Rice is the staple food of over half of the world’s population and 90% of Asians. It is the second most widely consumed cereal in the world next to wheat. It comes in several shapes, colors, and sizes, but the most popular are brown and white rice.
- Brown rice is a whole grain and contains the fibrous bran, the carb-rich endosperm, and the nutritious germ. It contains more minerals, proteins, and vitamins. It is usually considered much healthier than white rice because it contains few nutrients.
- The bran and germ are removed in white rice, which are the nutritious parts of the grain. White rice is lacking in some antioxidants, B vitamins, minerals, fats, fiber, and a small amount of protein.
Health Benefits of Brown Rice
Following are the health benefits of rice:
Brown Rice may prevent Heart Disease
Brown rice contains lignans. Lignans are compounds found in many plants. Lignans have been shown to reduce the amount of fat in the blood, decrease inflammation in the arteries, lower blood pressure. Some studies found that eating rice helps reduce some risk factors for heart disease.
Some studies found that people who ate the most whole grains such as rice had a 16–21% lower risk of heart disease compared to people who ate the fewest whole grains. Whole grains may also lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Many powerful antioxidants are present in the bran of brown rice. Antioxidants reduce the oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It can help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Studies also show that these rice can help increase blood antioxidant levels in obese women. Some studies found that eating white rice may decrease blood antioxidant levels in type 2 diabetics.
Eating brown rice may reduce body mass index (BMI) and weight. One study collected data on 29,683 Some studies show that the more whole grains people ate, the lower their body weight was.
In some other studies, researchers found that women who consumed more whole grains consistently weighed less than women who consumed fewer whole grains.
Brown Rice may prevent Diabetes
Magnesium and fiber are present in brown rice, both of which help reduce blood sugar levels. Eating these rice regularly helps lower blood sugar levels, and decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
In one study, women who frequently ate whole grains had a 31% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who ate the fewest whole grains. You can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by simply replacing white rice with brown.
On the other hand, the high consumption of white rice has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes. This may be due to its high glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly a food increases blood sugar. White rice increases blood sugar levels much faster.
Which type of rice should you eat?
Brown rice is the best choice in terms of nutritional quality and health benefits. In some cases, one type of rice may be preferable to another.
Side Effects of Rice
Following are the side effects of rice:
Brown Rice can cause Kidney disease
Brown rice contains more phosphorus and potassium than white rice. People with kidney disease may need to limit these nutrients in their diet. This is because kidney disease makes the kidneys less able to properly regulate the levels of these nutrients in the body.
If potassium levels become too high, for example, it can lead to other health concerns such as heart attack. In this case, white rice may be better.
Brown Rice may cause Cancer
Brown rice contains arsenic. Arsenic in rice could lead to lung or bladder cancer. The FDA concluded that it might be better for pregnant women to avoid rice during pregnancy, and for children to avoid rice until the age of 6. We need further research to identify the exact risk of arsenic to human health.
May cause Weight gain
Rice is a starchy and high carb food. People who eat a lot of rice and exercise too little may find that they gain weight.
In a study of Japanese factory workers, researchers found that those who ate a lot of white rice for a year gained weight, whereas those who ate less white rice maintained their weight. People who ate brown rice maintained their bodyweight regardless of how much of it they consumed.
Brown rice seems to be a more healthful choice than white rice, although white rice may be a better choice in some circumstances. Although white rice has less fiber. It may prevent heart diseases and diabetes and may cause cancer.