Brown Rice: Why Should I Pick It Over White?

Posted on 2nd June 2014 by Phil in Nutrition. comment(s).
Brown Rice: Why Should I Pick It Over White?

Brown Rice: Why Should I Pick It Over White? 

Quinoa, lentils, millet, oats and brown rice – we all know we should be eating them, but why? 

Over the last few years, we’ve lost track of the amount of times we’ve heard both nutritionists and health experts telling us over and over why we should be eating these wholegrain foods. But, really, it’s quite simple – energy-rich and full of natural goodness, they can give us fuel for life. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, we think that brown rice in particular deserves a gold medal. At the very least, it should play a crucial role in your diet and become one of your food cupboard staples. 

But, why should you pick it over white rice? And what are the benefits to you?

 Why Brown Rice? 

As with most parts of life, looks can be hugely deceiving. While a bowl full of fluffy white rice may look more appetising – even healthier to some – brown rice is by far the better option. 

Yep, there’s a huge nutritional gulf between brown rice and white rice. Put simply, brown rice is the “unrefined” and natural version of white. In other words, it’s rice as nature intended us to eat. 

Unlike white rice, brown rice can be considered a wholegrain since it still has the nutrient-rich parts (including the side hull and bran) attached. This makes it naturally rich in proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fibre, and potassium. 

Meanwhile, white rice is stripped of its natural goodness and is then polished before being either pre-cooked or parboiled. You may have noticed that white rice has often been enriched with added vitamins and minerals. This is because the stripping process removes most of the iron, vitamins, zinc and magnesium from the rice – basically, everything that’s good for you. 

In fact, the milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fibre and essential fatty acids. When you put it like that, there’s really no comparison between the two.  

What Are The Health Benefits of Brown Rice? 

Unbeknown to many people, brown rice – including our Brown Rice Pasta – is loaded with health benefits. In fact, it’s so good for you that, in some parts of the world, the word "to eat" literally means "to eat rice." 

Here are a few of the biggest health benefits: 

1) Slow-Releasing 

As a complex carb (white rice is – yep, you guessed it! - a simple carb and has little or no nutritional value), brown rice is a great source of energy. Since its low glycemic rating helps to reduce blood sugar spikes, it also happens to be brilliant for those who suffer from diabetes or are looking to lose weight. In fact, some studies have shown that those who eat just half a cup of brown rice per day can reduce their risks of developing diabetes by 60%. 

2) High in Fibre 

Fibre is crucial to our diets, yet most people don’t consume anywhere near enough. Brown rice is a great source of insoluble fibre, which helps to kickstart the digestive system. It acts like a broom, sweeping other foods through the digestive system. It also keeps you feeling fuller for longer and so helps to promote weight loss. 

3) Rich in Selenium 

Brown rice contains Selenium, a trace mineral which helps to reduce the risk of developing some common illnesses such as cancer or heart disease. 

4) High in Manganese 

By eating just one cup of brown rice a day, you’ll be consuming 80% of your recommended manganese intake. Not only does Manganese help the body synthesise fats which form our body’s ‘good’ cholesterol levels, but it also benefits our nervous and reproductive systems. 

5) Rich in Naturally-Occurring Oils 

Brown rice contains plenty of heart-healthy oils, which work together to fight bad cholesterol. 

6)    Good for Weight Loss 

Brown rice has long been seen as a great food for those who are looking to shape up and lose weight. Due to its high fibre content, brown rice is fantastic for digestion and will also keep you feeling fuller for longer. 

7)    Considered a Wholegrain 

As we mentioned before, brown rice – unlike white rice – is a wholegrain since it hasn’t been stripped of its natural goodness through the refinement process. Wholegrains are crucial in keeping our bodies ticking along smoothly and can also reduce the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol.

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