You might have often heard and read that brown rice is healthy and should be preferred over white rice (polished rice), is that true? In this article, I am digging deep into the different colors in which human’s favorite grain is available in the market. So, strap your seat belts!
Do you understand Malayalam? if yes, here is a video I created on the same topic:
This is our all-time favorite rice. Why? because it tastes good and is cheap! But is it really good? Is it safe if you eat white or polished rice every day?
The first thing that you need to understand is that rice is actually whole with several layers protecting it when it comes out from the farm. It has a husk, the bran layer comes beneath the husk which contains the starchy endosperm. Now, the white rice is made from the whole grain by removing the husk, the bran and the germ layer leaving just the inner seed. This process is called polishing and in this process, a whole lot of nutrients are lost.
Nutrients like Vitamin B1, B3, B6, Manganese, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium are lost as they are contained in the bran of rice. So the final product might look neat and white but is actually less nutritious!
As this process is done by machines, white rice is generally cheaper and easy to make. It has a better taste, has little cooking time and is easily digested because of low fiber content. The bulk of fiber content in rice is lost during the polishing process too.
Also called whole rice or whole grain, this is the expensive one. Why? Because it is difficult to make, mostly milled or hand treated, the brown rice retains the whole rice grain except the husk. As the bran is retained,d brown rice is rich in fibers, several vitamins including Thiamine, Niacin, vitamin B6, minerals like phosphorus, Zinc, Selenium, Manganese, Magnesium and some fatty acids.
Now, brown rice has a nutty flavor and is chewier when compared to white rice. Everyone might not like its taste!
The high fiber content makes it an ideal grain for diabetics as less quantity is required per serving and also because of the low glycemic index (GI). If you want to know more about glycemic index, leave a comment in the box below.
Brown rice is definitely recommended for controlling over-weight, obesity. It’s best suited for diabetes too. Overall, it is a healthier option when compared to white rice. But wait! We haven’t talked about Arsenic, yes Arsenic the slow killing poison!
Arsenic is an inorganic chemical and is found in soil, water particularly in industrial areas and farms where lots of pesticides are used. It can lead to several lifestyle diseases and damage our inner organs. Now, as you all know, rice is cultivated in paddy fields and guess where the Arsenic is found most abundantly? In the rice bran!
Here’s an article I wrote last year about Arsenic in drinking water! Have you ever thought about that possibility?
So, brown rice has the bran intact and therefore when compared to white rice, has the most Arsenic content. There’s no need to panic! You can still make it’s consumption less by following the below steps:
- Choose brown rice from manufacturers who are transparent about the Arsenic issue. Rice mills can do several things to reduce the Arsenic content in rice before it’s shipped to the end consumers
- Soak brown rice in water for 24 to 48 hours. As Arsenic is water soluble, most of it can be washed away with water. Rinse the water every 8 hours
- Cook brown rice using plenty of water, that is 5 parts water for one part rice
- Drain the excess water and rinse finally before eating it
Want another reason to dislike brown rice? Here goes-
When you buy brown rice from your local supermarket, it will cost you minimum of 50 INR (not branded) per kilogram. This can go up to 170 INR
Here are some popular brown Basmati rice available on Amazon india
Now, if you ask me, just go for brown rice if you have the money and the time to cook it properly. If you are diabetic, definitely consider switching to brown rice. Don’t worry about Arsenic! I just wanted you guys to know about it, that’s all. When the benefits of brown rice are compared to the minimal amounts of Arsenic, you shouldn’t be bothering too much about it.
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I really appreciate the time you spent reading this article. If you really liked it, please share it with your rice eating friends and family.