Brown rice or hulled rice, as it is also known, is a kind of whole grain that can be either unmilled or partly milled. Scientifically called Oryza sativa, it forms the staple food for many people across the world. It is more nutritious than the white rice and bears a mild nutty flavor. Brown rice differs from white rice in the processing method and nutritional content. The former is made by removing just the outermost layer of rice, called the hull and thus, there is the least wastage of nutrients. On the other hand, in case of the white rice, rice is further milled and the bran as well as several germ layers are removed. This makes white rice low in nutrients, in comparison to brown rice. Majority of world’s rice is grown in the continent of Asia. Today, Thailand, China and Vietnam are the three largest exporters of rice. In this article, we will help you explore the health benefits of brown rice in detail.
Health Benefits Of Eating Brown Rice
- Brown rice has a rich content of manganese, which helps in the production of energy from carbohydrates and protein. The nutrient also plays a key role in the synthesis of fatty acids, which is necessary for a healthy nervous system. One can get about 88% of the daily needs for manganese by consuming juts one cup of brown rice.
- The manganese present in brown rice is also required for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which protects the mitochondria against the free radicals formed during energy production.
- Brown rice is a rich source of fiber and selenium, both of which help lower the risk of colon cancer significantly. Selenium also works with vitamin E, in several antioxidant systems of the body, which help fight against heart diseases. This is also beneficial against the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
- The rice also contains insoluble fiber, which helps women avoid developing gallstones.
- It is rich in fiber, which contributes towards the reduction of cholesterol level and also the prevention of atherosclerosis. The fiber also binds to the cancer-causing chemicals, protecting the body against colon cancer. The fiber present in brown rice also helps normalize the bowel function and thus, reduces constipation.
- The oil present in brown rice helps in lowering the cholesterol level in the body.
- Brown rice works extremely good for postmenopausal women with complains of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other symptoms of cardiovascular diseases.
- It contains phytonutrients, which are highly beneficial for sound health.
- Brown rice is abundant in plant lignans, which get converted into mammalian lignans like enterolactone, in the intestine. Enterolactone is highly protective against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers and also heart diseases.
- The rice helps in reducing the risk of insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is associated with symptoms like visceral obesity, high triglycerides, high blood pressure and low level of defensive HDL cholesterol.
- Brown rice reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Brown rice is a good source of magnesium, which reduces the severity of asthma, lowers the frequency of migraine headaches and decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Magnesium balances the action of calcium and thus, helps in regulating nerve and muscle tone.
- Brown rice offers major protection against breast cancer, especially in pre-menopausal women.
- Intake of brown rice can help the body fight against the childhood asthma. It is also protective against obesity, ischemic stroke and insulin resistance.
- Brown rice is not seen to have any negative effect on the body, including any allergic effect. It does not contain any significant amount of oxalates and purines. However, the rice that is not grown organically is seen to contain traces of arsenic. Though low doses of arsenic are not seen to cause any serious diseases, its heavy intake can make one more susceptible to the risk of cancer. So, always go for the organically grown brown rice, as it is free of arsenic content.
- Before cooking brown rice, rinse it properly under the cold running water. Check it properly, to remove any dirt or debris present therein.
- Cook one cup of rice in two cup of boiling water or broth. Once the liquid boils, turn down the heat and cover the container. Simmer the rice for 45 minutes.