A superfood, actually!
Many people love rice and beans because this simple dish provides an inexpensive source of complete protein that provides all of the essential amino acids for human health.
But brown rice offers many other health benefits, including protection against chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and various cancers.
“There’s a delicate balance of bioactive components in rice bran that together show anti-cancer activity including the ability to inhibit cell proliferation . . . and initiate the programmed cell death known as apoptosis in malignant cells,” stated Elizabeth P. Ryan, PhD, senior author of a University of Colorado Cancer Center review published in Advances in Nutrition.
Rich in insoluble fiber but low in sodium, brown rice also guards against high blood pressure. This carb helps with normal brain functioning and is a great source for quick energy.
Nutrients in Brown Rice
Unlike white rice—in which the grain is stripped of several layers before being polished— only the top layer of the rice kernel (an inedible hull) is removed in the process of making brown rice. This preserves many of the grain’s nutrients.
Nutrients include manganese, selenium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, thiamine (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin B6, and vitamin B9. These are key nutrients that help decrease the risk of high blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease.
Rice contains many powerful antioxidant phytonutrients that help fight disease and reduce LDL cholesterol.
More Good News about Brown Rice
Research shows that women who eat more whole grains—including rice and quinoa—weigh less than those who don’t eat as many servings.
Eating brown rice instead of white rice was shown to help women with Type 2 diabetes control body weight and stabilize blood glucose levels in a recent study.
New Ways to Eat Rice
Use leftover rice for cold rice salads and stir-fries.
Cooked rice makes a satisfying dessert. Try adding a milk or milk alternative to a serving of rice, and then add spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Raisins and honey add sweetness.
“Antitumor Effects of Dietary Black and Brown Rice Brans in Tumor-Bearing Mice . . .” by S.P. Choi et al., Mol Nutr Food Res, 3/13
“Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of . . . Brown Rice,” by A.K. Khairul Kamilah et al., Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, 1/07
“Chemopreventive Properties of Dietary Rice Bran . . .” by A.J. Henderson et al., Advances in Nutrition, 2012
“Phenolic Compounds of Cereals and Their Antioxidant Capacity” by P. Van Hung, Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 7/14
“Pre-Germinated Brown Rice Reduced Both Blood Glucose Concentration and Body Weight. . . ” by T.N. Bui et al., J Nutr Sci Vitaminol, 2014