Brown Rice, It’s Still Your Usual Rice—With Extra Health Benefits

I know eating rice isn’t quite the same if it’s not that fragrant white-as- snow fluffy-as- a-cloud texture that we’re used to. It must be an Asian thing; we just love our rice that way. However, white rice (a.k.a. refined rice, polished rice), although it tastes and looks nice, is stripped off the other health benefits that you can get out of brown rice.

Yes, brown rice is still your usual white rice except that only the hull is removed, leaving the bran and germ still intact. If you got lost in the rice grain anatomy terminology, you can always look those up later; the more important thing though is that by not milling and refining the rice, more nutrients are retained.

Thus, brown rice has way more fiber than white rice. For us dieters, this is usually the first step, probably because it is easy and simple. Just by replacing white rice with fiber-rich brown rice makes us feel full faster and need less serving than before. The additional fiber is not only perfect for our overall gut health and our weight management goals, but it also reduces our risk of diabetes and heart disease. I mean it’s nice to stay slim and look fit, but what’s even better is to feel good inside and not have health issues to worry about.

Red Bell Pepper on Brown Rice

Brown rice also has slightly higher protein content compared to white rice; when matched with regular strength-training and muscle-toning exercises, that extra bit of protein is a nice bonus. It’s not that easy to hit that protein requirement, especially when you’re a vegetarian. If you’re not a vegetarian, it’s still a win-win situation because for a staple carbohydrate, brown rice is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that the body can’t produce by itself.

Brown rice has more thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), and niacin (vitamin B3) than white rice; these are important vitamins to keep our bodies well-energized; vitamins that are very much needed nowadays to survive the increasing demands of our jobs.

It doesn’t stop there. Brown rice has lots of minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, selenium, manganese. Calcium is necessary for proper teeth and bone health—prevents osteoporosis. Potassium helps with maintaining blood pressure, acidity and alkalinity throughout the body; with these in balance, nutrients are properly absorbed by the body. Iron keeps your whole body oxygenated—reduces fatigue. Brown rice is also rich in manganese and selenium, trace minerals that have been linked to lower the risk of cancer in several studies published in the International Journal of Cancer.

Finally, did you know that calcium and manganese help alleviate our monthly ordeal as women—PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome)? I was surprised myself and it didn’t take me long to try Asian Organics fragrant brown jasmine rice because of that random fact. Besides, it tastes really good. How do you say “no” to healthy and yummy? Well, you don’t. I bet their red, black and white organic rice are just as interesting and delicious, too.

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