8 Reasons Why Brown Rice Is Healthier Than White Rice

The next time you reach for the white rice to make your seemingly healthy rice and beans or Asian stir-fry, you may want to reconsider the color of your rice. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted a study that confirms brown rice as the hands-down healthier choice for your dinner grain.

The Health Differences

Brown rice is essentially what almost all forms of white rice looks like before it has been put through a refining process. To process rice into the sparkling white pieces we buy in stores, first the out-side hull and bran is removed. This makes rice lighter and faster to cook.

Sadly, rice that has been stripped of its natural wholeness has been stripped of its fiber, proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium and potassium. And we all know how important fiber is for digestive health, as well as maintaining a healthy weight.

What is more, have you ever noticed that bags of white rice usually have a label that says “enriched?” This is because white rice is usually full of unnatural fortifications and additives. These fortifications are used because the stripping process removes most of the iron, vitamins, zinc and magnesium from the rice. In fact, white rice is so devoid of nutrients that it does not offer the minimum nutritional requirements of the FDA. For this reason, white rice must be chemically altered with vitamins and iron just so that it can be sold in our supermarkets.

This is one of the main reasons why brown rice is much higher in each of these aforementioned minerals and vitamins. In fact, nutritionally, there is no comparison between these two forms of rice.

Here’s eight excellent health benefits of brown rice that prove its superiority:

1. Brown Rice is Rich in Selenium

Extremely high in selenium, an important trace mineral known to drastically reduce our chances of developing certain forms of cancer, as well as heart disease, inflammatory conditions and rheumatoid arthritis.

2. Brown Rice is Very High in Manganese

One cup of brown rice gives us over 80% of our daily manganese requirements. This mineral helps the human body create the important fatty acids that make healthy forms of cholesterol. It is also beneficial to the health of our nervous and reproductive systems.

3. Brown Rice Holds Naturally Occurring Oils

These heart-healthy oils are naturally found in brown rice and can help the body reduce LDL forms of cholesterol.

4. Brown Rice Promotes Weight Loss

Because of its fiber-richness and ability to keep healthy bowel function, brown rice “keeps things moving” in a way that promotes weight-loss and metabolic function. After one bowl of brown rice, you’ll feel fuller but overall ate a smaller amount of food.

5. Brown Rice is a Whole Grain

Unlike white rice, brown rice has not lost its wholeness. Studies show that six servings of whole grains weekly can lower the creation of arterial plaque build-up and reduce chances of developing heart disease and high cholesterol.

6. Brown Rice is an Antioxidant

Most people associate antioxidants with blueberries and green tea, but many are unaware that brown rice is also a source of antioxidants.

7. Brown Rice Very High in Fiber

Studies have correlated the high use of whole grains like brown rice with lowered levels of colon cancer. This may be related to its high fiber content. Studies show that fiber actually attaches to cancer-causing substances and toxins, helping to eliminate them from the body, and keeping them from attaching to the cells in our colon. Brown rice also contains the necessary components to stabilize digestion, prevent/relieve constipation and promote proper elimination/bowel function.

8. Brown Rice is a Slow-Release Sugar

Unlike stripped rice, brown rice can help keep blood sugar stabilized, as it releases sugars slowly and in a sustained fashion. This makes it a better option for diabetics, as compared to white rice. While studies in Asia have shown a link between the consumption of white rice and risk of type-2 diabetes, new research shows that individuals who eat at least two servings of brown rice weekly can reduce their chances of developing diabetes 2 by up to 11 percent.

I personally recommend using organic wild brown rice as the best option. But, even if you don’t buy organic, just making the switch from white rice to brown rice is a great first step to a healthy diet.

Resource: By Dr. Edward Group

Health Benefits of Brown Rice

1. 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.

2. It’s 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.

3. It’s A Good Source Of Manganese And Selenium

One cup of brown rice contains 88 percent of the recommended daily value of manganese, a nutrient that plays an important part in fighting free radicals. Manganese is part of a compound known as superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant that prevents damage from free radicals created during the energy production process. Manganese is also important for deriving energy from protein and carbohydrates and plays a key role in the synthesis of fatty acids.

Selenium also plays a role in the antioxidant process and can destroy cancer cells and even repair DNA. Selenium is important for regulating the thyroid hormone metabolism and immune system function. Most people don’t take in the proper amount of selenium of which brown rice is a good source – it provides more than 27 percent of the daily recommended value.

4. It Can Prevent Weight Gain

A study conducted by Harvard researchers shows that women who incorporate whole grains, such as brown rice, into their diet were more likely to maintain a healthy body weight. They were also almost 50 percent more likely to not gain weight by eating a diet rich in whole grains.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. It’s A Good Source Of Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients are compounds naturally found in plants that have anti-inflammatory properties and tend to act as an antioxidant. Brown rice is a great source of these plant compounds, especially phenolics. In fact, research has shown that brown rice contains almost as much phenolics as fruits and vegetables.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. It Promotes Bone Health

Brown rice is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that is essential to bone health. Just one cup of brown rice contains 21 percent of the recommended daily value of magnesium. Most of the magnesium in the body is stored on or in the bones, so to keep a high level of magnesium in your bones, and to reap the other health benefits, eat plenty of brown rice each week.