Rice is a staple food around the world. It’s cheap, nutritious, filling, and delicious. But did you know that rice has many health benefits?
There are many reasons why rice should be part of your diet every day. In fact, rice contains over 100 nutrients including fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and even protein!
If you’ve never tried rice before, then I highly recommend adding it to your daily routine. You’ll feel great after just a few days!
History of Rice
Rice was first cultivated in China around 5,000 years ago. The Chinese have been eating rice for thousands of years. They believed that rice had magical powers – it could bring good luck or bad luck depending on how it was cooked. Today, rice remains one of the most popular foods in the world.
Types of Rice
The two main types of rice are white rice and brown rice. White rice is made from polished grains while brown rice is made from unpolished grains.
White rice is the most common type of rice sold at grocery stores. This rice is usually processed using heat and chemicals. These processes can remove some of the nutrients found in whole grain rice. However, there are still plenty of healthy nutrients in white rice.
Brown rice is also known as long-grain rice. Unlike white rice, brown rice is not processed with heat or chemicals. Instead, brown rice is milled into flour which makes it easier to digest than regular white rice.
Health Benefits of Brown Rice
Here are some of the top health benefits of eating rice every day:
1. Weight Loss
Eating rice helps control your appetite. A study published in Nutrition Journal showed that people who ate brown rice lost more weight than those who ate white rice. Brown rice may help reduce cravings because it takes longer to eat compared to white rice.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), brown rice contains substances called “phytic acid” and “starch inhibitors”. These substances make it difficult for your body to absorb some nutrients from other foods, such as calcium, iron, and zinc. Therefore, if you’re looking to lose weight, eating brown rice will provide a benefit.
2. Heart Health
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate brown or wild rice instead of white rice experienced lower cholesterol levels.
Wild rice is actually better for you than brown rice. Wild rice is higher in antioxidants and fiber than brown rice.
3. Brain Health
A study published in the journal Neurology found that people who ate three servings of brown rice per week were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers believe that this is due to the high amounts of vitamin E, folic acid, manganese, and copper found in brown rice.
4. Good For Digestion
According to the Mayo Clinic, eating rice can improve digestion by increasing saliva production. Saliva helps break down food so that it can pass through the digestive tract.
5. Blood Sugar Levels
According to Harvard Medical School, consuming brown rice can help regulate blood sugar levels. Regular consumption of brown rice can also prevent diabetes.
One study found that eating 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice every day for 2 weeks reduced fasting glucose levels by 10% and lowered insulin resistance by 20%. Another study found that eating 1 cup of brown rice daily for 4 months improved cholesterol levels by 7%, triglycerides by 12%, and LDL (bad) cholesterol by 9%.
And finally, a third study found that eating 1 serving of brown rice per day for 6 weeks significantly decreased total cholesterol by 8%, LDL cholesterol by 11%, and triglycerides by 13%.
6. Cancer Prevention
Researchers at Tufts University say that eating brown rice can protect against cancer. They believe that the antioxidants found in brown rice may slow the growth of cancer cells.
7. Energy Boost
Eating brown rice can give you a boost of energy. According to the USDA, brown rice contains more iron, magnesium, zinc, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, phosphorus, potassium, and protein than white rice.
8. Healthy Skin
Eating brown rice has been shown to promote healthy skin. One study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that women who consumed brown rice experienced smoother and softer skin after just four weeks.
9. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection. Inflammatory responses help heal wounds and fight off infections. However, chronic inflammation can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression.
Brown rice is a whole grain that contains many nutrients that may help reduce inflammation. Brown rice is rich in antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, selenium, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin C, folate (vitamin B9), biotin (vitamin B7), and choline (vitamin B12).
Many studies show that eating brown rice helps reduce inflammation. One study found that consuming brown rice daily for two weeks reduced blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Another study showed that eating brown rice every day for six months lowered cholesterol levels in patients with metabolic syndrome.
Rice bran oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. People who consume these oils have fewer problems with arthritis than others.
10. Hair Growth
One study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that people who drank oatmeal had thicker hair than those who didn’t drink oatmeal on a daily basis.
The researchers suggest that this could be due to the fact that oats contain beta-glucans, which are beneficial to hair growth.
11. Good For Teeth
One study published in the Journal of Dental Research found that people who ate two or more servings of brown rice each week had stronger teeth than those who did not eat brown rice regularly.
The researchers believe that this was because of the high amount of calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium found in brown rice. It is recommended that adults consume between five and ten servings of whole grains each week.
12. Good For People With Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks itself by damaging the small intestine when it eats gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye, triticale, Kamut, spelt, farro, bulgur, couscous, semolina, durum, emmer, graham flour, and malt.
People with celiac disease should avoid all forms of gluten as much as possible. They should also follow a strict diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
People with celiac disease need to make sure they get enough protein from other sources like nuts, beans, lentils, eggs, dairy products, fish, poultry, meat, and soy foods.
Because brown rice is low in carbohydrates, it is considered safe for people with celiac disease.
13. Helps Prevent Heart Disease
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating brown rice at least twice per week helped lower bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol.
This means that brown rice can help prevent heart disease.
14. Boosts Immunity
A study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences & Nutrition found that eating brown basmati rice increases immune system activity.
15. Improves Nervous System Health
Brown rice has been shown to improve brain function.
A study published in the journal Neurology found that older adults who consumed brown rice experienced better memory recall than those who didn’t eat any form of brown rice.
16. Can Help Reduce Cancer Risks
Eating brown rice may help reduce cancer risks.
Researchers from Harvard University analyzed data from over one hundred thousand participants and found that those who ate brown rice were less likely to develop cancers such as breast, prostate, colon, lung, stomach, and pancreas.
17. Lowers Blood Pressure
A study published in Hypertension found that women who ate brown rice had lower blood pressure than those who didn’t.
Brown rice has higher arsenic than other whole grains. This is why it’s important to wash your rice thoroughly before cooking it. You can do this by soaking the rice overnight in water with some lemon juice added. Then drain off any liquid that is left in the rice and rinse it well.
Too much arsenic in the body may cause health problems including skin lesions, headaches, muscle weakness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
If you’re concerned about how your body will react to consuming brown rice, there’s no need to worry.
There have been many studies done on the long-term health benefits of brown rice and most doctors agree that if you’re healthy and don’t suffer from any medical conditions, then you’ll be fine.
Some people experience minor side effects after eating brown rice. These include:
– Stomach upset
– Bloated feeling
– Abdominal pain
– Loss of appetite
The best way to avoid these symptoms is to drink lots of water before and after eating brown rice.
Also, try not to eat too much of it at once. Try having half a cup instead of two or three cups.
The bottom line
Brown rice is a complete food source that provides many essential nutrients. It contains fiber, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.
It’s important to remember that brown rice isn’t just another grain. It’s actually a whole grain and is packed with more nutrition than white rice.
So next time you’re looking for a healthier alternative, consider switching to brown rice. You won’t regret it!