There are over 40,000 varieties of rice but the terms brown or white rice don’t actually refer to or belong in these categories. Instead they indicate the degree of processing that the rice grains went through after harvest. Brown rice is basically unmilled rice, with only the outer husk removed. To turn that into white rice, more layers are taken off until only the white starchy endosperm is left.
These levels of post-harvest processing spell out the difference in nutrition between brown and white rice. Because brown rice retains its bran and germ layer which contains a lot of dietary fiber and other nutrients, it is more nutritious compared to white rice.
Continue reading to know more about the health benefits of brown or white rice. Also, be sure to check out the recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice.
Brown and White Rice Benefits:
When you check out the nutritional profile of this grain, you’ll see a significant abundance of B vitamins and certain minerals. 100 grams of a long grain variety has:
0.40 mg thiamine
5 mg niacin
1.49 mg pantothenic acid
0.50 mg pyridoxine
3.74 mg manganese
143 mg magnesium
333 mg phosphorous
The amounts of B vitamins contained in the stated serving fulfill more than 30% of your body’s daily need. While for the minerals, the amount of manganese has a daily value of more than 100% and the magnesium and phosphorous are around 40%.
Manganese is one of the nutrients that give brown rice its antioxidant property. This trace mineral is an important component of superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that protects cells from free radical damage during energy production. Magnesium meanwhile is needed or used in a number of the body’s enzyme processes, including those that deal with sugar. Phosphorous is the other mineral besides calcium that’s necessary for bone building. Your bones and teeth actually contain 85% of all the phosphorous in your body.
One more health advantage that comes from the bran and germ layer of brown rice is the oil these layers contain. Rice bran oil has been studied to have the capacity to lower cholesterol.
Other than the beneficial oil, the vitamins and minerals in brown rice do not turn zero just because the grains have been milled. White rice still has all those nutrients except in much lower quantities. Although it may be less nutritious, white rice is still a good source of calories and carbohydrates. There will certainly be times when you’re going to need a good boost of energy and white rice is a safer source compared to other high-carb foods. White rice is at least free of gluten unlike most bread made from refined wheat flour.
Brown and White Rice Practical Uses:
There are differences in storing and cooking brown and white rice. Again the significant factor here is the presence or absence of the grain’s bran and germ layer. Because that layer contains natural oil which can turn rancid, brown rice has a relatively short shelf life, possibly 6 months at the most. White rice can be stored indefinitely.
For both types it is important to keep them in tight containers and placed in dry and cool areas. There are specially made containers called rice dispensers that may make things more convenient if this grain is going to be a major part of your diet.
As for cooking, the bran layer is quite tough and necessitates higher water to rice ratio and longer cooking times for brown rice. Usually it takes 2 – 2 ½ cups of water to cook 1 cup of brown rice. A one-to-one ratio meanwhile works for white rice.
Naturally Asian cuisine presents a wide variety of rice recipes. One of the more popular dishes from Japan is called maki. Short or round-grained sticky varieties of white rice are best for this recipe. The other important ingredient here is nori or seaweed sheets and the necessary implement for rolling the rice and sheets is a bamboo sushi mat.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of sprouted, organic quinoa, amaranth or millet in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the grains and legumes on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
• Sprouted, Organic Quinoa, Amaranth Or Millet
• Sprouted Legumes (Beans & Lentils)
• Soaked Legumes (Beans & Lentils)
• Soaked, Organic Quinoa, Amaranth Or Millet
• Soaked & Sprouted Wheat Products
• GMO Corn
• Soy Nuts
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the benefits of brown or white rice, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the benefits of brown or white rice.