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Is Brown Rice Good for You? 7 Facts About It

Do you know these incredible facts about brown rice?

Most of the time, people see rice as a simple carbohydrate, and because of this, some might be scared of overeating rice. However, many dietetics see brown rice as a great and nutritious staple food, and this is why they recommend it to anyone who wants to improve the quality of their life.

But what makes brown rice so special? This type of rice is a whole grain, which means it contains all the good parts a grain has to offer, from high fiber content to nutrients. Integrating it into your daily diet is a wise choice, as it supports a healthier lifestyle.

With all of its benefits, brown rice might not be for everyone, and some consumers should be mindful of a few facts we are about to discuss in more detail right now.

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1. You might lose weight

According to studies, a high whole grain intake might aid in the process of losing weight, and this is how brown rice emerged as a miracle food that helps you get thinner in no time. This type of rice is different from the basic white rice as it has bran and germ, which are both packed with fiber.

A diet high in fiber is the secret to weight loss, mainly because fiber slows down digestion, promoting feelings of fullness and satiety. As a result, you will feel hungry less often, and this might stop you from overeating. This is more than helpful when you are trying to maintain a calorie deficit, which is essential in any diet that focuses on weight loss.

2. More antioxidants

But brown rice does more than help you lose weight. It’s an amazing source of antioxidants. The role of antioxidants in our bodies is to fight against free radicals, so they act as the first defense against harmful molecules that are accelerating the aging process.

The antioxidants reduce oxidative stress and lower the chances that your organs will be affected by the free radicals in the long run. If you are wondering why this is important, it is because oxidative stress is linked to many chronic conditions, so make brown rice part of your diet.

Now, remember that brown rice is just a piece of the puzzle. A healthy diet means more than this, and your whole diet should be oriented toward antioxidant-rich foods. Quinoa, oats, and whole-wheat bread are all good choices.

3. There’s a chance you will eat some arsenic

Yes, this rice is an amazing nutritious food, but it has a drawback: compared to its cousin, white rice, this one has a slightly higher level of arsenic. Now, don’t worry because this is a heavy metal that naturally occurs in various foods, such as rice cereal and seafood. It becomes toxic to humans in high doses, which is not the case for brown rice.

But there are some more vulnerable people who should be mindful of their arsenic consumption—mostly pregnant women and infants. There are studies that show a link between arsenic consumption and miscarriage or stillbirth.

What you need to remember is that, as with anything else, you need to eat brown rice in moderation. It is clear that the benefits are more numerous than the risks, but if you want to be sure, just try to alternate it with other whole grains from time to time.

4. You’ll get more fiber

As we already said, this rice has a lot of fiber. Compared to white rice, brown rice has six times more fiber. One cup has 3 grams of fiber, and this is perfect for anyone who lacks fiber in their diet.

This is important because most people don’t achieve the recommended daily fiber intake. If you include brown rice in your diet, you can close this gap and finally consume enough fiber.

Besides the weight-loss advantages, more fiber means improved digestive health. Fiber ensures smooth digestion and helps your stool be more consistent and pass more easily. On the other hand, even if the fiber helps, there are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. This rice has a lot of insoluble fiber, and digesting it might be quite harsh for those who have digestive problems.

5. You might get fewer nutrients

When we look at brown rice, we see that it has many nutrients, which makes it better than many other foods, but there is one thing often overlooked: the phytic acid. What does phytic acid do? This is a naturally occurring anti-nutrient, and the problem with it is that it makes the absorption of iron, calcium, and zinc more difficult during the digestive process.

Research has found that it reduces the absorption of minerals, but this happens only when you eat rice in the same meal as mineral-rich foods. The subsequent meals on the same day will not be affected.

If you have a balanced diet, the presence of phytic acid should not be a concern. Also, considering the nutritional value of brown rice, be sure that it outweighs the risk of this acid. The good news is that you can enhance the rice’s ability to release more nutrients by soaking, sprouting, and fermenting. This also neutralizes phytic acid to some extent.

Image by Rungkh from Shutterstock

6. It’s good at reducing the levels of blood sugar

Even if many diet experts demonize brown rice because they say it has a high carbohydrate content, this type of rice can be beneficial even for those suffering from diabetes. It is healthy and actually great if you want to have a clean diet.

First of all, the way it affects blood sugar should be understood. The high fiber content is a natural shield that stops or slows down sugar absorption. The digestion of carbohydrates is greatly slowed down by the fiber, and this prevents the levels of blood sugar from spiking dramatically right after you have had a meal.

Also, when you absorb fewer carbohydrates, the levels of your blood sugar will be more stable, and the way they change will be more gentle. This means consuming brown rice equals better management of your blood sugar, especially if we compare it to eating pasta or other refined carbohydrates.

So, if you suffer from diabetes, swapping to a more fiber-rich diet might be a good idea, and incorporating brown rice can help a lot.

7. Beware of allergic reactions

For those suffering from celiac disease, brown rice is a matter of sensitivity. We say this because this disease is triggered by gluten. Even if rice is naturally gluten-free, it contains a protein called orzenin, which is structurally similar to gluten, and some individuals may experience various adverse effects if they ingest it.

It is important to remember that sensitivity to this plant-based protein is extremely rare, and most people who have celiac disease won’t suffer an allergic reaction if they eat brown rice. The main signs of a reaction are digestive discomfort, joint pain, or skin rashes right after you eat the rice. If you notice any of these signs, call your doctor or go to the ER.

If you want to start eating brown rice this one might be a good choice: Amazon Fresh, Brown Long Grain Rice, 5 lb

You should also read: Sweeteners: The 5 Best Choices—And What to Steer Clear of

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