For many parts of our country, rice is a staple food. And even though there are many varieties of rice – like long-grain basmati rice, white rice, sticky rice and brown rice, the most nutritious variety is the brown rice, which is a less processed version of white rice. White rice is the most popular and frequently eaten variety, but due to a variety of reasons, people are slowly making the shift to brown rice.
Brown rice is a great source of carbohydrates and contains essential nutrients like vitamin B, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium. It is also rich in fibres and has a pleasant taste. It is nutritionally better than white rice as only the other hull of the grain is removed; and so, it is considered a whole grain.
Here are a few advantages and health benefits of using brown rice:
1. Healthy Heart:
Brown rice has high magnesium content which is good for heart. Magnesium is important for regulating blood pressure. And thus, consumption of brown rice is associated with healthier blood pressure levels and carotid arteries. Brown rice is also abundant in phytonutrient plant lignans which protect against the heart diseases.
2. Reduced Risk of Colon Cancer:
The high selenium levels and certain phenols present in brown rice reduce the risk of colon cancer. The high level of fibres also accounts for a healthy colon and digestive system.
3. Diabetes Control:
Diabetic individuals must make a transition from white rice to brown rice. This is because it has a low glycemic index which helps in reducing the insulin surges and stabilizes the blood sugar levels. Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate which releases sugars slowly as compared to white rice.
4. Rich in Antioxidants:
Brown rice is an abundant source of antioxidants which protect us from the damages caused by free oxygen radical. The superoxide dismutase antioxidant present in brown rice protects the cell from the damage caused by oxidation during energy production.
5. Weight Control:
The manganese present in brown rice helps to synthesize the body fats. As it is rich in dietary fibres, it keeps you fuller for a longer time, thus reducing your food intake.
6. Healthy Digestion:
The fibres present in brown rice aid digestion and excretion. It helps in smooth bowel movements and prevents constipation.
7. Better Bone Health:
The magnesium present in brown rice is the key nutrient for strong bones. Deficiency of magnesium can lead to low bone density and later to osteoporosis.
8. Helps Insomnia:
Brown rice is a natural source of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Melatonin relieves the nerves and makes better the quality of sleep and it also increases the sleep cycle.
9. Controls Cholesterol:
Brown rice contains naturally occurring oils which help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels in an individual. It regulates the cholesterol catabolism.
10. Boosts Immunity:
Brown rice is a rich and abundant source of important nutrients like vitamins, minerals which help in boosting the immunity system of our bodies.
11. Baby Food:
Brown rice is a perfect baby food in the form of a cereal or even by itself as it contains fibres and natural nutrients. It is a much better choice than other cereal products as babies require a nutrient rich diet.