The Dirt On Rice

It's time to ditch white rice and switch to brown

Team RD  

It's not just about eating fewer calories, but eating healthy. Nutritionists agree that brown rice is healthier than white because the latter loses its nutrients during the polishing process.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that eating five or more servings of white rice per week was linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Replacing 50 grams of white rice with brown could lower the risk of the disease by 16 per cent.

White rice is produced in mills after removing the bran and much of the germ from unpolished rice. The polishing removes the aleurone layer of the grain, which is rich in vitamins and minerals. When processed, the grain loses these important nutrients.

Brown rice is low in sodium, and richer in niacin and Vitamin B3, which play a major role in producing enzymes that convert food into energy. Research suggests that brown rice is high in selenium that aids the production of the thyroid hormone and antioxidant activity. The magnesium present in it is good for our bones. Lignans found in rice bran are converted to the phytoestrogen enterolactone in the gut. They are also known for their anti-carcinogenic and cardioprotective properties.   

The American Dietetic Association's Guide To Better Digestion suggests that brown rice contains "resistant starch": a power nutrient, which amps up your body's ability to burn fat, fills you up and curbs hunger pangs. Include this low glycaemic food to your diet to manage weight, control cholesterol and tank up on antioxidants.  

 Adapted from Prevention India. July 2014 LIVING MEDIA INDIA LIMITED