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White rice used to be norm until news of the unhealthy carbohydrates it contains spread. Today, grocery store shelves are packed with bags of brown rice. It is considered to be one of the top whole grains available and appears in almost every health plan, even low-carb diets. Recommended from patients with digestive problems to heart disease, the health benefits of brown rice have taken the world of nutrition by storm.
What is brown rice?
Brown rice belongs to the same family of grains as white rice. The biggest difference between them is that white rice has been processed to remove bran and germ, while brown rice is not. This makes it more natural and thus healthier than its counterpart. If you’ve had servings of this rice, you might have cooked it longer than ordinary rice because of its firm texture.
What are the health benefits of brown rice?
This rice is revered for its fiber content. Fiber is essential for healthy digestion. It helps slow down the breakdown of food in your stomach, which helps you feel full for a longer period of time. In this way, it can regulate your appetite and stop you from overeating, which might lead to weight loss.
Because digestion is slower, blood sugar levels are prevented from spiking and dipping. This is especially beneficial for diabetics who struggle with unpredictable insulin levels.
Brown rice helps to add bulk to stools so waste moves smoothly out of your body and reduce pressure on your large intestine. Conditions like constipation and irregular bowel movement can force the colon to work harder than it should. When the colon is strained, it can cause diverticulitis.
Another advantage of brown rice is that it contains protein, vitamins and iron. Eating it regularly can lead to improvement in muscle, nerve and immune system health. The germ of the rice is also believed to contain many more nutrients and essential fatty acids that fight cancer, prevent heart disease and lower bad LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is very important to control because it usually results in many forms of heart diseases.
Vitamin D, calcium and magnesium are also health benefits of brown rice. Your body needs these minerals to keep bones, muscles and joints strong. Magnesium is a popular supplement for people with high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and diabetes and kidney disease.
How do you cook brown rice?
In order to enjoy the full health benefits of brown rice, you should know how to cook it to preserve as many nutrients as possible. You should boil it like you do with normal rice but seal it tightly and cook it on low to medium heat. Allow the steam sealed inside to make it softer.
Be careful not to overcook it. Brown rice should have a firmer texture than white rice. If you cook it too long in an attempt to make too soft, you might lose some of the very nutrients you are consuming it for.