Why Brown Rice is Healthier for You

Rice is a definite favourite amongst Asians, but between white and brown rice, which one is better? DESIblitz explores why brown rice is a healthier option.

brown rice

The difference between brown rice and white rice is way beyond the colour.

Rice is one of the most common foods in the world. It is a perfect accompaniment to many dishes and a favourite carb for many Desi-ites. Brown rice can make a significant difference to our health.

Its nutrition quotient make it a better option to white rice. White rice is usually processed and therefore less rich in nutrients than brown rice.

Brown rice is a healthy and delicious substitute over white rice. Whole grain rice has several layers and only the outermost layer is removed to process brown rice.

Rice DishThe process of producing white rice includes crushing and polishing which reduces over 50 per cent of its nutritional value.

The process destroys more than 50 per cent of manganese, phosphorus, iron, fibre and essential fatty acids.

Including brown in our diet has several benefits. It may prove to be a pivotal step in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Brown rice is high in fibre which improves the digestion system. Brown rice is a fantastic source of carbohydrate. It helps keep the body’s cholesterol and sugar level low.

Colon cancer can also be prevented with the help of foods that are high in fibre as it helps stabilise bowel functions.

Besides being a healthier option, replacing white rice with brown is a profitable choice for diabetics and weight watchers.

Brown is loaded with the goodness of vitamins and is rich in selenium and manganese. These help boost the body’s nervous and reproductive system and may prevent several illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases, arthritis and cancer.

A satisfying portion of brown can keep us feeling fuller for longer.

brown riceBrown rice breaks down slowly and therefore releases energy steadily. This keeps one from feeling hungry and allows you to maintain a healthy body weight. If you can keep away from extra cheese, of course!

The high fibre content in this rice does not change into a heavy carbohydrate as it is low in fat and high in natural essential oils.

This, again, is due to the steady breakdown of brown rice. Because brown rice is low in fat and high in natural essential oils, it helps you keep a healthy body weight as well.

Sufficiently loaded with powerful antioxidants, brown rice also proves to be a very effective stress buster. It also helps with depression and other mental health conditions.

Brown Rice Vs White Rice

Brown vs White

The difference between brown and white rice is way beyond the colour. Here are our top four comparisons:

Calories: One cup of cooked medium grain white rice has the energy value of 242 calories whereas a similar portion of brown rice contains approximately 216 calories.

Fibre: White rice has approximately 0.6 grams of fibre per average portion compared to approximately 4 grams of fibre in brown rice.

Type 2 Diabetes: Harvard researchers found that the consumption of approximately five servings of white rice in a week can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

On the other hand, the consumption of just two or more servings of brown rice in a week can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes!

Vitamins and Minerals: As many vitamins and minerals are lost in processing white rice, an average portion of brown contains approximately 84 mg of magnesium. Whereas an average portion of white only contains 19 mg of magnesium approximately.

Preparing Brown Rice

Prepare Rice

  1. Rinse rice in a large bowl under running water removing any traces of dirt or debris.
  2. Always wash the rice under cool running water before cooking. This helps prevent the rice from sticking.
  3. Add one cup of brown rice to 2 ½ cups of boiling water.
  4. Leave it to a boil.
  5. Cover and cook on a slow flame and leave to simmer for 45 minutes.

Tips for Cooking Brown Rice

  • Cook the rice in a saucepan with a tightly fitted lid.
  • Make sure the rice simmers at the lowest flame.
  • For a consistent texture, cook the rice using a wide saucepan, as this allows the heat to be spread evenly.
  • Always keep an eye on the time. Although brown rice requires approximately 40 to 50 minutes to cook, the rice often starts to burn. Make sure to check the rice after 30 minutes.
  • Measure the amount of water or broth for cooking the rice in cups. For example one cup of brown rice usually requires 2½ cups of water or broth.
  • After cooking the rice, have some patience before digging in. Always rest the rice for about 5 to 10 minutes before eating, as this can allow the rice to cool down, become firmer and not break apart.

Brown rice is definitely the way to a cleaner diet. A tasty substitute to its sister, it is healthy and good for you.

Suman Hanif is an emerging filmmaker. With a passion to entertain and write Suman's work explores health, social and environmental concerns with the intention to empower people. "Journalism is an exciting opportunity that enables me to communicate to the world."

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