White rice is one of the most frequently eaten food products around the world, however, white rice is not nearly so nutritious as its less processed version; brown rice. Most of us know that! It’s the majority of consumers typically choose white rice over brown rice because of the difference of appearance. While its true white rice looks so much more delicious than brown rice, it doesn’t mean it’s the healthier alternative. According to a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, brown rice is the top choice in terms of both nutritional and other inherent healthy benefits.
Before white rice went through the refining process, it at one time looked exactly like brown rice. Brown rice, unlike white rice, still has the side hull and bran. The side hulls and brans provide “natural wholeness” to the grain and are rich in proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium.
Although white rice is fortified, it still doesn’t reach the minimum nutritional requirements for one serving of food as specified by the FDA.
13 Health Benefits
- It Lowers the Risk of Developing Diabetes
Harvard researchers have discovered that eating at least two servings of brown rice per week can lower the risk of developing diabetes. They found that by eating just 50 grams of brown rice a day, the risk of type 2 diabetes can be lowered by 16 percent, while other whole grains, such as barley and whole wheat, can lower the risk by 36 percent.
- Rich in Selenium
Brown rice is rich in selenium which reduces the risk for developing common illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis.
- High in Manganese
One cup of brown rice provides 80% of our daily manganese requirements. Manganese helps the body synthesize fats. Manganese also benefits our nervous and reproductive systems.
- Rich in Naturally-Occurring Oils
Naturally occurring oils are beneficial for the body as these healthful fats help normalize cholesterol levels.
- Its High in Fiber
Brown rice supplies 14 percent of the recommended daily value for fiber, an important nutrient that protects against colon cancer and breast cancer. Fiber tends to latch onto the chemicals that cause cancer and steer them away from the cells in the colon and breasts, preventing cancer from developing in those areas. Fiber also has many other health benefits including promoting cardiovascular health.
- Possible reduced Risk of Colon Cancer
It is thought that the high selenium levels, as well as certain phenols found in brown rice may be associated with reduced risk of colon cancer. These phenols are present in much high concentrations in brown rice than in white, meaning this association may not be seen with high white rice consumption. The high content of dietary fibre may also contribute to a healthy colon and digestive system.
- Promotes Weight Loss
The fiber content of brown rice keeps bowel function at it’s peak since it makes digestion that much easier. Brown rice is the perfect addition to the daily diet for those seeking bowel regularity. In addition, brown rice also makes the tummy feel full which translates to smaller meal portions.
- Perfect Baby Food
Brown rice cereal or brown rice itself is the perfect baby’s first food due to the dense natural nutrition and fiber it contains. This is a much better choice than refined white rice cereal products as rapidly growing babies and toddlers require nutrient rich diets to help maintain rapid growth cycles.
- It Can Lower Cholesterol
The oil in brown rice has been shown to lower levels of LDL cholesterol, also known as the bad cholesterol, by up to seven percent. At the same time, a diet high in whole grains can increase the level of HDL cholesterol, or the good cholesterol.
- It Reduces the Risk of Childhood Asthma
Asthma is a very common condition among children and causes many children to miss numerous days of school. But children who eat plenty of whole grains along with fish can lower their risk of developing asthma by 50 percent. Studies show that fruits, vegetables and even dairy don’t have much of an effect in reducing asthma, but whole grains and fish do.
- It Offers Many Cardiovascular Benefits
Studies have shown that brown rice can have many cardiovascular benefits for postmenopausal women, including slowing the progression of atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque in the arteries, as well as slowing the progression of the narrowing of the arteries. But postmenopausal women aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the heart-healthy compounds in this whole grain. Brown rice also contains plant lignans, which can protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer.
- It Reduces the Risk of Developing Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of factors that increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. This condition is characterized by excess fat in the abdominal area and insulin resistance. Eating whole grains on a regular basis can reduce the risk of weight gain and insulin resistance by up to 38 percent.
- Candida Yeast Infections
Brown rice is the perfect adjunct for candida yeast infection treatmentsgiven that high glycemic and otherwise sugary/starchy foods are prohibited during most candida treatment protocols. The natural digestibility of brown rice coupled with the high fiber content can help sensitive digestive systems heal from an overgrowth of candida organisms.