Rice feeds the world!
“Without rice, even the cleverest housewife cannot cook.” –Chinese Proverb
Three billion people on this planet depend on rice for over half of their daily total calorie intake. Most of these people eat white rice.
Could the hippies and macrobiotics be wrong? What are the differences and benefits? Is this a smart carb?
Besides the obvious difference in color, there are further distinctions between long grain, short grain, and over 8,000 varieties.
Brown Rice is the whole grain with just the first outer layer (husk or hull) removed through milling. It still retains its fiber and the germ which contains many of the most vital nutrients.
White rice is brown rice that has first been milled to take away the bran and much of the germ. This reduces the fiber and many nutrients. It is further polished to take away the remaining layer of germ (called the aleurone layer) which contains its essential oils. It is these oils which oxidize and go rancid.
Sticky Rice or Not: Short grain rice has the highest starch content so makes stickier rice. Long grain is lighter and more fluffy.
Health Benefits of Brown Rice Over White Rice
Brown rice has:
- twice the manganese and phosphorus of white.
- 2.5 times the iron.
- 3 times the vitamin B3.
- 4 times the vitamin B1.
- 10 times the vitamin B6.
It is a great source of manganese, essential for energy production, antioxidant activity, and sex hormone production.
High fiber and selenium content reduces colon cancer:
The fiber in brown rice reduces the time cancer-causing substances spend in the colon. Selenium has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of colon cancer. White rice has very little fiber.
Next: More benefits & cautions