In the mind of many people brown rice is synonym with a healthy lifestyle. But is there any truth to this association? In fact, this whole grain has many characteristics that make it interesting for those who want to eat well. Read on to discover more about its health benefits.
Let’s start with the basics. For example: Why is brown rice, well… brown? Both white and brown rice come from the same grain. The difference is that white rice has had the bran removed through processing. This lesser degree of processing is one of the main characteristics of brown rice, and also its main strength, because it maintains most of the grain’s nutritional value.
Compared to its white variety, brown rice has a richer nutritional profile. One cup of brown rice provides 88% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of Manganese, 27% of the RDI of Selenium, and 21% of the RDI of Magnesium, among many other nutrients. In fact, brown rice is one of the most nutritious gluten-free grains.
Gluten is a group of proteins that can trigger allergic reactions in some people, and brown rice a naturally gluten-free option. This fact is important because some gluten-free foods are highly processed. In recent years some people are trying to follow a gluten-free diet, even if they’re not allergic to gluten. For them, brown rice is a very attractive option.
Since it’s a whole grain, brown rice contains the fiber and nutrients that other more refined grains lack. Fiber is essential to improve digestion. A high-fiber diet has been linked to a reduced risk of conditions such as ulcers and hemorrhoids. Besides, brown rice can also help you lose weight, if you use it to replace more refined grains.
It Can Be Good for Your Heart
A study found that people who eat the highest amounts of whole grains (brown rice included) had a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease. In addition, brown rice contains Lignans, compounds associated with low cholesterol and lower blood pressure. As we have seen before, brown rice is also an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral essential to heart health.
When it comes to serving it, brown rice is a delicious and healthy option that can be served as a standalone dish, in soup or combined with vegetables, chicken or fish.