10 Surprising Health Benefits of Brown Rice
In many countries, rice is the staple food. From sticky rice to basmati to black rice, there are various types of rice. One of the most studied and healthiest varieties of rice is brown rice.
Brown rice is an unpolished and unrefined whole grain, which retains its germ layer, bran and side husk. It is produced by separating the rice kernel from the surrounding hull or husk.
Brown rice is healthier than white rice when it comes to nutritional value. It is enriched with vital minerals including magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, phosphorous, manganese, selenium and vitamins - B1, B2, B3, B6, E and K. It is also a great source of fiber, protein and essential fatty acids.
Here are 10 health benefits of brown rice.
1. Helps in Weight Loss
Brown rice consumption is ideal for those who are trying to lose weight. The magnesium content in brown rice helps burn the extra fat in the body.
And being enriched with fiber, brown rice is a low energy density food that makes you feel satiated alongside containing fewer calories.
2. Helps in Diabetes Management
Brown rice can be beneficial for diabetics and hyperglycemic individuals. It has a low glycemic index, which helps reduce insulin surges and assists in the stabilization of blood sugar levels in the body.
3. Aids Digestion
Brown rice is a helpful staple that can be easily added to the daily diet to optimize the digestive system. The fibres present in brown rice helps to regulate the intestinal movements and keep your bowel movements regular. They have excellent results to cure colitis and constipation.
4. Heart Health
Brown rice is rich in selenium which is beneficial for a healthy heart.
It helps reduce the blockage of arteries due to plaque build-up. This protective action helps reduce the risk of cardiac disorders such as hypertension and vascular diseases.
5. Controls Cholesterol Levels
It is a preferable choice for many people because it contains a low level of cholesterol.
The oil present in brown rice is known to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) to a large extent. The fibre in brown rice binds to the cholesterol in the digestive system and helps in its excretion.
6. Promotes Sleep
Brown rice is a natural source of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep. It relaxes the nerves and increases the sleep cycle, thus greatly improving the quality of sleep.
Brown rice therefore is helpful in the treatment of insomnia.
7. Reduces Risk of Cancer
Many scientific researches have shown that brown rice is rich in anti-cancer compounds, such as tricin, ferulic acid, and caffeic acid that inhibit the growth of cancer causing cells and reduces the risk of cancer, including colon and breast cancer.
8. Bone Health
Brown rice contains significant amount of magnesium along with calcium, helps in maintaining healthy bones. This reduces the risk of serious health conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis.
9. Good for Lactating Mothers
Studies have shown that lactating mothers who consumed germinated brown rice had lower depression, anger and fatigue, resulting in the reduction in total mood disturbances.
In addition, eating brown rice also boosted immunity among lactating mothers.
10. Prevents Neurodegenerative Diseases
The presence of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in germinated brown rice has been shown to have neuroprotective effects against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.