Whole Grains Matter: The Rewards of Eating Brown Rice
Whole grains have been a part of the human diet for a very long time. Unlike refined grains, which can cause health issues due to their high intake, whole grains are entirely different. There are several health benefits associated with the consumption of whole grains.
What Are Whole Grains?
The seeds of cereals and grass-like plants are referred to as grains. The common varieties of grains include wheat, rice, and corn. The seeds of some non-grass plants are also classified as whole grains; their examples may include amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat.
There are three parts of the whole grain, which are:
- Bran: The bran is the hard outer shell of the grain. It contains antioxidants, minerals, and fiber.
- Endosperm: The grain’s middle layer is the endosperm. This layer is commonly composed of carbs.
- Germ: The germ is the inner layer, and it contains plant compounds, proteins, minerals, and vitamins.
The grains can be cracked, crushed, or rolled. However, they are still considered whole grains, provided they contain these three parts in their original ratio. The bran and the germ are removed for refined grains, with only the endosperm remaining.
The Benefits of Eating Brown Rice
Brown rice is a whole grain. Just like other whole grains, there are many benefits associated with consuming them. Below are the rewards of eating brown rice.
Although a simple food, brown rice has a high nutritional profile. Compared to other types, such as white rice, the nutritional value of brown rice is higher. There may be similarities between these foods regarding calories, but brown rice outperforms white rice in almost every other category.
Brown rice is a good source of calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and folate. It also contains manganese in sufficient amounts. Manganese may be a little-known mineral, but it is essential to many bodily functions such as blood sugar regulation, nerve function, muscle contraction metabolism, wound healing, and bone development.
Generally, you can get almost all your daily requirements of nutrients when you consume one cup of brown rice. The antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins it provides make brown rice a highly nutritious whole grain.
Gluten is a protein commonly found in rye, barley, and wheat. Nowadays, more people are consuming gluten-free diets for several reasons. Consuming gluten, some people can experience an allergic reaction causing them to experience reactions like vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
Furthermore, gluten-free food like brown rice is good for people with a particular type of autoimmune condition. For this and many more reasons, there has been an increasingly high demand for gluten-free foods. Brown rice is a safe option when considering gluten-free meals.
Also, brown rice mainly consists of nutrients essential to bodily functions, unlike highly processed gluten-free foods. It can also make many other gluten-free items like pasta and crackers. These are products that those who are intolerant to gluten can enjoy.
3. Diabetes control
To control your blood sugar levels, it is important to minimize your intake of carbs and pick healthier alternatives. Even though blood sugar is largely affected by carbs, the insulin spikes and blood sugar levels of people with diabetes can be reduced when they consume less refined grains.
There are several ways through which people with diabetes can benefit from consuming brown rice instead of white rice. Compared to white rice, the glycemic index of brown rice is considerably lower. As a result, it has less impact on blood sugar as it is digested slower. Opting for food items with a lesser glycemic index can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels better.
Also, food containing a higher glycemic index enhances insulin, blood sugar, and ghrelin. Ghrelin is a type of hormone that promotes hunger. Diabetic people can better control their hunger by reducing their ghrelin levels. By doing so, they can keep their blood sugar levels in check and avoid overeating.
4. Promote heart functions
Another main benefit of brown rice is that it is a heart-healthy food item. It has a high fiber content and is rich in contents that can help minimize the risk of heart conditions. This is shown in studies that people who consume dietary fiber have a lower chance of developing respiratory diseases, cancer, and heart diseases.
This also applies to people who consume whole grains the most. In addition to being a great source of fiber, there are compounds like ligands contained in brown rice. These compounds can help minimize the risk of heart disease.
Additionally, diets containing food rich in lignan, such as sesame nuts and seeds, flax seeds, and whole grains, are all associated with decreased artery stiffness, lower blood pressure, and reduced cholesterol. This is with the presence of magnesium, a mineral important to the proper functioning of the heart.
5. Good for weight loss
For those looking to control their weight, brown rice is a good choice. Consuming brown rice rather than more refined grains can help with weight loss. Refined grains such as white bread, white pasta, and white rice do not have as many nutrients and fiber as whole grains such as brown rice.
Consuming fiber-rich food helps prevent you from ingesting more calories because it keeps you fuller over a long time. Studies have found that people who consume whole grains such as brown rice and other similar food items weigh less than those who eat fewer whole grains. Also, opting for brown rice rather than white rice can help reduce belly fat.
Whole grain is essential to people’s diet these days. This is particularly because most types of whole grains, brown rice, have many health benefits. The reward of eating this type of whole grain means intake of a nutritious diet, lowered risk of heart disease, and help with weight loss.