Natural wonder – Brown rice

This grain may not look appeasing, but it’s a winner hands-down when it comes to health benefits. Yes, you guessed right! Today’s natural wonder is all about brown rice.

There is a Chinese proverb which says that even the cleverest housewife cannot cook without rice. Billions of people depend on rice for half of their daily calorie intake. However, most of us eat white rice which might not be as healthy and nutritious as brown rice.

What is brown rice?

Brown rice is nothing but the unrefined version of white rice. Unlike the white rice, brown rice is a whole grain with just its first outer (husk) layer removed via the refining process. Since the brown rice still has its side husk and bran, it retains its fiber and most of the vital nutrients. It is this husk and bran which makes it a whole grain, rich in proteins, fiber, manganese, magnesium, calcium, potassium and thiamine.

When compared to white rice, brown rice has twice the amount of manganese and phosphorous, two times more iron and three times more vitamin B3.

Health benefits of brown rice

For your nervous system: Brown rice is an excellent source of manganese which helps in the production of energy and sex hormones. Eating one cup of brown rice gives you nearly 80% of your daily requirement of manganese. It is this mineral that helps your body create the good cholesterol. Manganese in the brown rice is also excellent for the health of your nervous and reproductive systems.

Aids weight loss: If you are trying to lose weight, brown rice should be your staple as it has a very low glycemic rating. Brown rice also makes you feel full, which translates into smaller and less frequent meals.

Reduces risk of colon cancer: Brown rice is rich in fiber which helps in reducing the risk of developing colon cancer. The fiber stop the cancer causing toxins and substances from attaching themselves to the colon wall and eliminate them from the body.

Prevents heart attack: Since brown rice does not lose its ‘wholeness’ during the milling process, it is considered a whole grain and hence helps reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries which could lead to high cholesterol or a heart attack.

Controls blood sugar level: If you are diabetic, brown rice is the rice for you. It actually helps stabilise your blood sugar levels. The digestion time of brown rice is much slower compared to white rice, thanks to the fiber in it. Slower digestion means slower release of sugar into the blood stream.

For healthy bones: Brown rice is packed with magnesium, which is the key nutrient for healthy bones, of course, along with calcium and vitamin D. Did you know that lack of magnesium can lead to low bone density of osteoporosis later in your life? So, making brown rice a part of your daily diet if you want strong bones!

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