Nine reasons to eat brown rice

April 12, 2019 6:08 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Why eat brown rice? What’s wrong with white? And why do people (like Naturally Good Food) bang on about it so much? Today, we thought we’d try to answer those questions very simply!

Why should we eat brown rice - rather than white?

Brown or white?

Eat brown rice for health

Take any illness, any degenerative condition, any disease (cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, bowel problems, high cholesterol, and so on), and look up a suggested diet for those suffering from or at risk of these: it’s pretty much a dead cert that you’ll find brown rice included in that diet. Whether you’re trying to prevent a disease or find the best way to live with one, you’re likely to find brown rice high on your list of suggested foods. Read on – we’ll explain just why that is.

Eat brown rice for fibre

One cup of brown rice contains 6.5g of fibre. Fibre keeps our bowels moving properly (it’s an important element in preventing bowel cancer) and maintains good heart health (reducing levels of LDL – so-called bad cholesterol and also of fatty triglycerides in the blood), thus helping to prevent strokes, too. It’s also been shown to prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes. It releases its energy slowly into the bloodstream, preventing blood sugar surges and keeping you feeling fuller for longer.

Eat brown rice for B vitamins

Brown rice is full of the B-complex vitamins, all of which are essential for good health. You’ll find vitamin B1 (thiamine) in brown rice, helping us metabolise glucose and playing a crucial role in our nerve, muscle and heart function. There’s also vitamin B3 (niacin), which regulates the nervous systems and digestive tract, and the B vitamin folate, which promotes cell production. Choline, an essential nutrient that’s similar to the B vitamins and is important for brain development, is also present.

Eat brown rice for minerals

Brown rice is rich in the minerals we need to remain healthy. A bowl of rice will provide you with a good helping of calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, selenium, manganese and  phosphorus (in fact, it will give you 88% of your daily requirement of manganese, over 27% of your requirement of selenium and about 21% of the magnesium you need each day). Each of these minerals has its own important role to play in our body: manganese helps us produce energy from proteins and carbohydrates, while selenium works to prevent and improve metabolic disorders. Magnesium regulates our nerve and muscle tone and is essential for building healthy bones, while iron builds healthy blood cells. Calcium promotes bone health; phosphorus produces healthy bones and teeth and boosts energy – and potassium is what we need for good cardiovascular health.

Eat brown rice for omega fatty acids

Brown rice also provides us with omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are the heart-healthy ones, reducing triglycerides and blood pressure and preventing the formation of arterial plaques. Omega-3 fatty acids, meanwhile, fight inflammation, promote proper sleep and soothe our skin. Both, crucially, allow us to process the vitamins listed above.

Eat brown rice for essential amino acids

Brown rice contains essential amino acids too. You’ll find betaine there, which aids liver function and digestion, and tryptophan, which we need to make the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin.

Eat brown rice for antioxidants

Brown rice is also packed with antioxidants, which prevent or slow the oxidative damage caused by free radicals in the body. Without antioxidants, DNA is altered, leading to the development of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and heart disease.

Eat brown rice for protein

You probably already know that brown rice is high in protein. If you’re on a vegetarian or vegan diet, or simply cutting down on meat, you’ll need plenty of good-quality protein to fill the gaps. Brown rice with pulses, tofu, nuts or seeds can easily supply your protein needs without using any animal products at all.

Eat brown rice because… it tastes nice!

And finally – brown rice simply tastes good! It has a delicious, homely, nutty flavour. White rice is often just a bland vehicle for other flavours, but brown rice genuinely can hold its own in a meal.

But why not white rice?

But isn’t the above all true of white rice too? Unfortunately not. All white rice starts off as brown rice . It’s then milled and polished to produce the white variety. These processes destroy 70-90% of the B vitamins, half of the manganese, phosphorus and iron, and all of the essential fatty acids and dietary fibre in the rice. (Some white rice – though not all – is then ‘enriched’ with added B-vitamins and iron at the end!)

We’ll admit that sometimes white rice has its place – particularly for pudding. We do sell a wide range of white rices, including sushi rice, pudding rice, arborio rice, Jasmine rice and white Basmati rice. They’re great for special occasions. But for everyday rice-eating, we stick to our guns: eat brown!

All our brown rice

You can see all our brown rices here. We’ve got short-grain and long-grain, sushi and Jasmine brown rices – and our favourite, brown Basmati rice, with its wonderful texture and aroma. We sell brown rices in organic and non-organic varieties. Whichever you choose, you’ll be giving your body a real treat!

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This post was written by Yzanne

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