(This is a guest post by Matt J)
People are often found staring at food labels while doing their grocery shopping struggling over whether they should buy brown rice or white rice. This happens to confuse several people. Understanding the differences in the two kinds of rice can help you make good dietary decisions as well as help you see the many benefits of choosing brown rice.
One of the benefits that brown rice provides that white rice does not is fiber. With white rice, fiber is removed during the processing stage. Brown rice helps digest other foods in the body and helps an individual stay healthier longer when eaten on a consistent basis. This is an important health factor when trying to decide which type of rice to add to your diet.
White rice and brown rice are comparable as far as the levels of glucose inside the blood. White rice is 10 points higher on the GI index, which makes a person feel slightly hungrier than if they ate brown rice.
Brown rice has a layer of compound that surrounds the grain of rice. This compound helps prevent atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. The compound layer is rich in fiber and other nutrients making it very healthy. When the brown rice is made into white rice through the process of polishing, this nutritious layer gets stripped off of the rice. Hence, the brown rice in its original state is much healthier than white rice. Because brown rice is a good preventative for fighting cardiovascular diseases, it should be a part of your diet.
Another benefit of eating brown rice over white rice is that it contains vitamin B complex, essential fatty acid, manganese, iron, phosphorus, fiber and selenium. All of these nutrients help our body produce energy, hormones, blood cells and connective tissues. It aids our bodies in calcium absorption, helps to sustain a healthy nervous system, and helps us to metabolize fat and regulate our blood sugar. These nutrients are all found in brown rice on the surface.
Because brown rice does not have a long shelf life, it is processed into white rice quickly. The processing strips away the surface which takes away over 90 percent of the good surface nutrients. Because all the nutrients are stripped, the FDA has required manufacturers to add minerals and vitamins to white rice. Of course, all the natural nutrients will never be restored this way. Thus, after the refining process, white rice is inferior to brown rice.
Additionally, brown rice contains lots of natural anti-oxidants. It does not cause people to be constipated as much as white does, making it easier on a weaker stomach. Brown rice has been known to help women maintain their body weight. A Harvard Medical study showed that women who consumed more white rice put on more weight compared to the women who ate brown rice. This is probably due to the content of fiber found in brown rice. A diet that is high in fiber also lower the cholesterol level in a person, so if someone is watching their cholesterol, they will benefit from eating brown rice.
Many people say that brown rice has a nutty type of taste to it and that it is a bit harder than white rice. This is all a matter of opinion.
When preparing brown rice, it can be cooked in several different ways. People assume you cook brown rice like you would white rice, but that is not so. You should always rinse the brown rice until the water is clear.
Next, start a pot of water boiling for your rice. The water ratio to use is 1 ½ cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Do not add the rice to the water until it is boiling. After you add the rice, cover your pot and reduce the heat allowing it to simmer 20 minutes on low heat. Leave the lid on the entire time. When you take the pot off the stove, let it sit covered for 15 more minutes.
If you go longer than 15 minutes, the rice may get soggy. Because brown rice is tricky to cook, investing in an electric computerized cooker can help you obtain the highest flavor and benefits from your brown rice. For more on these types appliances visit this site here
So, overall, there are many good reasons to switch to brown rice and doing so can help lead to a much healthier lifestyle!
Please let me know what you think.