Brown Rice 101
It’s interesting to know that any variety of rice—whether it’s the longer-grain or the short and medium-grain kinds—can be milled to the brown rice stage.
Brown rice is brown in color and also called ‘unpolished rice’. All rice before going through the entire polishing process would look like brown rice. Every rice grain has an outer layer, a stiff cover called the “hull” or “husk”. The husk is always removed from the seed for brown rice as well as white rice.
Under the hull there is a thin brownish layer called the ‘bran’ layer. For brown rice, this brownish bran layer clings to the seed if left intact or undisturbed. It is only the stiff cover, the hull, that is removed through the polishing process.
Brown rice is more nutritious compared to white rice because of many good nutrients within the bran layer itself. The complete milling and polishing converting brown rice into white rice actually destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Do you hear brown rice calling us to attention?
Brown rice, however, is rich in fiber, helping to reduce the possibility of heart diseases, avoid abrupt spikes in sugar levels, and as an aid in digestion and reducing constipation. Brown rice also contains other vitamins and nutrients besides B vitamins: manganese, selenium, and iron.
Just one cup of brown rice provides 80% of the daily value for manganese which is a critical component of an antioxidant enzyme providing protection against damage from the free radicals as well as reducing the severity of asthma, lowering high blood pressure, and even in reducing frequency of migraine headaches. The selenium in brown rice helps with thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, and immune function. Research has also found that the oil in whole brown rice lowers cholesterol. I think we all have to agree that brown rice is healthy for you and your body.