When you’re in the supermarket aisle, looking at all the rice options and not knowing what to get, we recommend you skip the white one. When it comes to brown rice health benefits are abundant, and it’s more nutritious and helpful than the other kind.
I can’t believe that until recently I hadn’t heard anything about the differences between brown or whole rice and the classic white rice I have been eating and using in the kitchen my entire life. And now, finding out about the brown rice health benefits, I feel like my eyes are open.
I didn’t know anything even about the process of making rice. You see, rice looks utterly different before becoming the grain that you know and hopefully love. When they harvest it, its grains are covered in inedible husks. All types of rice go through the process of having their husks removed. After that, things are a little bit different.
White rice, which – I get it – is prettier with its pearly sheen, has a lot more removed than husks. It’s produced by stripping the bran layer and the cereal grain, coincidentally – some of the healthier things about it. Brown rice has higher nutritional value, according to a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
And it can replace white rice in a lot of dishes. It is fantastic as a simple side dish next to a beautiful cut of meat. But you can use it to great effect in soups, salads, stir-fries, or even a few desserts. If you’re a vegan, it’s easy to make it sing by adding mushrooms, corn, and a lot of other things to the mix.
Here is how to cook brown rice. It's a bit different from cooking white rice when it comes to the proportion of grains vs liquid.
7 brown rice health benefits you need to know about
1. It’s rich in selenium
Selenium is excellent for the health of your heart. Selenium-rich foods help prevent coronary heart disease. It also reduces the risk of developing common health problems, like cancer and arthritis. One serving is one cup (195 grams) of cooked brown rice has 27 percent of the recommended daily value of selenium.
2. It’s rich in manganese
One serving of cooked brown rice gives you a whopping 88 percent of the daily recommended value. And that’s important because manganese is integral to your hormonal balance. It helps the thyroid gland work properly and it regulates weight-related processes in your body like weight loss, appetite, and metabolism. It helps absorb vitamins like B and E, and also minerals like magnesium. And it’s also good for your reproductive and nervous systems.
3. Keeps your cholesterol low
It has 0 cholesterol and it also helps reduce the risk of climbing levels. It also reduces the buildup of arterial plaque, which leads to lowering the risk of heart disease.
4. Helps you lose weight
Should we move this up the list? Brown rice has a lot of fiber which helps with your digestion and bowel function. It also makes you feel fuller, which leads to fewer and smaller meals. And fewer snacks consumed during the day, which is not half bad!
5. Prevents colon cancer
The high content of fiber – 14 percent of the recommended daily value per cup – also helps prevent colon cancer. The fibers attach to substances that cause cancer and also to toxins and so they’re eliminated from your body and they don’t attach to the colon wall.
6. Stabilizes blood sugar levels
If you have diabetes, you can’t go wrong with eating brown sugar frequently. It helps preserve your blood sugar level. The recommended dose is one half a cup of cooked brown rice daily. And it’s the same if you want to minimize the risk of developing diabetes – by 60 percent! It’s the opposite effect for people who consume white rice. They vastly increase their chances of developing the disease.
7. High content of anti-oxidants
Brown rice has a high content of powerful antioxidants which help protect your cells against the damage dealt by free radicals. One of the most important antioxidants is the enzyme superoxide dismutase which protects your cells during energy production, so they don’t get damaged.
If you combine brown rice with a healthy diet with nuts, vegetables, fruits, and fish, then you know you are making excellent steps toward a healthier you.