Brown rice is a nutrient-dense, high-fiber meal that is linked to a healthy diet. Brown rice retains the bran layers that are generally removed from white rice. Brown rice hence contains beneficial phytochemicals such as vital amino acids, fiber, vitamins, flavonoids, phytic acid, and others. 1 Because carbohydrates are the primary source of these nutrients, many people on low-carb or fad diets may avoid brown rice.
The nutritional benefit of some carbs, such as brown rice, is frequently misunderstood. This whole grain is high in vitamins, protein, fiber, and slow-release energy, allowing you to maintain optimal physiological function throughout the day. Brown rice is low in fat, has little sugar, and has a fair amount of protein for a carbohydrate-rich diet. Brown rice has also been shown in studies to be an important part of a healthy diet that helps lower the risk of chronic disease. 23
Brown rice comes in a variety of grain lengths, including long, medium, and short. The texture of the rice after it is cooked is determined by the grain size. Regardless matter the type of brown rice you eat, research shows that it is good for your health.
Nutritional Information for Brown Rice
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides the following information for a 1-cup portion of cooked medium-grain brown rice.
- 218 calories
- 1.62g fat
- 1.95 mg sodium
- 45.8 grams of carbohydrates
- 3.51 grams of fiber
- 0 g of sugar
- 4.52 g protein
Brown rice includes nearly 45 grams of complex carbs, 3.5 grams of fiber, and trace quantities of sugar in a single meal. Because they contain fiber and other nutrients, complex carbohydrates are more nutritious than simple carbohydrates.
Brown rice digests slowly in the body due to its high fiber content, providing long-lasting energy. According to statistics published by the American Diabetes Association, brown rice has a medium glycemic index (GI) rating of 64–72. (ADA). 5 Despite the fact that some brands of brown rice have a high GI, the American Dietetic Association nevertheless recommends this entire grain. 6
The GI score indicates how quickly a carbohydrate-rich food elevates blood sugar levels. To help control blood sugar levels, meal planning with the glycemic index involves choosing carbs with a low to medium GI rating.
Brown rice contains only 1.2 grams of mono and polyunsaturated fats per serving.
4 Unsaturated fats, which can be found in plants and fatty fish, are considered beneficial fats.
Unsaturated fats should account for 25–35 percent of total daily calories, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Brown rice has over 4 grams of protein per 1 cup cooked dish. Complete and incomplete proteins are the two types of protein. Brown rice, like other grains, contains incomplete protein, which means it lacks part of the amino acids necessary for complete protein formation. Adult men and women should consume 10–35 percent of their total daily calories from protein, according to the USDA’s dietary standards. 8
Minerals and vitamins
Brown rice has multiple layers of bran, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. B vitamins, fibre, vital amino acids, flavonoids, minerals, and antioxidant chemicals are only a few of them. According to study, brown rice has large levels of phytic acid, an anti-nutrient with antioxidant properties and therapeutic significance. 9
For those with celiac disease, wheat sensitivity, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, brown rice is a popular gluten-free, whole-grain option. It also includes beneficial phytochemicals that have been demonstrated to aid in disease prevention.
The antioxidants, fiber, and other beneficial chemical components present in the bran layers of brown rice provide many health advantages. Brown rice has been linked to a variety of medical characteristics, according to research, including:2
Diabetes risk is reduced.
Heart health has improved.
Cancer risk is reduced.
cholesterol levels have improved
Inflammation is reduced.
Loss of weight
Arsenic is a poison that occurs naturally in the environment. It can also be present in some form in practically all foods and beverages, including brown rice.
Arsenic comes in two forms: organic and inorganic, with the latter being the most hazardous. Brown rice has higher levels of inorganic arsenic due to contaminated irrigation water leaking into the soil and nourishing the crops. 10 Cooking water can sometimes cause inorganic arsenic levels in brown rice to rise.
This isn’t to say that brown rice shouldn’t be part of your diet.
The estimated inorganic arsenic concentration in brown rice is 154 parts per billion (ppb), compared to 92 ppb in white rice, according to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assessment. According to the FDA report, these levels do not constitute a health risk for immediate toxicity, but they may pose a risk during long-term exposure. 11
However, for those who consume a lot of brown rice on a regular basis, it may be advantageous to reduce their intake. To avoid the negative effects of eating too much of one thing, the FDA recommends eating a well-balanced diet. In addition, the FDA has imposed a restriction on the amount of inorganic arsenic that can be found in newborn rice cereals.
The following are some suggestions for lowering arsenic levels in brown rice:1211
Before cooking, rinse brown rice in low-arsenic filtered water.
Brown rice should be cooked insufficiently filtered water that is low in arsenic. The ideal water-to-rice ratio is 6 to 1.
White rice may be a better choice than brown rice if you eat a lot of rice.
During the week, switch up the grains you eat.
Brown rice should be used in moderation as part of a diversified diet.
Brown rice is available in short-grain, medium-grain, and long-grain variants. It has a nutty flavor, and the grain size offers each kinda different texture when cooked. When compared to polished white rice, brown rice takes longer to cook.
Brown rice with a short, plump, and practically round shape is known as short-grain brown rice. When cooked, the grains are soft and tender, and they stick together.
When compared to short-grain brown rice, medium-grain brown rice is larger and plumper, but not as large as long-grain brown rice. When compared to short-grain varieties, the grains are moist and soft, with a lower tendency to stay together when cooked.
In comparison to medium and short-grain brown rice, long-grain brown rice is long and slender. It’s also the most common kind, and it’s used in recipes like rice pilaf. When cooked, the grains are light, fluffy, and separate.