Rice is a primary crop all over the world for centuries. Today, rice is a staple in more than 100 cultures and there are over  40,000 varieties grown. In India, our meal is incomplete without rice. There are many types of rice like long-grain basmati, black rice, white rice and sticky rice and they vary in terms of health benefits.

Traditionally, we used to eat rice with the husk but with time, dehusked white rice (Brown Rice) came into the limelight because of its numerous health benefits. Brown rice is a super nutritious whole grain packed with various nutrients.

What is brown rice?

Brown rice is a dehusked and unpolished rice produced by removing the outer layer- the hull of the rice kernel. This procedure helps brown rice to keep its nutritional value high. It is chewier as compared to white rice and has a nutty flavour.

The nutritional profile of brown rice

Brown rice is healthier than white rice when it comes to nutritional value. This superfood is low in calories, fat and gluten-free. Hence, all diet conscious people prefer this rice over white rice. This rice also contains some essential nutrients, they are as follows –

  • Dietary fibres 
  • Minerals-zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and selenium
  • Vitamins-vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin E and vitamin K
  • Antioxidants-flavonoids
  • Proteins 
  • Essential fatty acids 

Health benefits of brown rice 

Brown rice might not be as tasty as white rice. But the nutritional benefits of brown rice can convince you to make slow and steady changes in your diet. Here are the unknown health benefits of brown rice –

1: Helps to weight loss 

Brown rice is one of the famous food used for weight loss. It is rich in dietary fibres that help to keep you full over a longer time, so choosing fibre-rich foods may help you consume fewer calories overall. Replacing brown rice with white rice can help to reduce your belly fat too. Different studies suggest that people who eat more brown rice weigh less than those who eat white rice.

2: Controls blood sugar level

To control blood sugar naturally, include low carbohydrates and fats in your diet. Brown rice is the best option for it. It is beneficial to control blood sugar levels as it has a low glycemic index. A low glycemic index means the food you consume digests slower and it doesn’t cause your blood sugar to spike after that. Studies show that by eating three servings per day of whole grains like brown rice, you can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 32%. Brown rice contains phytic acid, fibre and essential polyphenols that help in the slower release of sugars, keeping us healthy.

3: Aids digestion 

Brown rice is a helpful staple that can be easily added to the daily diet to optimize the digestive system. The fibres present in brown rice helps to regulate intestinal movements and keep your bowel movements regular. They have excellent results to cure colitis and constipation.

4: Controls cholesterol levels 

It is a preferable choice for many people because it contains a low level of cholesterol. The oil present in brown rice is known to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) to a large extent. The fibre in brown rice binds to the cholesterol in the digestive system and helps in its excretion.

5: Neuroprotective effective 

Brown rice helps to cut down the risk of cognitive dysfunction and neurodegenerative disorders. They are rich in fibres that lower the cholesterol levels known to add to the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. This rice can help cut down on cholesterol by replacing it with healthier nutrients, such as fibre. It is also beneficial in treating various diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. They also help to cure depression, anxiety or stress.

6: Improves maternal health 

Brown rice works amazingly in postpartum depression. Consumption of this rice showed positive results in nursing women to improve disturbed mood, stages of depression and fatigue.

7: Maintains bone health 

Brown rice is rich in calcium and magnesium helps to maintain bone health. It is helpful to treat medical conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis.

Brown rice vs white rice

White rice is more commonly consumed and popular amongst people. However, the benefits of brown rice far outweigh that of white rice. This is down to the fact that brown rice is a whole grain while white rice is a refined grain. What this means is that brown rice contains the bran, germ and endosperm, all constituents of a grain. These are absent in white rice which is what makes it less nutritious than brown rice. For this reason, the number of health benefits of brown rice is far greater than white rice. The absence of these integral components that make up a grain leaves white rice with far lesser nutritional value than brown rice. 

However, white rice cooks faster than brown rice. As it consumes less energy to prepare it is the preferred option for most households. 

Found this article interesting? Follow Cluay Techlabs on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to read more exclusive content we post.