Why Brown rice –But Not White rice:
Recently, everyone is passionate of choosing Brown rice as their choice of main course menu. So, I thought it would be good to explore why everyone is now going for Brown rice. Is it really healthier and superior than white rice?
Brown rice is whole grain rice, with the inedible outer hull removed; white rice is the same grain with the hull, bran layer and cereal germ removed.
The process that produces brown rice removes only the outermost layer, the hull, of the rice kernel and is the least damaging to its nutritional value. When brown rice becomes white rice, large quantities of B vitamins — including 90 percent of the B6 — half the manganese and phosphorus, more than half the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids are lost. White rice may be enriched with nutrients, but this process does not yield a food as healthy as the original.
Nutrient profile of Brown Rice:
Brown rice is a highly nutritious food. It is a whole grain that is relatively low in calories, high in fiber, gluten-free and can be incorporated into a variety of dishes.
It also contains protein. Unlike refined grains, which are missing about 25 percent of the grain’s protein, and are greatly reduced in at least 17 key nutrients, whole grains like brown rice are much healthier.
A Good Source of Fiber –
The health benefits of brown rice continue with its fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels, one more way brown rice helps prevent atherosclerosis. Fiber also helps out by keeping blood sugar levels under control, so brown rice is an excellent grain choice for people with diabetes. As we mentioned above, the fiber can also help to protect you against colon cancer since fiber binds to cancer-causing chemicals, keeping them away from the cells lining the colon, plus it can help normalize bowel function, reducing constipation.
Whole grains, such as brown rice, help you lose body fat. A study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in 2008 found that people who consumed a low-calorie diet that included whole grains lost more fat around their middle than people who consumed a low-calorie diet that only included refined grains. Whole grains contain more fiber, which help fill you up so you eat fewer calories later in the day. Make most of your grain choices during the day whole grains.
Low in density –
This means that brown rice can make you full while consuming fewer calories. Its water and fiber components make it low in energy density. It will help you lose weight as it makes you eat less since it fills you up fast. When you eat brown rice at the start of your meals. It will make you feel less hungry, thus making you eat less of the other foods on the table.
Rich in selenium –
is rich in selenium which reduces risks for developing illness such as heart diseases and arthritis.
Cancer prevention : High in Manganese –
One cup of rice provides 80% of our daily requirements, Manganese helps the body synthesis fats. Brown rice may help lower the risk of cancer, thanks in part to its manganese.A British study published in the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention analysed the phenolic compounds in brown rice, brown rice bran and white rice for compounds associated with cancer suppression or reduction.
Control Diabetes: Glucose Cut by 20%, Insulin by 60% –
Brown rice eaters are at lower risk for Type 2 diabetes. 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. It is rich in phytic acid, fiber, and essential polyphenols. It is a complex carbohydrate which helps in slower release of sugars as compared to white rice. American diabetes association also recommends choosing nutrient-dense brown rice over white rice for diabetics in order to accomplish the need of essential vitamins, fiber and minerals in their diet.
Rich in naturally occurring oils –are beneficial for the body as these helpful fats help to normalise the cholesterol levels.
Regardless of how you approach gluten, it’s helpful to know that all rice, in its natural form, is gluten-free! This includes every variety of short, medium or long grain rice.
It is not a commonly allergenic food and is not known to contain measurable amounts of oxalates. In fact, the hypoallergenic (low-allergy) nature of whole grain, organic brown rice makes it a grain alternative commonly recommended by healthcare practitioners.
Risks of eating 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. Arsenic is one of the world’s most toxic elements. Arsenic is found in nearly all foods and drinks, but is usually only found in small amounts. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analysed 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.
How to Select and Store Brown Rice?
Rice is available pre-packaged as well as in bulk containers. If purchasing brown rice in a packaged container, check to see if there is a “use-by” date on the package since brown rice, owing to its natural oils, has the potential to become rancid if kept too long.
Research recently published suggests that some non-organic U.S. long grain rice may have 1.4 to 5 times more arsenic than rice from India or Pakistan or Bangladesh. For this reason, it is highly recommended to select organically grown rice from these countries whenever possible.
Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the rice are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure its maximal freshness. Whether purchasing rice in bulk or in a packaged container, make sure that there is no evidence of moisture.
Since brown rice still features an oil-rich germ, it is more susceptible to becoming rancid than white rice and therefore should be stored in the refrigerator. Stored in an airtight container, brown rice will keep fresh for about six months.
While white rice varieties should also be stored in an airtight container, they can be kept in a cool, dry place rather than the refrigerator. Stored properly, they will keep fresh for about one year.