Brown Rice: Amazing Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts
Rice has been a part of the human diet for thousands of years now. A few rice farming tools in China date back to 8,000 years ago along with some remains of ancient rice that are about 2,000 years old. Rice is a staple in more than 100 cultures today, and there are more than 40,000 varieties of rice grown all over the world.
Brown rice or unpolished rice is a whole grain that has the outer bran layer and germ intact and hence consists of a higher amount of nutrients including fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Also, it is not subjected to intense processing like white or polished rice which makes it more wholesome and nutritious.
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One serving of brown rice is equal to only a half-cup of cooked rice. A half-cup of dry brown rice will give you a full cup of cooked rice. Be careful to stick to half-cup servings.
One half-cup serving of long-grain brown rice consists of the following nutrients:
- Calories: 108
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 22 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
Brown rice is also a good source of folate, riboflavin (B2), potassium, and calcium and is exceptionally high in manganese. Manganese helps the body in a lot of ways like bone development, wound healing, muscle contraction metabolism, nerve function, and blood sugar regulation. It also consists of flavonoids and phenols that help prevent oxidative stress.
Health Benefits of Brown Rice
Reduces the risk of diabetes
Brown rice has a low glycemic index (GI) which does not cause the blood sugar levels to spike after a meal. According to studies, eating 3 servings of whole grains like brown rice per day can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 32%.
Improves heart health
Nutrients in brown rice help keep the heart healthy. Being a rich source of dietary fiber and magnesium, brown rice can help reduce the risk of strokes by 12% and heart diseases by up to 22%.
Helps manage weight
Including brown rice as a staple in diets may help people to manage and lose weight. Brown rice consists of manganese and phosphorus, which help synthesize body fats and control obesity. It also contains more dietary fiber, and higher-fiber foods tend to make you feel fuller for a longer period of time while taking in fewer calories. If you replace white rice with brown rice, you will be able to eat less without feeling hungry again.
Brown rice consists of magnesium which provides the body with energy. It helps convert carbohydrates and proteins into energy, which keeps you active for long hours.
Improves bone health
Brown rice helps maintain overall bone health and development. It is rich in magnesium and calcium that helps in keeping the bones strong and healthy. A deficiency in manganese can lead to a higher risk of developing bone demineralization and impaired growth.
Helps reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome
According to recent studies, consumption of cereals like brown rice that is high in fiber and low in glycemic index can help reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndromes like heart issues, strokes and type 2 diabetes.
Help reduce cholesterol
The presence of oil in brown rice is known to reduce LDL levels or bad cholesterol to a great extent, making it one of the healthiest grains in the diet. The fiber present in brown rice binds to the cholesterol in the digestive system and helps in its excretion, lowering the LDL levels.
Prevents the growth of gallstones
Brown rice is rich in insoluble fiber and can prevent the risk of developing gallstones. According to a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, women who consumed more fiber had a 13% lower risk of developing gallstones compared to women consuming less fiber-rich foods.
Quick Ways to add brown rice to your diet
- Add brown rice to soup for healthy carbs.
- Stir fry vegetables and meat or tofu with brown rice instead of white rice.
- Prepare a rice bowl with beans, salsa, greens, and other ingredients of your choice.
- Combine it with veggies and spices to make stuffed bell peppers.
- Combine it with some milk, sugar, and egg to make rice pudding.
- Top brown rice with eggs, salsa, avocados and black beans for a savory breakfast.
- Make a brown rice porridge instead of oatmeal porridge for breakfast.
- Toss brown rice with fresh veggies and olive oil for a tasty side dish.
- Make black bean and brown rice burgers for a plant-based meal.
- Use brown rice to prepare energy bars.
- Use brown rice in your curry recipes.
- Try a healthy twist on a risotto by using brown rice instead of arborio rice.
- Swap white pasta with brown rice pasta.
- Sauté brown rice with olive oil and garlic for a flavorful carbohydrate option.
While these are only a few ways to add brown rice to your diet, there is so much more than can be done to make it a part of your everyday meals. Brown rice is extremely nutritious and a gluten-free grain that consists of a considerable amount of vitamins, minerals and beneficial compounds. Consumption of whole grains like brown rice can help prevent or improve several health conditions, including diabetes and heart diseases. Himalayan Natives 100% Sona Masuri Unpolished Brown Rice is naturally-harvested, free from GMO, and pesticides with no added colors and preservatives.