Whether it is for lunch and dinner or special recipes on occasions like birthday and marriages, rice is almost always a part of the menu for over 50 per cent of Indians. Rice, however, is not white in its original form. It is the process of milling brown rice seeds and polishing them that white rice is produced. Brown rice contains the bran or the outer layer of the rice which is rich in vitamins and minerals that milling destroys White rice thus, is just brown rice with most of the beneficial nutrients removed and is thus less healthy. Below we share five health benefits of brown rice.
1. Reduced diabetes risk
Brown rice is high in dietary fibre content and other essential nutrients. It has got a lower glycaemic index than white rice. The higher the glycaemic index, the higher the chances of an increase in blood glucose levels. Raised blood glucose levels lead to diabetes. So, brown rice reduces such risks.
2. Lowers cholesterol
Brown rice contains essential amino acids such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which stops blood cholesterol levels from rising. LDL or bad cholesterol levels were reduced in those who consumed brown rice.
3. Prevents weight gain
Due to its high fibre content, brown rice takes longer to digest. This cuts down the frequency of hunger and prevents gaining of excess weight from oily or sugary foods. Weight gain encourages the development of type 2 diabetes. Those suffering from diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease.
4. Protects the heart
Studies have found evidence that brown rice may help improve the health of the heart and the blood vessels. It is rich in B vitamins like B1 (thiamine), and magnesium. Deficiency of these two is associated with heart failure and heart attacks.
Brown rice contains a natural compound named Inositol hexaphosphate or IP6. This is used in the treatment of cancers of the breast, liver, colon and blood. Studies have shown that a higher percentage of dietary fibre offers protection against breast and colorectal cancers. The polyphenols present in brown rice have antioxidant properties which prevent oxidative damage to cells.