Rice (Oryza Sativa) is one of the most important and stable human food crops. It is cultivated in many locations in the world and is considered a unique crop because it can grow in wet environments that many crops cannot tolerate. Rice grains are mainly made of carbohydrates and moderate amount proteins and other essential nutrients.
Rice is commonly consumed after polishing or whitening and the polished grain is known as a high glycemic food because of its high starch content. In addition, the removal of the outer bran layer during rice milling are known as white rice and milling results in a loss of nutrients, dietary fibre and bioactive components. Hence, recent research suggests that less milled or brown rice consumption is highly recommended to achieve nutrition sustainability. Brown rice is produced by removing hull or husk portion only and due to its brown colour, it is known as brown rice. Brown rice has a slight nutty flavour and is more chewer than polished rice. According to studies, brown rice with a low glycemic index provides many health benefits than white rice, as overconsumption of white rice has been associated with prevalence of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases.
Brown rice contains relatively higher amounts of dietary fibre (laxative effect), moderate amount of proteins, unsaturated lipids (good energy source), high in vitamin B to prevent beriberi, low glycemic index (helpful to counter the growth of type 2 diabetes) and several bioactive compounds. The whole brown rice grain has a greater content of bioactive compounds such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, γ-oryzanol, aminobutyric acid (GABA), α-tocopherol, and γ-tocotrienol that acts as antioxidants and also decrease cholesterol and thus may help prevent against some cardiovascular diseases. Studies showed that brown rice contain higher amounts of nutrients such as proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals compared to those in white rice.
So, a few ways to consume brown rice would be to add it to your soup for more healthy carbs and fibre, stir fry with vegetables meats or tofu, plain and just steamed or boiled, mix it up with your salad to make a salad bowl with some broccoli and beans or other vegetables.
Picture of a stir-fry white rice dish.
The table below shows the nutritional composition of white rice and brown rice.