Brown Rice   

Avoid White Rice
Avoid White Rice

My children only got brown rice, not white, from my kitchen when they were growing up. I know when they left home they “treated” themselves to some Minute Rice, but they’re back eating the good stuff.

Brown rice is the basis of white rice. Processors, called millers, remove the bran and the germ leaving only the white starch. In my opinion white rice has as much taste as the box it comes in and about as many nutrients.

Brown rice is a whole food and therefore has more nutrients than white rice. The bran has fibre and the germ gives flavour and vital fat-soluble vitamins. Milling rice strips it of its oils, vitamins and fibre, just like when other grains are processed. White rice is also polished, which essentially removes any remaining nutrients.

Brown rice has protein, carbohydrates and fat and is a good source of B vitamins, selenium and other trace minerals. Eating brown rice is proven to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and contributes to good cardiovascular health.

Choosing white rice over brown leads to a higher risk of diabetes.

When white rice first became popular, some rice-eating peoples experienced health problems including Beriberi, a cluster of symptoms caused primarily by a nutritional deficit in vitamin B1 (thiamine) manifesting in the central nervous, gastro-intestinal and cardiovascular systems. It’s rare in first world countries because we have many sources of thiamine.

Millers addressed the problem by fortifying grains with synthetic vitamins. They help but simply don’t do the job of real vitamins. And fortifying doesn’t remedy the loss of fibre.

Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice, between 40 and 60 minutes, depending on the variety of rice. I cook large batches and freeze it in one or two cup containers. Then I can dump it into soups or thaw for using as a base for stir-fries, salads, stews and puddings.

Brown rice comes in short and long grains; the short are stickier and ideal for sashimi, cabbage rolls, and home-made vine leaf rolls.

Switching to eating only brown rice is a small step that you can take towards improving your health.

Learn more about how brown rice affects your health here:

See complete breakdown of Brown Rice’s nutrient profile.

See my Coconut Cranberry Rice Pudding recipe

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