5 Amazing Health Benefits of Brown Rice

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Brown Rice

Rice is an everyday food staple for half of the world’s inhabitants. We get about 50% of our calories from rice. But is rice really healthy? To be honest, sometimes. Refined carbs such as white rice are essentially fake foods and do nothing to boost your body’s health. That’s why diet-conscious people are turning to brown rice to stay fit and healthy

Let’s face it. Nobody likes the taste of brown rice. But hear us out. Brown rice is surprisingly more nutritious than regular white rice. Yes, brown rice has much more to offer in terms of nutrients. They are low in calories, carbs, fat and gluten-free. No wonder they have lots of health benefits. 

Keep reading as we discover 5 amazing health benefits of brown rice, along with its nutritional facts. 

What is Brown Rice? 

Brown rice is a type of whole grain made up of three different grains, namely, outer germ, bran, and starchy endosperm. Brown rice is basically unpolished rice made by removing only the outermost layer (husk or hull) through milling. 

The bran layer, also called the fibrous layer, contains beneficial phytochemicals like minerals, fiber, flavonoids, and amino acids. 

The germs are nothing but the embryo, which later can grow into a plant. Lastly, the endosperm is densely packed with starch, which means it has a good carb content. 

Brown rice has a chewy texture and comes in different forms – long-grain, basmati, germinated, short-grain, Jasmine, and more. Taste-wise, it has a slightly earthy and nutty flavor, and most people dislike it. 

The only downside is that it takes longer to cook than white rice and possibly needs more water.

Brown Rice Nutritional Facts

As explained before, most of the benefits of brown rice come from the germ and bran layers. White rice lacks these two layers, which is perhaps the only reason it is unhealthy. 

According to USDA, one cup equivalent to 202 grams of cooked brown rice contains: 

Nutrient  Amount per serving
Calories 248
Carbohydrates 52 g
Protein 5.5 g
Fiber 3.5 g
Fat 2 g
Sugars 0 g
Magnesium 78.8 mg
Iron 1.13 mg
Potassium 174 mg
Sodium 8 mg

Apart from these, brown rice also contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, and other essential compounds, including manganese. You can get at least 85% of manganese needs from just one cup of brown rice. 

Now, let’s dig into the perks that brown rice can bring. 

5 Amazing Health Benefits Of Brown Rice 

Even though brown rice may not be as appetizing or delicious as white rice, its remarkable benefits shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are some advantages of brown rice that may surprise you: 

  • It helps in reducing weight – 

You may have heard that eating rice makes you gain weight. But that’s not the case with brown rice. A huge body of research has shown that brown rice has no link to weight gain. 

In fact, people who consume more brown rice tend to weigh less when compared to those who consume white rice. 

To be more specific, eating brown rice helps keep your weight stable.

Fiber is known for increasing satiety, meaning it helps you feel full for a longer time. Compared to Brown Rice Vs White Rice, it is observed that brown rice has more fiber content (~3.5 grams per serving). 

You tend to consume free calories overall, which, in turn, causes you to lose some weight gradually as you eat brown rice over time. 

Moreover, the presence of folate and B-complex vitamins in brown rice boosts metabolism. This guarantees that your body quickly burns off the calories you consume.

  • It lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.

Another unknown benefit of brown rice is that it helps reduce your cholesterol level and blood pressure. We all know LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) is bad cholesterol and must be kept within a limited range. 

If your cholesterol level is too high, you may develop certain heart diseases, including heart attacks, strokes, and other health problems. 

Studies claim that the bran layer has been linked to the reduction of LDL cholesterol. So, the bran, which is intact with brown rice, just doubles the effect! 

Altogether, brown rice has zero cholesterol content, so if you want to maintain a reduced-cholesterol diet, try switching to brown rice. 

  • It reduces the risk of diabetes. 

Considering how common diabetes has become, it’s important to look after what you eat. A diet with low carbs and fats, low glycemic index (GI), and high fiber is advisable for such patients. Brown rice can be the best option in this case.

Brown rice has a low glycemic index (GI), which is about 55. That’s why many doctors recommend diabetics and hyperglycemic patients replace white rice with brown rice. 

As such, it reduces insulin spikes and helps stabilize blood sugar levels in your body. Further, brown rice takes longer to digest and provides a steadier supply of glucose than a huge amount at once. 

  • It helps in the formation of healthy bones. 

We’ve been told that calcium is a key player in strengthening and maintaining our healthy bones. 

But did you know that magnesium has a part to play, too? Yes, two-thirds of the magnesium in our body is stored in our bones. Brown rice is high in magnesium (~80 mg in one serving), which keeps your bones healthy. 

Not just magnesium but also calcium and manganese present in brown rice contribute to preventing bone demineralization. Hence, the risk of developing conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis becomes very low if you regularly consume brown rice. 

  • It improves heart health.

Brown rice is undeniably one of the heart-healthy foods. It is rich in dietary fiber and helps reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases like clogged arteries, strokes, and even heart attacks. 

Basically, it keeps your heart safe from any kind of harm and allows it to function actively. The high magnesium content in brown rice makes you less prone to deadly heart diseases. 

Apart from the above health benefits, brown rice is also good for many other things. It is great for your skin and helps with psoriasis. 

The ferulic acid found in brown rice has anti-aging benefits, making you look younger. In addition, brown rice can strengthen your immune and nervous systems well. 

Interestingly, it is also an antidepressant due to the presence of glutamine, glycerine, and GABA, and it may relieve your anxiety and depression. In addition, brown rice has some cancer-fighting properties.

Wrapping Up! 

As you can see, brown rice is unquestionably a healthy choice among whole grains. Given the amazing health benefits of brown rice, it’s time for you to incorporate it into your daily diet. It’s free from gluten and loaded with lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds. 

Eating brown rice will help you shed your extra pounds and improve health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. The best part is that it’s a versatile ingredient. This means there are literally countless ways you can enjoy it using various recipes. 

Hopefully, this impressive list of health benefits has convinced you to make changes to your diet and stay healthy. So the next time you go grocery shopping, ditch the white rice and pick the healthier brown rice! 

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