Brown Rice Nutrition Benefits and More

Brown rice is a whole grain that offers many health benefits – from lowering cholesterol to reducing blood pressure. It is a healthy food with many benefits but also has some disadvantages.


When consumed in moderation, Brown rice may be a highly nutritious gluten-free carbohydrate and a healthy rice option overall. Brown rice nutrition is low in calories per serving, but the nutritional content is high, whether we’re talking about brown rice eaten alone or brown rice protein powder. Rice nutrition is an essential issue since about half of the world’s population (mainly in East and Southeast Asia) relies entirely on rice as a staple meal in their daily diets.

Is rice good for you? Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Refined carbohydrates, such as white rice, are essentially artificial nutrients that do nothing to improve your body’s health. So, is white rice healthy? No, it’s depleted of nutrition, leaving nothing more than carbs that enter the circulation like a sugar injection.

On the other hand, Brown rice nutrition is chock-full of vitamins and minerals and fiber and protein to help balance out the carbohydrates. Brown rice consumption has even been proved in scientific research to lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease. It’s also a good option for those on a gluten-free diet.

Brown Rice Nutrition: 5 Health Benefits

1. Improve your heart health

Plant lignans, which help create plant cell walls, are abundant in brown rice. Lignans are thought to protect people against various ailments, including heart disease.

Another benefit of brown rice is that it contains a lot of fiber—finally, magnesium. Magnesium shortage may damage many levels, and it is essentially necessary for heart function. For starters, magnesium aids in the maintenance of a regular heart rhythm, and scientific studies suggest that increasing magnesium consumption in the diet improves heart health in both men and women. Studies also show that obtaining magnesium via food rather than supplements is probably better, particularly for persons who have had heart attacks in the past.

Brown rice has been shown in animal and human research to reduce cardiovascular risk factors and provide cardioprotective benefits. Brown rice is particularly rich in selenium, a vital vitamin for heart health.

2. Manganese-dense

Brown rice nutrition’s extraordinarily high manganese content per serving is one of its most outstanding features. With an 88 percent manganese content, a cup of cooked brown rice meets virtually all of our daily manganese requirements. Manganese isn’t spoken about nearly as frequently as other minerals, yet it’s critical for good health.

It’s a crucial trace mineral that helps with nutrition absorption, digestive enzyme creation, bone growth, blood clotting factor generation, and immune system defenses, among other things. If you don’t receive enough manganese in your diet, you might develop various health issues, including weakness, infertility, bone deformity, and seizures. In addition, this vitamin, which is plentiful in brown rice, also aids in blood sugar regulation, calcium absorption, and glucose metabolism. As a result, the manganese in brown rice aids in the greater metabolization of manganese.

3. Helps to Lower Cholesterol Levels

Fiber and bran are both found in whole grain meals like brown rice. However, Brown rice retains its bran content, so it has so many more health advantages than white rice.

Brown rice’s rice bran and fiber have been demonstrated in studies to help decrease harmful cholesterol levels, specifically LDL cholesterol. Brown rice fiber helps to naturally reduce cholesterol levels in the body by attaching to cholesterol in the digestive system and causing it to be eliminated.

4. Reduces the risk of diabetes

According to scientific evidence, eating brown rice instead of white rice may lower your chance of acquiring diabetes. However, people with diabetes (or anybody, for that matter) should avoid refined carbohydrates like white rice since they elevate blood sugar so fast and readily.

According to a 2010 Harvard School of Public Health research, switching to brown rice might reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by 16 percent if you eat a little more than two servings of white rice (approximately 12 ounces) each week. This makes obvious, given that white rice has a far higher glycemic index than brown rice. According to the study, Brown rice eaters were also found to be healthier overall, consuming more whole grains in general and exercising more regularly. Brown rice fans were also less likely to use cigarettes or have a family history of diabetes.

This isn’t to argue that white rice causes diabetes; nevertheless, brown rice seems to reduce the chance of acquiring diabetes, making it a healthier option for anybody on a diabetic diet.

5. Gluten-Free Diet-Friendly

For many gluten-free people, brown rice is a go-to carb. Brown rice, like oatmeal, is inherently gluten-free as long as it isn’t contaminated with gluten-containing ingredients. Unfortunately, many individuals who eliminate gluten in their diets may be deficient in fiber and B vitamins, abundant in whole grains. The good news is that brown rice is high in fiber and B vitamins while gluten-free.

What Is Brown Rice?

Rice is a gluten-free, starchy cereal grain that may be eaten. Oryza sativa is the scientific name for rice. Brown rice nutrition is pretty excellent, and it easily outperforms white rice nutrition. When rice kernels are harvested, their outer coat, known as the hull or husk, is removed. Brown rice retains the bulk of its nutritional content despite merely having the shell of the rice kernel fired. When brown rice is further processed to remove the bran, it becomes white rice, and most of its nutrients are lost due to this procedure.

When did humans start eating rice for the first time? Rice cultivation began some 6,000 years ago in China, and archeologists have discovered rice seeds dating back to 9,000 years. Rice has a long and illustrious history throughout Asia, where it remains a staple to this day. Fast forward to now, and rice is famous all over the globe and can be found in a wide range of cuisines, including Asian, Mexican, and Indian cuisines, to mention a few.

Is brown rice good for you? Manganese, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins are abundant in brown rice nutrition. Per serving, it also contains a significant quantity of fiber and protein. What about brown rice’s calorie content? They’re present but not in excessive amounts per serving. Brown rice nutrition is abundant, and a half cup of cooked brown rice has little over 100 calories.

Nutritional Information for Brown Rice

A cup of cooked brown rice (8 ounces) contains approximately:

  • Calorie Count: 216
  • Carbs: 44.8 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Fat: 1.8 g
  • Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Manganese: 1.8 milligrams (88 percent)
  • Selenium: 19.1 micrograms (27 percent)
  • Magnesium: 83.9 milligrams (21 percent)
  • Phosphorus: 162 milligrams (16 percent)
  • Niacin: 3 milligrams (15 percent)
  • Vitamin B6: 0.3 milligrams (14 percent)
  • Thiamine: 0.2 milligrams (12 percent)
  • Copper: 0.2 milligrams (10 percent)
  • Zinc: 1.2 milligrams (8 percent)
  • Pantothenic acid: 0.6 milligrams (6 percent)
  • Iron: 0.8 micrograms (5 percent)
  • Folate: 7.9 micrograms (2 percent)
  • Calcium: 19.5 milligrams (2 percent)
  • Potassium: 83.9 milligrams (2 percent)

Brown rice, black rice, and white rice

When it comes to white rice vs. brown rice nutrition, brown rice comes out on top since brown rice is polished (depleted of nutrients) to produce white rice. Unless white rice is fortified, it doesn’t provide many nutrients to the customer. Hence white rice nutrition is almost non-existent. However, the less popular black rice, sometimes known as “forbidden rice,” has even better food than brown rice. However, it has a lot more calories per serving.

When we compare a 100-gram cooking portion of each variety of rice, we can see how they vary in terms of nutritional content:

  • 111 calories, 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 0.4 milligrams of iron in brown rice
  • 130 calories, 2 grams protein, 0 grams fiber, and o.2 milligrams iron in white rice
  • 356 calories, 8.9 grams protein, 2.2 grams fiber, and 2.4 milligrams iron in black rice

Rice is inherently gluten-free, but entire grains such as brown, black, wild, and red rice are gluten-free. Therefore, b vitamins and other elements are abundant in these whole-grain rice. On the other hand, white rice requires the addition of B vitamins to give any white rice nourishment.

Brown Rice Recipes

If there’s one thing brown rice is good for in the kitchen, it’s versatility. Soups, stews, stir-fries, and salads all benefit from it. You can also create homemade sushi or serve it as a side dish with a nutritious protein like wild-caught salmon or grass-fed beef. Brown rice may also be the hero of a healthy rice pudding dish, so don’t forget about dessert.

Brown rice protein powder may be used in homemade shakes and smoothies to gain the advantages of brown rice.

Buying Advice

Brown rice may be found at almost any supermarket or health shop. I propose choosing organic brown rice, which, according to some experts, may lower the arsenic concentration. Brown rice has a shorter shelf life than white rice because it retains the germ’s healthful natural oils. Brown rice should always be stored in an airtight container away from heat, light, and moisture, with a shelf life of at least six months. If you want to extend the life of your brown rice, put it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. If you’re going to purchase brown rice in bulk, look for a shop with a high turnover rate.

Cooking Instructions

Before cooking brown rice, be sure you rinse it well and remove any dirt. I also suggest soaking and sprouting your brown rice before cooking it, as this has been shown to reduce allergens and phytic acid levels while enhancing nutritional absorption. Soak brown rice for at least 12 hours before sprouting it for one to two days. You may also purchase brown rice that has already grown in certain places or online.

Brown rice requires a longer time to cook than white rice. Therefore, Brown rice should be cooked in the same way as spaghetti. Cook the rice by adding a lot of extra water instead of following the cooking directions on the box. (It’s similar to cooking pasta — six to ten parts water to one part rice.) Scientists demonstrated that this approach might lower arsenic levels in rice by up to 40%, mainly inorganic arsenic. However, certain rice nutrients may be depleted as a result. I’d also want to mention that researchers in the United Kingdom discovered that boiling rice in a coffee pot decreased arsenic by up to 85%.

Precautions for Brown Rice

In typical meal levels, brown rice is deemed safe for most individuals. However, because arsenic in rice is a genuine worry, I do not recommend going crazy with your brown rice eating. Unfortunately, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization cautions that “rice, in particular, may absorb more arsenic than other foods and, as a result of its large consumption, can contribute considerably to arsenic exposure.”

A Consumer Reports investigation found detectable quantities of arsenic in almost every one of the 60 rice types examined. It was also shown that rice cereal and rice pasta might have much higher levels of inorganic arsenic, making it critical to restrict rice product consumption in children, mainly because rice cereals are often offered to young children.

This discovery is alarming since rice is one of the most popular gluten-free options on the market today. On the other hand, Consumer Reports recommends buying brown rice from California, India, or Pakistan since it has roughly a third less inorganic arsenic than other brown rice.

Arsenic in rice and rice products has yet to be subjected to a federal restriction imposed by the Food and Drug Administration. According to the FDA, plants absorb arsenic regardless of growth techniques. Therefore, buying organic brown rice does not correlate to decreased arsenic levels. When possible, though, I prefer using organic brown rice.

Final Thoughts

  • When consumed in moderation, Brown rice may be a nutritious and healthful supplement to one’s diet.
  • Brown rice includes arsenic, which is annoying, but there are techniques to minimize arsenic in rice, such as boiling rice in a lot of water.
  • You should also attempt to buy organic brown rice farmed in regions where rice with less arsenic has been discovered, such as California, India, or Pakistan.
  • Brown rice may be soaked and sprouted to remove harmful components while enhancing nutritional availability.
  • Brown rice may be purchased for a low price and is very simple to prepare.
  • Brown rice nutrition is outstanding, and it provides several health advantages such as lowering the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is brown rice good for cholesterol?

A: Brown rice is not packed with cholesterol, and there are no known health risks associated with eating it.

Is brown rice suitable for diabetics?

A: Brown rice is a high-fiber food containing many nutrients such as protein and complex carbohydrates. It’s also relatively low in sugar. However, it does have some sugar which means people with diabetes or those who need to watch their blood sugars may want to avoid eating brown rice.

Is brown rice better than white rice for cholesterol?

A: Brown rice has lower cholesterol levels than white rice because it is slightly more complex.

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