Ever since we were children, we all heard of brown rice as a healthier choice when compared to white rice; but a surprisingly low percentage of people can explain why that is so–even today, in the middle of the information age.
Although there are a total of about 8,000 different types of rice, whole brown rice is considered by scientists to be the most nutrient-rich and overall healthiest form of rice you can consider cooking. Due to its abundance of healthy vitamins, minerals, and oils,it by far outranks most of the additive-filled varieties of white rice we consume on a daily basis.
What's the Difference Between Brown and White Rice?
There is considerable difference between brown rice and white rice in terms of processing. While brown rice is essentially whole grain with only the initial outer layer removed through milling, white rice is much more refined through more extensive processing. The word “refined” in this case doesn't reflect a heightened form of quality.
White rice goes through a more complicated process of fragmentation in which the outer hull, along with additional layers of bran and germ are completely removed. With them, a great amount of the rice's essential nutritional value is also discarded,making white rice a far less beneficial choice than its counterpart when it comes to providing the body with all the most important elements it requires.
Red and black rice are more or less similar to brown rice, in that they retain their whole grain constitution and flavor (brown rice has a “nuttier” flavor that many may find quite pleasant).
Although the levels of calories and carbohydrates contained in both brown and white rice are very similar, the two varieties of rice differ greatly in their nutritional value. While brown rice is rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium, white rice contains various additives that may actually be harmful to the body in a variety of ways.
There are also a few concerns about brown rice containing slightly elevated quantities of arsenic.However, the amount is usually minimal, and it varies depending on farming methods and the exposure to naturally occurring or inorganic arsenic–the latter particularly present if and when farmers use it as a pesticide.
The Nutritional Difference Between Brown and White Rice
Retaining its natural wholeness, brown rice has an abundance of fiber, manganese, and phosphorus(two times more than white rice, in the case of the last two nutrients), and is also quite rich in Vitamins B1, B3, and B6, as well as Selenium.
Brown rice retains much of its naturally occurring oils and fatty acids as well, and it is very rich in iron and antioxidants. Moreover, its remarkably high content of manganese can give us up to 80% of our daily manganese requirements. This fact alone can qualify brown rice as an actual superfood.
Although vitamin B1 and B3, as well as iron, are commonly added back into white rice after the polishing process, the rice doesn't taste the same, and its ability to transfer these nutrients to in a natural and efficient way is lost as well. The FDA even has strict standards that suppliers have to observe with regards to additives in order to have their white rice provisions cleared for future sale.
Quite possibly, the only real benefit of the more extensive processing of white rice is that it has a longer storage time. Despite the fact that brown rice is rich in a huge assortment of nutrients and minerals, it has to be consumed fresh since it tends to spoil much faster than its lighter-colored counter part.
Is Brown Rice Healthier Than White Rice?
When it comes down to the health differences between brown and white rice, it makes sense to point out that since brown rice is essentially the unprocessed form of most types of white rice, it retains many of the natural, health-inducing nutrients that white rice has lost.
While white rice just has a lot of carbs and additives, brown rice features a large concentration of these natural compounds, which give it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could help prevent a wide range of diseases. Cancer is one of them, and so is heart disease. Also more easily prevented are various rheumatoid conditions and disorders induced by inflammation.
The high fiber content of brown rice does far more than help with digestion. According to certain studies, the high use of whole grains rich in fiber such as brown rice can significantly contribute to reducing the likelihood of colon cancer, due to the fiber's ability to actually attach to unwanted substances and toxins, assisting with their elimination from the body.
The added manganese concentration also helps the body produce healthy levels of cholesterol and fatty acids that are essential to the proper functioning of numerous body functions.
Speaking of cholesterol, brown rice also prevents LDL cholesterol from forming in excess, assisting with the normal functioning of the heart and also promoting weight loss.
Finally, an excellent asset associated with the use of brown rice is its slow release of carbohydrates that enables it to provide the body with the same amount of energy as white rice, but with fewer risks associated with high blood sugar. This means that brown rice is the best type of rice for diabetics.
Is There a Difference Between Brown Rice and Whole Grain Rice?
As you can see, there is a great deal of difference between white rice and brown rice, and it can be quite crucial to be aware of that if you aim on maintaining an overall healthy diet and lifestyle.
Not only is brown rice much richer in all types of important nutrients that the body requires on a daily basis, but its natural ability to work together with the body in breaking down these nutrients and allowing for ideal absorption is quite essential as well.
Of the two, brown rice is clearly the healthiest and most efficient option for anyone interested in losing weight, gaining energy, balancing their overall body functions, and living more naturally on a day-to-day basis.