Benefits of Brown Rice
Brown rice is unpolished, unmilled or partly milled rice. What it means is the brown color bran isn't removed. White rice on the other hand has its husk, bran and germ removed and polished. This makes brown rice a whole grain food and it is more nutritious than white rice. The brown colored bran contains dietary fiber and nutrients. Because some of the nutrients in white rice are removed, white rice are usually enriched or fortified with vitamins and iron.
A 100g of cooked medium grain brown rice provides about 112 calories while the same amount of cooked white rice provides 130 calories. There is 1.8g of dietary fiber in cooked brown rice but only 0.30g in white rice. Brown rice also contains more calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, zinc and copper compared to white rice. But white rice is cheaper and takes a shorter time to cook.
One of the benefits of brown rice is it has a low glycemic index. The glycemic index of short grain white rice is 83, which is high, while the GI for brown rice is 50. Low GI foods allow your body to digest them slowly and make you feel full longer and thus eat less. This is one of the reasons why some people go for the brown rice diet. It helps them lose weight.
Another one of the benefits of brown rice is it helps you manage your blood sugar levels. An increase in blood sugar level will cause the pancreas to produce more insulin. An increase in insulin will make you feel hungry and cause you to eat more. This again, is because of the low GI level or brown rice.
Since brown rice contains insoluble fiber it acts as a natural laxative. When you eat brown rice, it adds bulk to your diet and helps prevent constipation. The insoluble fiber in brown rice does not dissolve in water. It passes through the gastrointestinal tract and speeds up the passage of food and waste.
One of the other benefits of brown rice is it supports the heart, muscles and bone health. This is due to the present of calcium. The calcium content in brown rice is more than 3 times higher than white rice.
If you are a female adult and are not pregnant, you require between 310mg to 320mg of magnesium daily. Even though there is only 44mg of magnesium in a 100g of cooked white rice, it does contribute to your daily requirement. Your body needs magnesium for protein formation, bone development, hormonal action and many more bodily functions.
The B vitamins namely folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamine and vitamin B6 have its own role which includes energy production, the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, cellular cell growth and for cardio, mental and physical health.
Other benefits of brown rice include maintaining healthy blood pressure and strengthening the immune system.
You can also include organic brown rice in your diet in other forms such as brown rice syrup, brown rice tea, brown rice flour and brown rice vinegar.
Brown rice syrup is a sweetener that is made by steeping whole brown rice with a special enzyme. It is an alternative to refined sweeteners. It is also ideal for people who are on hypoallergenic diets. Brown rice tea is sold mixed with green tea. You can use brown rice vinegar for seasoning. Organic brown rice flour is ideal for baking allergen free breads, pancakes and muffins.