake (24).

Whole grains may also have beneficial effects on body weight and diabetes, effects that are closely associated with cardiovascular disease (29, 30).

Keep in mind that all of these studies are observational. They show an association between whole grains and health, but cannot prove causation.

One thing is clear, whole grain brown rice contains a number of heart healthy components, such as minerals, antioxidants, lignans, and dietary fiber (15, 31, 32).

A randomized controlled trial in 21 Korean men and women, half of which were obese, studied the effect of high-fiber rice on risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Eating high-fiber rice as a substitute for white rice led to weight loss, accompanied with a decrease in cholesterol in the obese subjects (33).

Taken together, eating brown rice and other whole grain cereals may have beneficial effects on heart health.

Bottom Line: Brown rice contains several heart-healthy nutrients, so it may help prevent heart disease.

Adverse Effects and Individual Concerns

Eating rice regularly may be of concern for some people, especially if it accounts for a large proportion of the daily food intake.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a common condition, characterized by high levels of blood sugar.

High consumption of white rice has been linked with increased risk of diabetes in both Asia and the US (34, 35, 36, 37).

One study in 64,227 Chinese women found that those who consumed 300 grams of rice per day had a 1.8 fold greater risk of becoming diabetic than those who consumed 200 grams per day (34).

This adverse effect is thought to be due to the high glycemic index of certain types of rice, such as sticky rice, which is common in Asian cooking (22, 38).

The glycemic index is a measure of how foods affect the rise in blood sugar after a meal.

Studies indicate that high-glycemic foods increase the risk of type 2 diabetes (39).

In contrast, many observational studies have found a link between whole grains, such as brown rice, and reduced risk of diabetes (40, 41, 42, 43, 44).

One study in over 150 thousand men and women suggests that eating brown rice rather than white rice may cut the risk of becoming diabetic (36).

These effects are believed to be due to the fiber content of brown rice (45).

Taken together, eating white rice regularly may have adverse effects on blood sugar control, especially if you are diabetic.

On the other hand, eating fiber-rich whole grains instead of refined grains, may have substantial health benefits.

Bottom Line: High consumption of sticky white rice may raise the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Heavy Metals

Food contamination by heavy metals has become a serious concern worldwide.

Heavy metals tend to accumulate in the body over time, leading to adverse effects on health (46, 47).

Many studies have reported excessive amounts of heavy metals in rice from a number of countries – a particular concern where rice makes up a significant portion of people’s diet.

These are mainly cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, and arsenic (48, 49, 50, 51).

Heavy metals are concentrated in the bran. For this reason, brown rice contains higher levels of heavy metals than white rice (21).

Compared to other common food crops grown in polluted areas, rice accumulates higher amounts of mercury and arsenic (52, 53).

Arsenic is easily taken up by all types of cereal grains, but its accumulation seems to be greater in rice compared to other grains, such as wheat and barley (53).

The main sources of heavy metal pollution in soil and water are human activities; heavy industry, mining operations, car traffic, waste incineration, and use of fertilizers and pesticides (54, 55, 56).

Over time, excessive intake of heavy metals from contaminated food may have adverse health effects.

Eating rice grown near heavily polluted industrial or mining areas should be avoided. This also applies to other food crops, such as vegetables.

Bottom Line: Consumption of rice from polluted areas should be avoided. It may accumulate high levels of heavy metals, such as arsenic.

Antinutrients in Brown Rice

Brown rice is high in phytic acid (phytate), an antioxidant that impairs the absorption of iron and zinc from the digestive tract (15).

For this reason, phytic acid is often referred to as an antinutrient.

Phytic acid is found in all edible seeds, such as legumes, nuts, and whole grain cereals.

Eating high-phytate foods with most meals may contribute to mineral deficiencies over time.

However, this is rarely a concern in well balanced diets or for those who eat meat regularly. On the other hand, it may be a problem among vegetarians and in developing countries where diets are largely composed of high-phytate foods (57).

Several effective methods can be used to reduce the phytic acid content. These include soaking, sprouting, and fermenting the grains (12).

Bottom Line: Brown rice contains phytic acid, an antinutrient that impairs the absorption of iron and zinc from the same meal.

Summary

Rice is a popular cereal worldwide, especially in Asia.

White rice is the most commonly eaten type, but brown rice is becoming more common as a healthier alternative.

As a good source of several healthy minerals and antioxidants, brown rice may help prevent heart disease.

On the other hand, high consumption of white rice (especially sticky rice) has been associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Rice and rice products are available for purchase in grocery stores and online.

FAQ – Nutritional Facts for our Rice Products

How many calories are in a serving of Mahatma® White Rice?

There are 150 calories in a ¼ cup dry (¾ cup cooked) serving of long grain enriched rice. For the calories in each of our mixes OR any of our other rice products, please refer to the nutritional panel on the bag.

How many fat grams are in Mahatma® White Rice?

There are ZERO grams of fat in long grain white rice. For the fat grams in each of our Mixes OR any of our other rice products, please refer to the Products tab above.

Is Mahatma® White Rice kosher approved?

For information directly from Star K, click here. Or, visit one of our product pages for complete details.

Is rinsing or washing Mahatma® White Rice necessary?

No, the rinsing removes the enrichment.

What is a serving size of Mahatma® White Rice?

Our long grain enriched rice and brown rice has a serving size of ¼ cup dry; or ¾ cup cooked.

Why do you enrich Mahatma® White Rice?

The USDA has established a standard of identity for enriched rice specifying the levels of thiamin, niacin, iron, and folic acid that the rice should contain. When the bran layer is removed from the brown rice to produce white rice, these vitamins and minerals are also removed. White rice is enriched to provide you with the same thiamine, niacin, and iron content as brown rice. By law, folic acid is added to the rice to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida, and is added to all enriched cereal products.

Rice (Oryza sativa) is a food staple and primary crop grown all over the world. There are many different types of rice — including long-grain basmati, black rice, white rice and sticky (or glutinous) rice — but in terms of health benefits, not all are created equal.

Brown rice’s health benefits are partially due to the way it is prepared, according to the George Mateljan Foundation for the World’s Healthiest Foods, which promotes the benefits of healthy eating. Brown rice is a whole grain, meaning that it contains three parts of the grain kernel: the outer, fiber-filled layer called the bran, the nutrient-rich core called the germ, and the starchy middle layer called the endosperm, according to the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH). The outer, inedible hull is removed.

White rice, in contrast, is a refined grain, meaning that the bran and the germ have been removed, leaving just the endospore, HSPH says. (The outer hull is also removed.) This process strips away much of the fiber and nutrients. Some of these nutrients —including B vitamins and iron — are added back to “enriched” white rice, but fiber is not added back, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

Nutrient profile

Brown rice is a highly nutritious food. It is a whole grain that is relatively low in calories (216 calories per cup), high in fiber, gluten-free and can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. The USA Rice Federation notes that brown rice contains no trans-fat or cholesterol. It has only trace amounts of fat and sodium.

Here are the nutrition facts for brown rice, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food labeling through the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act:

Nutrition Facts Brown rice, long-grain (cooked) Serving size: 1 cup (8 oz / 195 g) Calories 216 Calories from Fat 15 *Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Amt per Serving %DV* Amt per Serving %DV*
Total Fat2g 3% Total Carbohydrate45g 15%
Cholesterol0mg 0% Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Sodium10mg 0% Sugars 1g
Manganese1.8mg 88% Protein 24g
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 2%
Vitamin C 0% Iron 5%

Brown rice health benefits

The health benefits of brown rice are largely due to it being a whole grain.

According to HSPH, the fiber in brown rice helps lower cholesterol, moves waste through the digestive tract, promotes fullness, and may help prevent the formation of blood clots.

Brown rice is considered a low “glycemic index” food. The glycemic index (GI) refers to how quickly and how much a food raises a person’s blood sugar after eating, according to HSPH. Low-GI foods have a rating of 55 or less; the average GI for brown rice is 55. White rice has an average GI of 64, making it a medium-GI food. Previous research has shown a link between a high-GI diet and type 2 diabetes.

What’s more, some of the phytochemicals and minerals found in whole grains may be associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, HSPH says. As a part of an overall healthy diet, whole grains may help improve cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, according to the AHA.

The following nutrients are found in whole grains, according to the AHA:

  • B vitamins, which are involved in many biological functions;
  • Folate (folic acid), a B vitamin that helps the body form new cells and can prevent certain birth defects;
  • Iron, a mineral that the body uses to carry oxygen in the blood;
  • Magnesium, a mineral that is involved in more than 300 biological functions;
  • Selenium, a mineral involved the immune system and regulating the thyroid gland.

Arsenic in brown rice?

In 2012, Consumer Reports published an article stating that while arsenic is naturally present in a variety of foods, it is more likely to contaminate brown rice because brown rice absorbs a great deal of water while growing. However, the Food and Drug Administration analyzed over 1,000 rice samples, and in 2014 stated, “the arsenic levels that FDA found in the samples it evaluated were too low to cause any immediate or short-term adverse health effects.” The FDA advised maintaining a diet that includes a variety of whole grains. Additionally, those concerned about arsenic levels can cook their rice in six times the normal amount of water and reduce the arsenic level by about half, according to the FDA.

Rice production

More than 740 million tons of rice were produced worldwide in 2013, according to National Geographic. Most of it, about 671 million tons, was grown in Asia. The Americas were second, with 36 million tons, while Africa was third, with 28 million tons.

Rice history

Recent archaeological discoveries have found primitive rice seeds and ancient farm tools dating back about 8,000 years in China, according to HSPH.

Arab traders introduced rice into ancient Greece, and Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) brought it to India.

The Moors brought rice to Spain in the eighth century, and the Spanish introduced it into South America in the 17th century.

Cooking brown rice

Brown rice, like all grains, should be rinsed thoroughly under running water, and any dirt or debris should be removed.

To cook brown rice, add one part rice to two parts boiling water or broth. After the liquid has returned to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice because the fibrous bran layer and nutrient-rich germ layer have been removed, HSPH says. These layers also give brown rice a chewier, nuttier texture than white rice.

This article was updated on Oct. 3, 2018 by Live Science Health Editor, Sara G. Miller.

15 Impressive Benefits of Brown Rice

Brown rice is a super whole grain packed with a high degree of healthy components. It extends its beneficial effects to much of the body, including the heart, digestion, brain, bones, muscles, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

The health benefits have been attributed to the high nutritional content in brown rice, which proves effective in various medical conditions such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, and insomnia. Brown rice is also thought to have anti-aging qualities attributing to the presence of ferulic acid, an antioxidant that helps in the prevention of skin aging. It is also rich in folate, an essential nutrient during pregnancy for the healthy growth of the fetus.

What is Brown Rice?

Brown rice is an unrefined, unpolished whole grain produced by removing the surrounding hull of the rice kernel. Its grain retains its nutrient-dense bran and germ layer. It is chewier as compared with white rice and has a nutty flavor.

Research published in the American Eurasian Journal of Agronomy points up the benefits of including brown rice is more robust in the diet. It also suggests that brown rice is way better than white rice when it comes to nutritional value.

Germinated Brown Rice

Germinated brown rice, also known as “sprouted brown rice”, is another popular form of brown rice. It can be stored in dried form to increase its shelf life without affecting its advanced nutritional worth.

The high nourishing content of the germinated brown rice is considered to be due to the presence of gama-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The germinated form can be obtained by soaking and sprouting of the brown rice in water for a specified number of hours. This method has been considered best for obtaining the maximum amount of GABA and elevating the levels of proteins and beneficial enzymes in the germinated brown rice.

The process of germination also leads to a significant increase in essential components such as ferulic acid, lysine, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, niacin, vitamin B 6, thiamine, and dietary fiber. These nutrients are thought to contribute to better absorption during digestion and prevent intestinal irritation, inflammation, and allergies.

Watch Video: 8 Incredible Benefits Of Brown Rice

8 Incredible Benefits Of Brown Rice | Organic Facts

Why Eat Brown Rice?

It is considered by many that brown rice is superior to white rice. Brown rice’s stands out attribute are the quality and quantity of nutrients it offers. The process of milling that converts brown rice into white rice strips away most of its nutritional value. Brown rice thus retains its immense treasure of healthful constituents. There are many varieties of brown rice available in the market with their unique flavor, aromatic components, and varied concentration of fatty acids.

Brown Rice Nutrition Facts

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, brown rice flour is rich in essential minerals such as manganese, iron, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, selenium, magnesium, and potassium. Its vitamin wealth includes B-vitamins – vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6, folate – vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and vitamin K. It is a source of protein, and contains a good amount of fiber. Along with this, it is also a provider of health-supportive vital fatty acids.

The introduction of brown rice in the diet brings tremendous health benefits discussed below.

Controls Diabetes

Brown rice can be beneficial for diabetics and hyperglycemic individuals. It has a low glycemic index, which is helpful in reducing insulin surges and assists in the stabilization of blood sugar levels in the body.

A comparative study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition revealed that it is rich in phytic acid, fiber, and essential polyphenols. It is a complex carbohydrate that helps in the slower release of sugar as compared to white rice. The American Diabetes Association also recommends nutrient-dense brown rice over white rice for diabetics in order for them to obtain the requirement of essential vitamins, fiber, and minerals in their diet.

Provides Antioxidants

Brown rice contains powerful antioxidants, which help protect against damage caused by oxygen free radicals. One of the important antioxidants it contains is an enzyme called superoxide dismutase, which protects the cells from oxidation damage during energy production. A research study published, in the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, suggests brown rice exhibits superior radical scavenging activity. It aids in the prevention of various oxidation-mediated diseases such as coronary heart diseases.

May Reduce or Mitigate Obesity

Brown rice is one food shown to be instrumental in weight control for many people combating obesity. A study conducted in this regard revealed that whole grains such as brown and black rice, have positive effects on the body with respect to a reduction in body mass index and fat. They also enhance the activity of glutathione peroxidase, an antioxidant enzyme linked with elevating the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol in obese individuals. Another comparative rodent research study also suggests the anti-obesity effects of germinated brown rice.

Cooked brown rice Photo Credit:

Possible Neuro Protectivity

A 2013 research found that germinated brown rice’s antioxidant and anti-apoptotic properties may help in the prevention of neurodegenerative complications such as Alzheimer’s disease. Sprouted brown rice is a functional food that contains helpful components that may inhibit a harmful enzyme called prolyl endopeptidase, associated with Alzheimer’s disease as per research in the Journal of Food Science Technology.

Lowers Stress in Lactating Women

Sprouted brown rice may be beneficial for the mental health of lactating mothers. Brown rice consumption showed positive results in the nursing women with respect to reduction in mood disturbances, stages of depression and fatigue, according to an investigative study in the European Journal of Nutrition. It has also suggested that the consumption of brown rice during lactation enhances the body’s ability to resist stress and improves the overall immune defense.

Enhances Digestive Health

Brown rice is a helpful staple that can be easily added to the daily diet to optimize the digestive system. The fiber present in brown rice helps regulate bowel movements and keeps you feeling full. A study investigating the effects of white rice and brown rice during digestion found evidence that the bran layer on brown rice slowed emptying, thus bulking stool. Fiber content also brings relief from other conditions such as constipation and colitis.

Boosts Heart Health

Brown rice is rich in selenium, which is beneficial for a healthy heart. Consumption of whole grains, such as brown rice, have been found to provide protective action against cardiac disorders, such as hypertension and vascular diseases. One study conducted in this regard suggested that the tissue surrounding the grain of brown rice contains a component which acts against the endocrine protein angiotensin II, which plays a major role in the development of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.

Controls Cholesterol Levels

Brown rice is a great option for maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol due to the presence of naturally occurring oils. An investigative study performed on rodents revealed that it possesses hypocholesterolemic qualities, thus regulating cholesterol catabolism. It also contains beneficial nutrients that help in lipid and glucose metabolism. More research is needed, but initial findings are promising regarding brown rice’s role in cholesterol-lowering.

Protective Against Some Cancers

Brown rice may be helpful in the protection against some cancers, including colon cancer, breast cancer, and leukemia. This beneficial effect can be attributed to the presence of potent antioxidants and high fiber content. The fiber content present in brown rice has the ability to bind itself to harmful cancer-causing toxins in the body. This prevents the toxins from attaching to the walls of the colon and eliminates them from the body.

One investigative study evaluating the chemopreventive properties of brown rice validated that its bran contains essential phenols such as tricin, ferulic acid, and caffeic acid. These phenolic components are valuable in inhibiting the proliferation of colon and breast cancer cells. Another study revealed the stimulatory effect of germinated brown rice on the induction of apoptosis and its inhibitory effects on the production of leukemia cancer cells. Furthermore, research has also validated the antitumor effects of dietary brown rice brans. These preliminary findings are positive and encourage the incorporation of brown rice into a balanced diet for its potential chemoprotective effects.

Boosts Nervous System Functioning

Brown rice may be beneficial for the smooth functioning of the brain and nervous system, owing to the presence of B-vitamins and essential minerals, such as manganese and magnesium. These essential minerals balance the activity of calcium in the body and help in the regulation of nerves and muscle tone. Vitamin E present in it also plays a vital role in preventing various brain diseases caused due to oxidative damage.

Anti-depressant Properties

According to one rodent study, germinated brown rice may contain anti-depressant qualities that help combat anxiety-related disorders. An investigative study suggested that germinated brown rice contains essential amino acids such as glutamine, glycerin, and GABA. These inhibitory neurotransmitters facilitate a reduction in the allowance of messages associated with anxiety, depression, and stress in the brain, resulting in a relaxed state of well-being.

Relieves Insomnia

B-complex rich foods are considered by some to be helpful in providing relief from insomnia, as they are natural sources of the sleep hormone melatonin. Brown rice is one of these foods. It may enhance the quality of sleep by relaxing the nerves and increasing the sleep cycle. While more research is needed on this topic, initial investigations are promising.

Boosts Immunity

Brown rice is loaded with significant quantities of vitamins, minerals, and essential phenolic components which help boost the immune system of the body. It nourishes the body, accelerates healing, and enhances its ability to fight infections.

Maintains Bone Health

Brown rice is helpful for the maintenance of healthy bones,as it is rich in magnesium which, along with calcium, provides the bones their physical structure. Magnesium-rich brown rice may help mitigate bone demineralization and is beneficial for medical conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis.

Culinary Use

Rice is a staple food across the world. Brown rice is available in many forms such as long grains, which are perfect for stir-fries, salads or pilafs. Short grain brown rice has a soft and sticky texture perfect for molds or puddings. Sweet brown rice can be served deliciously for desserts. Brown rice syrup is considered as a sweetener with a nutty, and buttery flavor to baked goods and hot drinks.

How to select and store Brown Rice?

Brown rice contains essential natural oils that have the potential to go stale if stored for too long. It is advisable to check the expiry or ‘use by’ date to ensure freshness. Raw brown rice can be stored for up to six months in an airtight container at room temperature to keep the freshness intact. To extend its shelf life, it can be refrigerated.

Cooked brown rice should be stored with caution. Incorrect storage of cooked rice triggers the growth of bacteria called Bacillus cereus which can cause food poisoning irrespective of reheating. It should neither be stored at room temperature and nor reheated more than once.

Brown rice is generally hypoallergenic and does not contain any significant amount of disturbing elements such as purines or oxalates.

How to cook brown rice?

Brown rice requires a longer cooking time and more water because of its outer fibrous coating. For one cup of rice, you may use two and a half to three cups of water. Prior soaking of brown rice cuts down the cooking time. Soaked brown rice would take about 35-40 minutes to get ready.

Earn brownie points for your health with brown rice!

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