Rice is a cereal grain and a diet staple for 51% of the world’s population1 . There are all kinds of rice available, from your standard white to arborio (for risottos), black, red, jasmine and, the rice we’re discussing today, brown rice.
In this article, we’ll explain what brown rice is and why it’s better for health than white rice. We’ll reveal the nutritional profile of brown rice, so you can discover its vitamin and mineral content – and all the health benefits that go along with it. Finally, we’ll advise a perfect portion size for brown rice.
What is brown rice?
Unlike other kinds of rice, brown rice is a whole grain, as it incorporates all parts of the wheat grain: the bran, germ and endosperm2 . Only the inedible hull is removed.
Brown rice vs white rice
In contrast with brown rice, white rice is not whole grain – it’s a refined grain, which means that the bran and germ have been separated from the endosperm. A large amount of rice grain’s nutritional content is in the bran and germ, so white rice is immediately less fibrous and nutritious than brown3 .
Here, we’ll go in-depth on all the ways brown rice beats white rice for health benefits:
- Brown rice preserves nutrients. Producing white rice incurs a 67% loss of vitamin B3, an 80% loss of vitamin B1, a 90% loss of vitamin B6%, a 60% loss of iron, and a 50% loss of both phosphorus and manganese4 . Your body could have used those nutrients for essential processes that keep you fit and healthy!5
- Brown rice protects heart health. Brown rice is rich in lignans, which white rice isn’t. Lignans enhance heart health by decreasing fat present in the blood, and reducing blood pressure6 .
- Brown rice contains more antioxidants. Brown rice is significantly higher in antioxidants than white rice7 . The antioxidants within brown rice reduce oxidative damage throughout the body8 .
- Brown rice is better for achieving any weight loss goals. Whole-grain consumption is linked with a lower weight9 . Studies that focus on brown rice show that incorporating it into your diet can lower BMI and result in a smaller waist to hip circumference10 .
The nutritional profile of brown rice
A 97g portion of brown rice contains11 :
- 18% of your daily recommended selenium. Selenium encourages immune system health and helps maintain normal hair and nails12 .
- 39% of your daily recommended manganese. Manganese helps maintain normal bones and helps convert food into energy13 .
- 12% of your daily recommended phosphorus. Phosphorus helps your teeth and bones development14 .
The recommended portion size of brown rice
A good-sized portion of brown rice is around 90g per person (uncooked). However, people with a smaller appetite may prefer a 60g quantity.
Last Updated: 3rd November 2020