Rice is the prime source of nutrition and nourishment for over half the world’s population and brown rice, by the structure, is a whole grain, implying that it contains all parts of the grain- bran: the fibrous part, Germ: nutritional part & Endosperm: the part with abundant carbohydrates. In nutshell, Brown rice is white rice with all its fibre content & nutrition. Many of us are fond of consuming brown rice due to its nutritional value. The question arises, How does it impact our well being? Is it a boon or a bane to our health?
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison”.Ann Wigmore, a Lithuanian- American health practitioner, naturopath and raw food advocate
These words makes one ponder over the importance of knowing the food one consumes. It emphasizes the necessity to be well acquainted with the benefits as well as the harm, food you consume can cause. In this article, We will be putting an end to this debate by making you aware of some distinctive benefits and side effects of having brown rice.
Facts on why brown rice is a boon to health:-
1. Food for the brain:-
Studies have shown that brown rice is good for the brain & nervous system as the richness of Vitamin B in it accelerates metabolism in the brain. The presence of minerals such as magnesium & manganese also makes it beneficial for the brain.
2. Health benefits of Selenium in brown rice:-
A review of 69 studies that incorporated above 350,000 people was done & the conclusion was drawn that having high levels of selenium in blood was associated with decreased risk of certain types of cancer, including breast cancer , lung cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. In one cup of cooked long-grain brown rice, 19 mcg of selenium is present which equals to 27 per cent of the recommended daily requirement.
In addition to this, Selenium also prevents the development of plaque in arteries thus aiding in the prevention of coronary heart diseases.
3. Brown rice as an anti-depressant:-
Due to the presence of essential Amino acids such as Glycerin, Glutamine, GABA- Gamma-Aminobutyric acid in germinated brown rice, these inhibitory neurotransmitters blocks messages associated with depression, anxiety & stress. In this way, brown rice intake contributes to being an anti-depressant and helps to stabilize our mental health.
4. Stabilizes blood sugar level:-
Scientific studies prove that consumption of three servings per day of whole grains like brown rice reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes up to 32%. The reason is that brown rice has a low glycemic index (GI), which implies that it doesn’t cause your blood sugar to spike after its consumption.
5. Cholesterol check with Brown Rice:-
The USA Rice federation notes that brown rice contains no Trans-fat or cholesterol, making it a healthy food choice. Another study has shown that when you take brown rice, you lower the chances of bad cholesterol by 7%. This attribute of brown rice is a big boon to those who suffer with keeping a check on their cholesterol level.
6. Healthy choice for Liver:-
Another crucial benefit of eating brown rice is that it prevents the rise in liver triglycerides that may be caused due to excessive alcohol intake. This keeps the health of your liver on the safer side.
7. Promotes weight loss:-
Brown rice has low calorie content, 216 calories per cup and is high in fibre. Its carbohydrate content is also low and it contains high nutritional value. For people who are trying to get rid of excess weight, Brown rice acts as a significant food substitute. Apart from this, it improves digestion & regulates bowel movements.
8. High fibre content as a guard against cancer:-
Brown rice is rich in fibre content which is mainly present in the bran part of the grain. This high fibre content prevents colon cancer. It gets attached to the cancer-causing cells, preventing them from getting attached to the colon, thus averting cancer.
9. Storehouse of Antioxidants :-
Brown rice contains Superoxide dismutase which safeguards cell in our body from oxidation damage during the production of energy. The Vitamin E in the brown rice also prevents oxidative damage to cells.
How does brown rice harm our body?
Though brown rice has a constructive impact on health, it has some potential negatives (side-effects) as well.
1. Phytic acid in Brown rice:-
On consumption of Phytic acid, a substance found naturally in plant seeds, it binds with other minerals like Iron, Zinc, calcium etc. to create phytates. Once this happens, the body no longer has access to these minerals & in this way phytic acid in brown rice interferes with mineral absorption in your body.
2. The high amount of Arsenic:-
Arsenic is a toxic chemical that can lead to cancer & heart diseases on its accumulation in the body. Brown rice has a high amount of arsenic, nearly 70%-80% more than white rice and this may pose a threat to your wellbeing. This arsenic in brown rice can be lowered by proper washing of rice with clean, arsenic free water before cooking it.
3. Increased cooking time:-
Brown rice takes a longer time for cooking due to the high fibre content in it and this may make the whole process cumbersome.
4. Negatives of the high fibre content
High fibre may have many positive effects on the body but in certain cases, these high levels of fibre may interfere with digestion and leave you feeling fuller & bloated.
5. Does not top in nutrition content list:-
Though Brown rice is a good source of fibre & nutrients, it still does not top the list of the most nutritional foods & lacks in containing all of the minerals & nutrients.
Now that you have the pros and the cons of brown rice consumption, you can draw the deduction from these facts by weighing them on imaginary scales.