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Nutritional Benefits of Brown Rice

By Samuel

Rice is eaten and cultivated all over the world. There are different types of rice that are also different in terms of their health benefits. The various types of rice include brown rice, white rice, long-grain basmati, black rice and sticky (or glutinous) rice. Among all these different types of rice, brown rice is one of the healthiest and most-studied types. Brown rice scientifically known as Oryza sativa is an unpolished and unrefined whole grain that is produced by just eliminating the surrounding hull of the rice kernel. The grain of brown rice retains its nutrient-dense bran and germ layer. When it comes to health, brown rice health benefits are so numerous and cannot be compared by all the other types of rice.

Brown Rice Nutrition values

The nutritional values of brown rice are quite impressive because, brown rice refining is done in a way that most of the nutritional values are not tempered with. During brown rice production, only the hull of the rice kernel is removed. Brown rice nutritional values include manganese, selenium, carbohydrates, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamins. The rice also contain some substantial amount of calories, fiber and protein. Below is quick review of some of the brown rice nutritional values:

Manganese

 It is a very essential mineral needed for energy production and antioxidant function. Brown rice is an excellent source of this mineral since one cup of brown rice contains about 88 percent of the recommended daily amount of manganese.

 Selenium

Brown rice is a good source of selenium. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, a cup of brown rice provides about 35 percent of the daily-recommended intake of selenium that helps induce repair in damaged cell.

Fiber

Brown rice is normally higher in fiber than other types of rice. Due to the high level of fibers found in brown rice, it is among the list of foods that help in the prevention of colon cancer. It naturally offers 1 to 3 g more fiber than the other types of rice. One cup of brown rice contains about 3.5 grams of fiber. In brown rice, the bran and germ contain the highest amount of the fiber. The daily recommended intake of fiber depends on several factors. These factors are mostly dependent on age and the level of caloric intake.

Magnesium

One of the most notable qualities of brown rice nutrition is its very high manganese content per serving. In as much as manganeseis not as popular as other nutrients, it is very important to maintain good health. Magnesium is one of those minerals that is highly important for bone health and helps in deriving energy. According to data from the USDA Food and Nutrient Database, one cup of brown rice has 86 milligrams of magnesium. An average serving of cooked brown rice can provide your daily-recommended 11 percent of magnesium. Sex and age are the two main factors that govern the recommended daily intake of magnesium. For adult men and women who are more than 30 years of age, a total of 740 milligrams of magnesium is required. That is, 420 milligrams for men and 320 milligrams for women. For people with the ages 19 to 30, the daily requirement of magnesium is 400 milligrams for men and 310 milligrams for women.

Zinc

It is in small quantities in brown rice but it has an important benefit to health. It is an essential mineral for a healthy immune system and for wound healing. One cup of brown rice offers 1.2 milligrams of zinc. The daily requirement for zinc for an adult man is 11 milligrams while for an adult women is 8 milligrams.

 Folate

Folate is the only nutrient whose composition in white rice can be compared to brown rice with similar amount of thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. One cup of brown rice has about 8 micrograms of folate. For adult men and pregnant women, the daily requirement for folate for men is 400 micrograms while for pregnant women it is 600 micrograms.

Vitamins

Brown rice is rich in vitamins like vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and vitamin K. In one cup of cooked brown rice, you can have about 4 milligrams of these vitamins

Calories

There are less brown rice calories per serving when it comes to brown rice nutrition than in white rice nutrition. However, the amount of calories in brown rice calories add a lot of nutrients. One cup of cooked brown rice contains about 216 calories. Carbohydrates make up the 85 percentage of brown rice calories. About 8 percent of brown rice calories come from protein and less than 7 percent of the calories are from fat.

Carbohydrates

Brown rice have a high carbohydrates content. Brown rice is a whole grain and it contains more overall nutrition than the other types of rice. One cup of cooked brown rice contains about 44.8 grams carbohydrates.

Protein

Brown rice contains some substantial amount of protein. According to the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory, one cup of brown rice contains about 5 grams of protein. The protein in brown rice equates to 10 percent of a female's daily requirement and 9 percent of a male's protein daily requirements.

Brown Rice Health Benefits

Brown rice health benefits are numerous and brought about because of the very high nutritional content of brown rice. Although other types of rice like white rice looks so appealing to the eyes, it does not means that it is heathier than brown rice. According to a study that was carried out by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it shows that brown rice nutritional values are more beneficial to the health than white rice. In as much as white rice is fortified and well packaged, brown rice nutritional values are greater and meet the requirements for one serving of food as defined by the FDA. The majority of consumers of rice usually choose white rice over brown rice because of the difference in appearance. However, after going through the numerous brown rice health benefits, you will want to change your mind. Below are some brown rice health benefits.

Brown Rice for Diabetes Control

Brown rice is of high benefit to people who are diabetic or hyperglycemic due to the fact that it has a low glycemic index. The low glycemic and high magnesium contents of brown rice helps reduce insulin surges and assists in the stabilization of the sugar level of the blood. Some comparative studies conducted in this regard have reveal that brown rice is rich in fiber, phytic acid and essential polyphenols. All these three elements in brown rice help in the slower release of sugars as compared to white rice. The American diabetes association also recommended brown rice for people suffering from diabetic in order to achieve the essential vitamins, fiber and minerals in their diet.

Brown Rice for Weight Loss

Brown rice is an important weight control food for individuals who are fighting with obesity. According to diet specialists, brown rice is the best food that can help in losing weight. This is because of the presence of manganese that helps to synthesize fat from the body. However, brown rice health benefits are so many and go beyond facilitating weight loss. Most of the research conducted on this aspect reveals that the consumption of whole grains like brown rice has a positive effect on the body with respect to decrease in body mass index and fat. Several research have noted that a relationship exist between brown rice nutrition and the lowering of the bad cholesterol levels. Brown rice nutrition also enhances the activity of glutathione peroxidase and antioxidant enzyme, and helps reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol in an obese individual by about 7 percent. One of the research that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that the oil that comes out from brown rice play an important role in lowering the LDL cholesterol. Nevertheless, you might be wondering how people can really eat brown rice for weight loss? Below are some of the reasons why brown rice is used for weight loss.

The first of these reasons is that brown rice has a low density. Most people find this aspect surprising because they cannot believe that the low density can result to weight loss. However, this is justified based on the fact that brown rice can make you full fast while you have just consumed only a small quantity. The water and fiber content of brown rice gives it a low energy density that makes an individual to feel less hungry after eating. It has been proven by studies that people who eat high-density food gain weight three times more than those who eat lower density food over a given period.

The second justification of brown rice for weight loss is related to the high level of fiber in brown rice. Brown rice fiber helps greatly in digestion. According to some other researchers, the fiber from brown rice also helps in lowering the level of cholesterol in the body. Bile acid is required for digestion to take place. The aids are produced partly by cholesterol. Hence, increase digestion will implies the use of more cholesterol from the blood which help in reducing the amount of LDL.

Brown Rice for the Prevention of Cancer

The eating of brown rice can prevent several cancers like breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer and leukemia. Brown rice can help in lowering the risk of cancer thanks to some of its nutrients. This positive benefit of brown rice is because of some of it nutrients like potent antioxidants and high fiber content. The fiber content present in brown rice is capable of binding itself to the harmful cancer causing toxins in the body. That is, fiber prevents toxins from attaching to the wall of colon. Thus, brown rice is particularly linked with lowered risk of colon cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Brown rice contains a good quantity of selenium, which is associated with reduced risk of colon and prostate cancer. Higher selenium levels are significantly associated with lower colon cancer risk. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, one cup of brown rice offers 35 percent of the daily-recommended intake of selenium. The daily-recommended intake of selenium helps induce repair in damaged cells, thereby stopping the cancer cells from spreading. Brown rice help protect against breast cancer through its dietary fiber content. An investigative study that was carried out to evaluate the chemo preventive properties of brown rice confirmed that its bran contains essential phenols such as ferulic acid, caffeic acid and tricin. These essential phenols are valuable in preventing the proliferation of breast cancer cells and colon. A different research reveals that the stimulatory effect of germinated brown rice on the induction of apoptosis hinders the production of leukemia cancer cells.

Brown Rice for Boosting Nervous System

You need brown rice for the effective functioning of your brain and your nervous system. Most of the nutritional values of brown rice has a lot to play in the boosting of the nervous system. That is, brown rice contain a good quantity of vitamins, minerals and essential phenolic elements that help in boosting the immune system. Brown rice nourishes the body, speed up every healing process in the body and enhances the body ability to fight infections. The presence of Vitamin B and essential minerals like manganese helps in accelerating the metabolism in the brain. Magnesium in brown rice balances the activity of calcium in the body and helps in the regulation of nerves and muscle. That is, magnesium prevents the sudden flow of calcium into the nerve cells and activation of nerve, thereby keeping the nerves and muscles relaxed. In addition, vitamin E in brown rice plays an important role in preventing several brain diseases caused by oxidative damage. 

Brown Rice for Improved Digestion

The recommended percentage of manganese that helps in fat digestion is found in brown rice. Other brown rice nutrient like fiber is also well known for its digestive benefits and the helps in keeping the bowel movement regular. The fiber in brown rice reduces constipation. For this reason, brown rice is a healthful staple food that can be added to the daily diet in order to maintain a healthy digestive system.  A comparative study was done to investigate the effects of brown rice and white rice during gastric digestion.  In this study, it was made obvious that the bran layer on brown rice prevents the absorption of acid and humidity in order to ensure a better texture retention. 

Brown Rice for Gallstones Prevention

Foods like brown rice that are rich in insoluble fiber help women avoid gallstones. Consuming the most fiber had an overall 13% lower risk of developing gallstones compared to women consuming foods that has less fiber.

Brown Rice for Boosting Heart Health

The presence of selenium in brown rice is very beneficial for a healthy heart. When you consume whole grains such as brown rice, it helps reduce the blockage of arteries. Brown rice lessens the risk of cardiac disorders like hypertension and vascular diseases. Most of the studies conducted on this aspect suggested that the tissue covering the grain of brown rice contains a healthful element that acts against the endocrine protein angiotensin II. As soon as the endocrine protein angiotensin II is stopped, the development of high blood pressure and hardening of arteries is impossible. Additionally, brown rice has phytonutrient that are converted by friendly flora in the intestines into mammalian lignans. The lignans that are formed protect against cancers (breast cancer) and heart disease.

Brown Rice for Anti-inflammatory Activities

Brown rice is rich in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are one of the things that make brown rice special. This is because anti-oxidant rich foods are usually associated with strawberries, blueberries and other fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants function as anti-inflammatories that can help with everything from arthritis to asthma. The anti-oxidants in brown rice extend their protection against the damage caused by oxygen free radicals in the body. A comparative study between brown rice and white rice suggested that brown rice displays superior radical scavenging activity. Brown rice helps in the prevention of several oxidation-mediated diseases like coronary heart diseases.

Brown Rice for Metabolic Syndrome Risk Reduction

Metabolic syndrome is a strong indicator of Type II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It has symptoms such as low levels of good (HDL) cholesterol, belly fat, high blood pressure and high triglycerides levels. Eating whole grains food like brown rice can help lower the risk of metabolic syndrome. In this study. Over 2000 individuals were monitored for four years and it was found that metabolic syndrome was 38 percent lower in those who had high levels of whole grain fiber. Those individuals who had high glycemic indexes from eating refined foods on the other hand were 141 percent more likely to develop the metabolic syndrome. 

Brown Rice for Energy Building

Brown rice is a good source of energy. The manganese in brown rice helps in turning the protein and carbohydrates into energy that keeps the body functioning. In a research that was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, it was found that people who feed on brown rice had significant higher amounts of energy. Also, according to Optimum Nutrition Therapy, brown rice slowly releases carbohydrates that help in the maintaining the blood sugar levels and keeping energy consistent.

Brown Rice for Improvement of Bone Health

Brown rice is very helpful in maintaining healthy bones. This is because the magnesium present in brown rice with calcium provides the bones with the physical structure needed. The presence of magnesium in brown rice also prevents the demineralization from the bones and it also helpful in medical conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis.

Brown Rice may be used to Prevent the Development of Asthma.

Eating more brown rice (whole grains) can reduce the risk of children to develop asthma by half.. Brown rice nutrition helps to eliminate asthma posed by deficiencies and reduce the symptoms of asthma in those already suffering from it.

Brown rice nutrition is very important and it offers many health benefits. It is an amazing and a healthy staple grain that can be prepared in different ways. The range of nutritional benefits of brown rice is impressive and brown rice is one of the highest studied rice. It will be very important to include brown rice as part of your diet if you have not been using it before.

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