Rice is the main ingredient in cuisines around the world
with an estimated 40,000 varieties available worldwide.
In the United States you can buy white and brown basmati rice
from India and Pakistan, Arborio rice from Italy, Valencia rice
from Spain and “sticky”” rice from Japan, to name just a few.
Brown rice is the most nutritious kind of rice, which contains
abundant amounts of fiber, complex carbohydrates and essential
B vitamins. Brown rice retain all four parts of their original
grain kernel – the germ, the bran, a protective layer called
the aleurone, and the starchy endosperm – intact.
White rice only has the high-carb, nearly zero fiber endosperm.
What’s missing? Not just fiber, but hundreds of health-protective
phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, whole
grains can have 10 times the amount of vitamin E, four times
the potassium, magnesium and zinc; three times the vitamin B6,
and twice the selenium of white rice.
No wonder when you eat at least three servings of brown rice
a day, you cut your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and
The body need small amounts of cholesterol for different functions,
for example for making cell walls and for manufacturing essential
hormones. In order to supply the necessary amounts, the liver
produces cholesterol every day. But when we eat a high-fat diet,
the body churns out more cholesterol than it can use.
As a result, the risk of heart disease goes up.
We can avoid this from happening by eating brown rice.
A compound in the bran layer of rice, called oryzanol, has been shown
to reduce the body’s production of cholesterol.
This compound is actually chemically similar to cholesterol-lowering
In a study at Louisiana State University, people ate 100 grams of
rice bran a day for three weeks. At the end, levels of harmful
low-density Lipoprotein (LDL), cholesterol decreased by 10%, while
levels of beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
stayed the same. That means a 30% reduction in risk of heart attack.
Ïn combination with a low-fat diet, brown rice is one of the best
foods you can eat for lowering cholesterol”, says Dr.Hegsted.
Fiber offers powerful protection against type 2 diabetes.
Studies show that eating at least three servings of brown rice a day,
cuts the risk for this condition by 21% to 30%. Because fiber slows
digestion and keeps blood sugar low and steady.
In contrast, carbohydrates from refined grains ( white rice) send
blood sugar soaring after a meal, and triggering the release of
more insulin to force the sugar into cells.
Over time, higher blood sugar and insulin levels put you in the
danger zone for diabetes – and also for high blood pressure and
even some forms of cancer.
The insoluble kind of fiber in brown rice acts like a sponge in the
intestine, soaking up large amounts of water, according to Dr. Hegsted.
As a result, stools are getting larger and wetter, so they pass
more easily. Also, larger stools move faster through the colon.
As a result, any harmful substances that they contain, have less time
to damage cells in the colon wall, which may reduce the risk of cancer.
Some researchers estimate that if people would increase the amount of
fiber in their diets to 39 grams a day, they could drop the risk of
colon cancer by 31%.