Brown rice offers a whole host of benefits that many people don’t realize. While many of us hear that this rice is better than white, just what does that mean?
The Truth About Brown Rice for Health Benefits
To understand why this rice is so different from white rice you need to understand the process of how both are made.
Brown rice is what white rice is before it goes through the refinement process. When this rice is processed, the outside husk or hull of the rice is removed. Then, this de-hulled rice is transformed into white rice through another process that removes the germ and the bran from the rice. White rice undergoes this process to make it white in color and to ensure that it cooks faster than other rice does. Ever notice that white rice is often labeled as “fortified” or “enriched”? This is usually due to the presence of unnatural additives. These nutrients are added to the rice because the stripping process eliminates most of the original minerals and vitamins that would otherwise be in the rice.
Ready to see how this rice will benefit you in your everyday life? Read on!
1. Manage Diabetes
Brown rice is essentially a superfood for diabetics, as well as individuals that are hyperglycemic. As this rice has a lower glycemic index, it is helpful for reducing insulin surges and works to stabilize the body’s blood sugar levels.
Certain studies show that as a complex carbohydrate, it helps slow the release of sugars, particularly in comparison to white rice. The American Diabetes Association shares that nutrient-dense brown rice is preferable to white rice or individuals with diabetes, as it is high in essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
2. Control Antioxidant Activity
Powerful in antioxidants, brown rice works to protect against any damage to the body caused by free radicals. This rice contains the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase, which protects your cells from any oxidation damage during the production of energy.
A study from the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences shows that one of the main benefits of brown rice is that it is better able to scavenge free radicals. Moreover, in comparison to white rice, this rice is more effective in preventing a wide variety of oxidation-mediated diseases like coronary heart disease.
3. Manage Obesity
This rice is a key diet component for individuals that are hoping to control their diet. As this rice contains manganese, this helps the body to better synthesize fats.
A study shows that whole grains like brown and black rice are able to positively reduce one’s body mass index, resulting in notable weight loss. Consistently eating this rice also enhances the actions of glutathione peroxidase, the antioxidant enzyme, helping to elevate one’s levels of their HDL cholesterol.
4. Prevent Alzheimer’s
While scientists are still working to learn more about Alzheimer’s, certain studies have shown that this rice is effective at preventing certain neurodegenerative complications associated with this disease. Due to the abundance of gamma-aminobutyric acid, this rice helps to inhibit the enzyme prolyl endopeptidase, which has negative effects on the body.
In addition to helping individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, this rice helps other individuals that have been diagnosed with cerebral disorders like amnesia and dementia.
5. Reduce Stress in Lactating Women
This rice is seen as beneficial for boosting the mental health of lactating women. One study shows that consuming this rice bears positive results for reducing depression, fatigue, and mood disturbances in nursing women.
6. Improve Digestive Health
As rice has become a staple in almost every diet around the world, choosing to eat this rice will work to keep your digestive system healthy. The fiber present in this rice will promote regular bowel function and keep you feeling full throughout the day.
Studies show that this rice promotes texture retention, as the rice’s bran layer prevents the body from absorbing humidity and acid. The fiber content in this rice also offers relief from conditions like colitis and constipation.
7. Boost Heart Health
Rich in selenium, this rice is one of the best additions to your diet to boost your heart health. Whole grains like this rice work to reduce any blockage in your arteries from plaque buildup. This protective action will reduce your risk of developing cardiac disorders like hypertension and similar vascular diseases.
Studies suggest that tissues surrounding the grains in this rice contain certain components that act against the protein angiotensin II. This plays a significant role in keeping your blood pressure low and preventing atherosclerosis.
8. Control Cholesterol Levels
Need to cut back on cholesterol?
Start eating this rice with your meals to promote healthy cholesterol levels. Thanks to the naturally occurring oils found in this rice, you’ll be better able to regulate cholesterol catabolism. The beneficial nutrients in the rice help with glucose and lipid metabolism.
Additionally, eating this rice regularly will help you improve HDL and serum concentrations. Other studies have shown that germinated rice works to prevent the development of liver triglycerides in patients with excessive alcohol intake because of the presence of gamma-aminobutyric acid.
9. Prevent Cancer
Studies show that consuming this rice will help prevent the development of leukemia, breast cancer, and colon cancer. This is likely due to the antioxidants present in this rice. Additionally, the rice’s fiber content is capable of binding itself to cancer-causing toxins inside the body.
This works to prevent toxins from becoming attached to the colon’s wall, further eliminating them from your body.
One study evaluated this rice’s chemopreventive properties, resulting in the validation that the bran in this rice contains essential phenols like caffeine acid, ferulic acid, and tricin. These phenols are present in lower levels with white rice. These components are invaluable in preventing the development of breast and colon cancer cells.
10. Boost Nervous System Functioning
Want to eat smarter? This rice is one of the best ways to do that.
This rice is essential for encouraging the smooth functioning in your nervous system.
This rice helps accelerate the brain’s metabolism thanks to vitamin B and other essential minerals like magnesium and manganese. These minerals work to balance the calcium in your body while supporting the regulation of muscle tone and your nerves.
Additionally, eating this rice will help prevent the surge of calcium into your nerve cells, aiding in maintaining relaxed muscles and nerves, which prevents excessive contraction.
11. Benefit from Antidepressant Properties
Believe it or not, the food you eat can play a role in your anxiety levels. Germinated rice contains several antidepressant qualities that help in combating stress and anxiety-related disorders. Studies show that germinated rice like this contains amino acids like GABA, glutamine, and glycerin.
These amino acids act as inhibitory neurotransmitters, facilitating the reduction in your body’s allowance of messages that are associated with stress, depression, and anxiety.
In addition to reducing stress, this kind of rice enhances an individual’s ability to remain calm in stressful situations. Similarly, it helps to improve their overall immune system.
12. Relieve Insomnia
Eating rice to help you fall asleep? Believe it or not, this rice is very effective in curing insomnia.
This rice can help to relieve insomnia, as it is a source of melatonin. This hormone will enhance your quality of sleep as it relaxes the nerves and increases your sleep cycle.
13. Boost Your Immunity
Want to stay as healthy as possible?
In addition to taking your vitamins and exercising regularly, making the benefits of brown rice part of your regular diet will help boost your immunity. As this rice contains a significant amount of essential phenol components, minerals, and vitamins, this will help boost your immune system.
14. Improve Bone Health
This rice will help improve the health of your bones As it is rich with magnesium and calcium, this rice will help keep your bones strong.
These minerals work to prevent bone demineralization, which is what makes this rice incredibly beneficial for individuals that have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and arthritis.
15. Promote Healthy Bowel Function
Struggling to stay regular? Start supplementing your diet with this rice.
The insoluble fiber in the rice will stay in your gut to aid the digestion and excretion process. This fiber will attract water to your gut, allowing for more fluid movements and preventing constipation.
Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Brown Rice
There’s a reason this rice is seen as “the healthier rice”. With all of the aforementioned benefits, it would be a shame to not start eating more of this superfood.
Whether you’re a fan of sushi or you like rice and peas, there’s always a way to add the benefits of brown rice into your diet. Keep these 15 benefits in mind as you work to keep your body as healthy as possible.