How many times have you turned away from brown rice at the supermarket and chosen to but white rice instead? After reading this list of the 10 health benefits of brown rice, you will definitely pick up that packet of brown rice you have been putting down each time.
Health Benefits of Brown Rice
1. Lowers risk of diabetes
Recent research has found that one of the major benefits of brown rice is that it can significantly reduce the risk of Type II diabetes if eaten regularly. Consuming just 50 grams of brown rice a day can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 16 percent while other whole grains such as barley and whole wheat can lower the risk by 36 percent. This is a very good reason to add a cup of brown rice to your daily diet. Also, read about health benefits of cherries.
2. High in fiber
Since brown rice is not processed as much as white rice, much of the fiber content is left intact and this is extremely beneficial for health. Along with ensuring healthy digestion and absorption of food, fiber also helps reduce the risk of cancer. The chemicals in the fiber latch on to carcinogens and prevent them from attacking organ – mainly the colon and the breasts – thus preventing these two types of cancers. Brown rice can provide up to 16% of your daily recommended fiber intake and keep you healthy.
3. Rich source of selenium and manganese
One cup of brown rice contains 88 percent of the recommended daily value of manganese, a nutrient that plays an important part in fighting free radicals. Manganese also plays a vital role in the absorption of proteins and carbohydrates and providing this is one of the major benefits of brown rice. Another important mineral in Brown rice is Selenium which plays a role in the antioxidant process, promotes healthy thyroid metabolism and can destroy cancer cells and even repair DNA. Brown rice can provide up to 26% of the daily required amount of selenium and since not many foods contain this mineral, brown rice is one of the best sources.
4. Can prevent weight gain
Brown rice is a type of whole grain that contains more fiber and less carbohydrate and hence reduces the production of fats in the body. It is also not processed and free of chemicals making it a healthy option for white rice. A study conducted by Harvard found that women who ate a diet with brown rice had fewer instances of weight gain and had better overall health.
5. Lowers Cholesterol
A high cholesterol intake is the cause of many lifestyle diseases like clogged arteries, irregular blood flow and heart conditions and brown rice helps prevent all of this. The oil in brown rice has been shown to lower levels of LDL cholesterol, also known as the bad cholesterol by up to 7%. At the same time, it can increase the level of HDL cholesterol or the good cholesterol and reduce the risk of diseases associated with high cholesterol levels.
6. Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular diseases become common with old age and the benefit of brown rice is that it can slow the progression of such diseases. One common disease prevented by brown rice is arteriosclerosis which means the build up of plaque along the inner walls of arteries which can adversely affect blood flow in the body. The high fiber content in brown rice and the plant pigments present it in help to slow the progression of this disease. Brown rice is especially effective in post menopausal women.
7. Rich source of phytonutrients
Phytonutrients are compounds naturally found in plants that usually have anti-inflammatory properties and tend to act as antioxidants by eliminating free radicals. The benefit of brown rice is that it has as many phytonutrients as most fruit and vegetables and is especially rich in phenolics. These phytonutrients play different roles in the body and are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and a healthy body.
8. Reduces risk of developing metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of factors that increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. This condition is characterized by excess fat in the abdominal area and insulin resistance. Brown rice contains compounds that can reduce weight gain, control the amount of bad cholesterol, ensure uninterrupted blood flow and thus reduces the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Research has also shown that consuming whole grains like brown rice on a regular basis can reduce the risk of weight gain and insulin resistance by up to 38 percent and mitigate the contributing factors to a variety of diseases like stroke and heart attacks.
9. Reduces risk of childhood asthma
Most cases of asthma develop during the childhood and continue with varying severity into adulthood. In such situations, most of the treatment involves reducing the symptoms during childhood itself and brown rice can greatly help with this. Studies have shown that children who consume brown rice, whole grains, and fish on a regular basis face the lesser risk of developing asthma and can also benefit from reduced symptoms.
10. Promotes bone health
One of the most important benefits of brown rice is that it is rich in a mineral called magnesium which is essential for bone development and strength. Brown rice contains over 20% of the daily required the intake of magnesium and just two servings a day can ensure healthy bones. Magnesium is stored in bones and helps in the formation of bones, assimilation of calcium and phosphate in the bones and also improves overall health since all the requirement of magnesium in the body can be taken from the bones.
Since the taste, texture, and cost of brown rice is almost the same as that of white rice, it is very easy to incorporate into your diet and much healthier as compared to it’s more processed cousin. Brown rice can be cooked and consumed like white rice and goes well with all kinds of food!