Brown rice is also called 'unpolished rice' and is brown in color. It is actually how all rice would look before it goes through the entire process of polishing. Every rice grain has an outer layer of a slightly stiff cover called the 'hull' or husk. The husk is always removed from the seed for both white and brown rice. Under this layer is a thin brownish layer called the 'bran' layer. This brownish layer on the rice seed clings to the seed and is removed through a polishing process. In the case of brown rice, the brownish bran layer is left intact and only the top stiff cover is removed. Brown rice is believed to be more nutritious as compared to white rice as, there are many nutrients in the brown layer that normally get taken off in the polishing process.
Health Benefits of Brown Rice
- Helps lower cholesterol - The oil in whole brown rice, not its fiber,
- Helps prevent atherosclerosis - the fiber in rice has been shown to help
- Helps to maintain a normal body weight - A study published in November
2003 of the America Journal of Clinic Nutrition cites the importance of
having a diet rich in whole grains vs. refined grains as a means to help
maintain a normal body weight.
- Reduces risk of metabolic syndrome - The latest research shows that
refined grains and the foods made from them (e.g., white breads, cookies,
pastries, pasta and rice) are now being linked not only to weight gain but
to increased risk of insulin resistance (the precursor of type 2 diabetes)
and the metabolic syndrome (a strong predictor of both type 2 diabetes and
cardiovascular disease), while eating more whole grain foods is being shown
to protect against all these ills.
Common features of the metabolic syndrome include visceral obesity (the
"apple shaped" body), low levels of protective HDL cholesterol, high
triglycerides, and high blood pressure.