Why You Need To Switch to Brown Rice Right Now

Originally posted onto Tabelog.com 4/19/16

 

When it comes to trying to eat healthy, you always have to decide between two choices. Make dinner at home, or just pick up something on the way? Eat some fruit for dessert, or have a bowl of ice cream? Another choice that you didn’t think you make anytime is between white and brown rice, and spoiler alert, brown rice is a fantastic choice over white any day of the week, and that’s not us just saying that, it’s your body.

While we may assume that rice as it stands is something that must be absolutely healthy for us, right? In a sense, that is not wrong, but let’s just say that it could be even healthier for you. When you are given the choice between white or brown rice (Chipotle, anyone?), we tend to believe that there is no difference other than a flavor preference.

Below are just a few of the many benefits that you can benefit from by switching from white rice to brown rice.

What’s the difference?

White rice is the byproduct of brown rice. When rice is harvested, it is put through a mill that eliminates the chaff that surrounds the rice-y goodness that is inside. It is milled over and over again until the tiny grain of white rice is all that is left. The downside of all that milling and re-milling is that along with the chaff, the natural vitamins and oils and nutrients are all pretty much stripped away. There are a good amount of natural goodness left inside the grain, but not enough to even hold a candle to the benefits that brown rice has.

To combat this unignorable loss of goodness in the rice, manufactures take a preventive step and attempt to replace all the goodness lost in a process called “enriching” the rice. We’re sure you have seen that label on the box of rice you bought at the store. Enriched simply means that they added the otherwise natural vitamins and nutrients back into the rice artificially. The process is a Band-Aid on a wound to the rice that helps, but doesn’t really solve the issue.

Below are just a few of the many benefits that you can benefit from by switching from white rice to brown rice.

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Known to boost immunity

Brown rice gives what your body craves, and one of the benefits of giving your body what it wants is a more proactive immune and regulatory system. Selenium is an agent in the body that is catered to by regularly eating brown rice, and it is known to help prevent illnesses both big and small, as well as help combat cancer causing agents if and when they begin to build within the body.

The body is always around harming bacteria called “free radicals”, and these agents, when they enter into the body, try to damage the cells and have potential to eventually lead to a buildup of cancer cells. The human body has a natural defense system against these free radicals and is very efficient in fighting off these harmful agents, but by eating brown rice as a substitute for white, you are giving your body an extra edge.

 

Can help you lose and keep off weight

Another benefit of brown rice is its high Manganese content, a compound known to aid and balance your metabolism. When you eat brown rice, your body immediately knows that it needs to start to burn the carbohydrates that are locked into the grains of rice, and as a result of your internal engine being kick started at regular intervals, your metabolism begins to work at a constant rate, which leads to the part most people love: burns fat.

By eating brown rice regularly, you are telling your body that you want everything that is going into your stomach to get burned up and turned into energy rather than stored. When food is stored, it turns to fat, a concept that many of us (guilty) are much too familiar with.

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Gluten Free

Brown rice is known to be naturally gluten free! For many of us who thought that pretty much all starches are off limits, lo and behold, brown rice is here to fill the starchless gap left behind by our gluten allergies.

Beware when you are ordering brown rice outside of the home however, as many restaurants may have at some point cross contaminated the brown rice with other rices or products containing gluten at some point in time. The risk is no greater than any other allergy, but just be cautious when ordering brown rice when you go out. A simple question to the chef or cook may be all you need to gain some peace of mind on the matter.

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High in Fiber

One of rice’s most famous benefits is its rich fiber content. Fiber, as many of us know, is a digestive aid that assists in the natural clearing and regulation of our digestive and waste elimination process. Brown rice is very easy to digest, and as a result, the body can relax and not have to try as hard to kick start its waste elimination protocols when it is present within the body.

The rich fiber content aids in constipation, bowel clearing, and even more regular bowel movements. So for those whose digestive tracts are out of whack, starting with a bowl of brown rice may be a solid place to start.

 

Great for Diabetics

Brown rice is a great dietary addition for diabetics. An issue that many diabetics have is that a large portion of what they eat on an average day has potential to spike their blood sugar. The glucose found in foods is often too high for their bodies to naturally handle, and as a result they become hyperglycemic, which can be very dangerous if not handled with the right precautions and attention.

Enter brown rice: the natural chemical make-up of brown rice makes it digest slower than that of regular white rice, which means that its natural glucose is released into the body that much slower. What does that mean? It means that there will be a much lower chance of a blood sugar spike in a diabetic due to a slow release instead of one that is quick and sudden.

 

There are countless other benefits to supplementing brown rice for white in our diets. Antioxidants, natural oils, and even proteins are present in each grain along with a long list of other benefits. For those who are still skeptical on brown rice or just don’t enjoy the thought of eating a bowl of rice, know that brown rice can also be turned into flour! That’s right, you can use it for baking and still benefit from all the goodness that each grain has to offer. So next time you are in line and asked for your choice of rice, we’re pretty sure you’ll know what to say.

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