Is Brown Rice Really Healthier Than Refined White Rice?


Brown rice health benefits

Let’s know the basics of rice to decide which one is healthier brown rice or refined white rice. Brown rice is a whole grain, which contains three parts of the grain kernel 1. the outer fiber-filled layer called the bran, 2. the nutrient-rich core called the germ, and 3. the starchy middle layer called the endosperm, according to the HSPH. The outer, inedible hull is removed leaving the nutrient-packed bran and germ which retains the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

In contrast, white rice is a refined grain, meaning that the bran and the germ have been removed, leaving just the endospore (The outer hull is also removed). This process strips away much of the fiber and nutrients. Some of these nutrients —including B vitamins and iron — are added back to “enriched” white rice, but fiber might not be added back, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

To make a healthy decision about which rice to buy and which one’s to avoid it’s important to get into the habit of reading nutrition labels. For whole grain products, you’ll see the words “whole” or “whole grain” first on the ingredient list. Some examples of whole-grain products are brown rice (dheki chata chal), whole wheat. graham flour, oatmeal, whole oats,  wild rice, whole grain corn, popcorn, and whole-grain barley.

As a part of a generally healthy diet brown rice contains some very impressive nutrition profile and benefits:

The low glycemic index (GI)

Brown rice is considered a low “glycemic index” food. The glycemic index (GI) refers to how quickly and how much a food raises a person’s blood sugar after eating, according to HSPH. Low-GI foods have a rating of 55 or less; the average GI for brown rice is 55. White rice has an average GI of 64, making it a medium-GI food. Previous research has shown a link between a high-GI diet and type 2 diabetes.

Exceptionally high in manganese

Manganese for many important processes in the body, such as bone development, wound healing, muscle contraction metabolism, nerve function, and blood sugar regulation. (1) Deficiency in manganese has been linked to a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, bone demineralization, impaired growth, and low fertility (2), (3).

Powerful plant compounds

Brown rice barn contains phenols and flavonoids, a class of antioxidants that help protect the body from oxidative stress (4). Oxidative stress is associated with a number of health conditions, including heart disease, certain types of cancer and premature aging (5). The antioxidants found in brown rice help prevent cell injury caused by unstable molecules called free radicals and reduce inflammation in the body (6).

Studies suggest that the antioxidants found in rice may be the reason for the low prevalence of certain chronic diseases in areas of the world where rice is a staple food.

Helps you lose weight

To achieve your weight management goal brown rice can be the best replacement for refined white rice lacks the fiber and nutrients brown rice contain. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans, and peas can all be good sources of dietary fiber too. Dietary fiber can help you move waste through the digestive tract, may help prevent the formation of blood clots, improve blood cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and even type 2 diabetes.

Studies show that people who eat more whole grains like brown rice weigh less than those who consume fewer whole grains. Fiber helps keep you fuller over a longer period of time, so you will feel satisfied consuming fewer calories overall. (7)

Studies also suggest, replacing white rice with brown rice may help reduce belly fat and a significant decrease in blood pressure and CRP a marker of inflammation in the body. Brown rice can be a better alternative for those with diabetes. Its higher amounts of magnesium help blood sugar and insulin metabolism. (8)

In addition to fiber, grains provide nutrients like thiamin (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (Vitamin B2), niacin (Vitamin B3), folate (Vitamin B9), iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and selenium. These are all important for a variety of body functions like forming new cells, carrying oxygen in the blood, regulating the thyroid, and maintaining a healthy immune system.

Brown rice is a highly nutritious food, low in calories (216 calories per cup), high in fiber, gluten-free, and can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. The USA Rice Federation notes that brown rice contains no trans-fat or cholesterol. It has only trace amounts of fat and sodium.

2 thoughts on “Is Brown Rice Really Healthier Than Refined White Rice?”

    • Hi Sauda Tasnim, Thank you for your nice review.
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