Health Benefits of Brown Rice
Top 10 Health Benefits of Brown Rice – Living healthy entails eating healthy as well. Some say carbs like rice have to be given up in order to live healthy. However, do you know it is actually possible to live healthy but still have rice? You just have to switch up what rice you eat.
Brown rice is known as the healthy rice because it is unrefined and unpolished. Brown rice has its germ layer and the bran retained. Unlike, white rice. And as simple as that may seem, because it is unrefined, it is also able to retain a lot more benefits than our usual white rice.
Brown Rice is Good for Cooking
What makes this a very flexible ingredient when it comes to culinary purposes is that it comes in various forms, so this ends up being very useful in different dishes like stir-fried, salads, short grains, puddings, etc. It has complex flavors that mixes well with a lot of dishes from various cuisines. Additionally, because of its natural nutty flavor, brown rice can also be served as a type of dessert. It mixes well with other desserts that need that nutty taste. Brown rice is sometimes also uses as a syrup, as a substitute sweetener.
Nutrition Facts of Brown Rice
Brown rice flour is rich in essential minerals such as manganese, iron, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, selenium, magnesium, and potassium. Its vitamin wealth includes B-vitamins – vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6, folate – vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and vitamin K. It is a source of protein, and contains a good amount of fiber. Along with this, it is also a provider of health-supportive vital fatty acids. (Source: USDA National Nutrient Database)
The benefits are endless but here are the top benefits you should know about; they are as follows:
1] Treats Insomia
Brown Rice is known to help treat insomnia because it is an excellent source of the sleep hormone called “Melatonin.” This hormone helps relax the nerves and increase the sleep cycle. Hence, this can enhance the quality of sleep.
2] Maintains Healthy Heart
Selenium is an element that is found in high content in brown rice. Selenium is known to be very beneficial for the heart. Consuming brown rice can help lessen the chances of getting your arteries blocked by plaque buildup. When the arteries aren’t blocked by plaque, chances of getting cardiac disorders are also reduced. Additionally, brown rice can also control one’s cholesterol levels. It helps balance it and keep in check. The natural oils from it are what does the job. Having lower cholesterol also lessens the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
3] Manages Diabetes
The low glycemic index in brown rice is very useful for those who are diabetic and hyperglycemic because this helps in lessening the insulin rush. It does the work in stabilizing one’s blood sugar levels. There have been studies that show that brown rice is high in phytic acid and fiber content. When a food has complex carbohydrates, it can help the body in slowing down the release of sugar. A lot of nutritionist and doctors would recommend those who are diabetic to substitute their usual white rice to brown rice.
4] Supports the Digestive System
People are choosing to use brown rice now because having it on one’s regular diet is good in keeping the digestive system healthy. As mentioned earlier, fiber is present in brown rice and fiber can help in regulating the function and movement of the bowels. Fiber is known to also make us feel fuller. Based on researches, the bran layer that the brown rice has is proven to be the one responsible in absorbing the bad acid in the body (which white rice doesn’t do)
5] Enhances Bone Growth
Milk isn’t the only thing you can intake that will help your bones maintain good health. Brown rice has been discovered to contain calcium and magnesium—both of which helps in keeping the structure, form and strength of our bones. It also helps the bones grow and keep it strong. Additionally, magnesium can also limit the chances of demineralization to occur. Brown rice is highly encouraged for people with Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and osteoporosis. Regularly consuming brown rice can fight off the medical conditions previously mentioned.
6] Helps in Weight Loss
People who are trying to lose weight, may it be because of obesity or not, would find it useful that eating brown rice can help in controlling one’s weight. Brown rice also contains manganese which is known to be good in synthesizing body fats. Whole grains like brown and back rice have been studied by researchers and have shown that consuming it brings positive effects. It reduces the bodies BMI, or body mass index, and also the body fat. And as mentioned earlier, it helps balance cholesterol level which is good for people who are obese.
7] Lessens Chances of Cancer
There are three types of cancer that brown rice can ward off: leukemia, colon cancer and breast cancer. The property in brown rice that has positive effects in preventing cancer is the high content of antioxidants and fiber. Both are known to be useful when it comes to fighting off the harmful toxins in our body which can eventually lead to cancer. The antioxidants prevent these toxins from adhering to the colon walls. Both the fiber and antioxidants eventually eliminate those toxins. Some studies also show that brown rice can slow down the creation of cancer cells.
8] Improves the Immune System
There are numerous kinds of vitamins and minerals present in Brown rice. And as well as necessary phenolic components that can all help in making our immune system better. Examples of the vitamins and minerals present are Iron, Phosphorus, Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and many more. All these minerals and vitamins can help in caring for and nourishing the immune system. Processes like healing wounds and fighting off infections will be faster with a stronger immune system.
9] Best for Lactating Women
Mood swings or mood disturbances is a common problem experienced by lactating women. There are research studies that have discovered that sprouted brown rice can reduce the mood swings women experience. It can fight off those moments of depression and times of fatigue. Additionally, there are women who claim that brown rice has helped them to resist stress.
10] Fights off Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a complication that is neuro-degenerative. But with the help of brown rice, the components in it, can fight of those harmful enzymes which causes Alzheimer’s. Other cerebral problems like dementia and amnesia are also known to be disorders that brown rice can also prevent. While there are some accounts that claim how eating brown rice has helped improve their overall cognitive function.
If you are looking to change your lifestyle to a healthy one, then including brown rice in your diet is a great start. You will not only have a healthy heart, but you will also reduce your chances of suffering from diabetes. You will sleep better, have more energy, and have a lower risk of neuro-degenerative conditions, along with other brown rice benefits. But also combine it with other healthy foods to make sure you enjoy complete brown rice benefits.
How to Cook brown rice
The amount of water recommended for cooking long- and medium-grain brown rice varies depending on the source, from as little as 1½ parts water to as much as 3 parts water per 1 part rice. I’ve always preferred 2 1/2 parts water to 1 part rice. For example, 2 1/2 cups water to 1 cup rice.
Remember to rinse the rice well before cooking. Combine in a medium saucepan with the water. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat, Cover (leave lid ajar) and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. If the rice isn’t tender to your liking at this point, add 1/2 cup additional water and continue to simmer until it’s absorbed.
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