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Brown Rice Health Benefits

Updated on July 8, 2011
Brown Rice
Brown Rice

Brown Rice

Brown Rice (oryza sativa or hulled rice) or in my language is called Beras Merah is not milled rice or half-milled rice. so it can be called whole grain. Brown rice has nutty taste and a little more chewy than the white rice. Even though brown rice is stale faster than white rice, but brown rice is more nutritious.
For many Asians specially in Indonesia, there are 3 big types of rice, white rice, sticky rice or in my language is beras ketan, and brown rice. Whatever they called the name, they have a similar function, this ingredient is a carbohydrate source or something that will really make you full and energy source for all your activity.

In many Asian countries, brown rice is connected with poverty and war times. But now, the time has changed, when many people more aware about health, now brown rice is become popular.   

The difference between brown rice and white rice lies on the process. Brown rice is produced from removal process of the outermost layer of rice, the hull, of the rice kernel. While white rice is produced after the complete milling and polishing that lost most of its nutrition and minerals, specially magnesium. Now in my local market, there are many white rice products that is enriched by vitamins and minerals, so why don't consume brown rice instead of adding some additional nutrition? it's healthier, but sometime my local people feel that white rice is more classy than the brown one.

Whereas Brown rice has many benefits for health :

Benefits of Brown Rice

1. Fiber source
As a fiber source that is very useful for people who are worried about the risk of colon cancer, which can minimize the duration of cancer-causing substances in contact with intestinal cells, it is also a source of selenium, the mineral that actually reduce the risk of colon cancer.

2. Lower the Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) level
Brown rice contains fiber that serves to reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), inhibit atherosclerosis, and also plays a role in controlling blood glucose levels in the body, so also is the best choice for diabetics.

3. Rich of antioxidants
According to the research of D. Rui Hai Liu from Cornell University, brown rice contains a phenolic, one of the antioxidants that could inhibit free radical that could trigger cancer.

4. Source of magnesium
Brown rice contains of magnesium which can reduce the asthma seizure, lowering high blood pressure, reduce the frequency of migrants, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Magnesium helps regulate nerves and muscles rhythm by balancing the action of calcium. Magnesium is also useful for bone health. Approximately two-thirds of magnesium in the human body is found in the bone. A cup of brown rice (about 185 grams) will give you 21% daily necessities of magnesium.

5. Maintain the metabolism energy
Brown rice also contain of thiamine which has function to maintain energy metabolism. Thiamine deficiency can disrupt the nervous system and heart which can lead to beriberi disease. This disease may be is not common in western countries, but in many South East Asia countries, there are many people who suffer this disease, so i think the most simple way to reduce beriberi disease is to consume more brown rice.

6. Brown rice will reduce hangover
Brown rice that really rich of vitamin B complex can reduce people who get hangover. Not just vitamin B complex, but also rich with calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium. Traditionally, the fiber will help to recover physical health. Fiber can help to calm the nerves that affected and improve mood.

7. Brown rice can also reduce weight
People who are suffer with obesity should try to consume brown rice. According to the research in the Harvard Medical School, those who consume brown rice that contain of dietary fiber will less likely to gain weight compared to those who just consume refined grains.  

8. Rich in amino acids and GABA.
One way to cook brown rice with a technique known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) or germinated brown rice (GBR), which arises at the International Year of Rice. The technique, brown rice soaked in warm water (380C) for 20 hours before being cooked like regular white rice. This will stimulate the germination process that enable a variety of enzymes in brown rice. By way of cooking like this, the amino acid content will be obtained more complete, including GABA. GABA has also been known to increase growth hormone in humans. That's why brown rice is perfect for bodybuilders who really need the protein amino acids for muscle development and as a substitute for regular white rice.
The carbohydrate in brown rice are lower than white rice (White rice 78.9 g; Brown rice 75.7 g), but the energy produced brown rice is bigger than the white rice (white rice 349 cal, Brown rice 353 cal). Therefore, brown rice is often recommended as a good food to lose weight.

Looking at the nutrient contents are really complex and full benefits, so it worth trying to consume every day.

This is the way I have my brown rice, with fried chicken, tofu steamed, sambal or chili, and some veggie. With banana leaf as the plate.
This is the way I have my brown rice, with fried chicken, tofu steamed, sambal or chili, and some veggie. With banana leaf as the plate.


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    • profile image

      mangoes2020 6 years ago

      Basmati rice is the most nutritive, I personnally eat every day Diamond Pearl Foods SONA IMPEX Indian long grain white basmati rice 'cause it's really good and i've lost 3kg in 2 months... That brand really wears it's name well! "Diamond Pearl Foods" haha! Once cooked it reaches 8-9 mm long! Incredible! So i guess you "dose" with sports and all that. But it's really nutritif! Viva Diamond Pearl Foods

    • MarkMAllen15 profile image

      MarkMAllen15 6 years ago

      I love brown rice.

    • profile image

      Jack 6 years ago

      Extremely informative article!

      Thank you for the time you spend putting this together. I do love to eat brown rice but I must admit it did taste a bit wierd the first time I had it. However,after a few meals (5 i think), my taste buds have acclimated to its taste and I now eat it with much gusto!

      Thanks again for this!

    • fbliangcha profile image

      fbliangcha 6 years ago from Guangxi-Zhuang, China

      For people who tried brown rice but didn't like it. Can try this cooking your white rice with a little bit of brown rice say a 1:10 ratio (10 white, 1 brown). You can increase gradually month by month the brown rice if you get used to it.

    • jerrycorinadam profile image

      jerrycorinadam 6 years ago from United State

      you have given the benefits of brown rice in a good manner. I particularly liked the details regarding magnesium.

    • profile image

      Ann, best treatment for acne specialist 6 years ago

      I never knew that brown rice has these benefits. I was never fully aware of brown rice at all. I've heard my friends talk about it, because I thought they were just talking about rice that was cooked differently (something like fried rice). I've asked some people and they said that brown rice is really better than white rice, but they said that you would not like the taste of it when you first eat it. I can't wait to try some and see/feel the benefits myself.

    • profile image

      Brown Rice Recipe 7 years ago

      I knew I had to eat more rice but now I KNOW that I must look at more brown rice dishes!

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      NP.Queen, you're welcome. Thank you for visiting.

      @Peter, wow's delicious, thank you for sharing.

      @membersa, you're welcome, love the way you maintain your health.

    • membersa profile image

      membersa 7 years ago from USA

      My husband and I are very much into health and we only eat brown rice. I love it's nutty taste too. Thanks for a great hub!

    • profile image

      Peter 7 years ago

      Try cooking brown rice with wolfberry, red dates, lotus seeds & ground nuts. Eat with raw lettuces & tomatoes. You can also cook brown rice congee same as mention above. Add ginger & a bit of oil. Also dried scallop or dried oyster.

      My email address:

    • NP.QUEEN profile image

      NP.QUEEN 7 years ago from Dubai

      I am always eating brown rice.But now only i understood brown rice is better than white rice. Thank u for your informative hub.

    • Maria Cecilia profile image

      Maria Cecilia 7 years ago from Philippines

      FEbrie yes long time no hear from you.....

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      Hi sportandhealth, that's great! brown rice is healthier than the white one, and to have two or three servings per week it's quite enough for the start. Have a great day!

    • sportandhealth profile image

      sportandhealth 7 years ago

      I love rice, but i actually never it brown rice. But reading all about the health benefits. I am now going to start eating brown rice.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      Hi Maria, long time no see hahaha, wow, you must really love Peso so much, and Peso seems brilliant to choose his food haha..clever boy :)

    • Maria Cecilia profile image

      Maria Cecilia 7 years ago from Philippines

      Febri would you believe I converted to red or brown rice because of Peso? my dog's diet needs a lot of fiber and since he is a rice eater, i decided use brown rice instead. Prolong white rice intake is causing him indigestion( he is a senior dog 10 years old) and fart very frequently, now with brown rice I think he is better inside his stomach, about me, I guess I am bigger if I am still eating white rice

    • lindaadams37 profile image

      lindaadams37 7 years ago

      You have laid emphasis on the importance of nutritional elements for human body and apart from all kind of health exercises it is significant to keep a good balance.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      Iman, hi welcome to Hubpages! thank you for commenting!

    • ImanAlipk profile image

      ImanAlipk 7 years ago

      Brown rice is really very healthy as compare to white rice,i really like your hub, its very informative.

    • North-London profile image

      North-London 7 years ago from North London, England

      I always prefer Brown rice - it takes longer to cook but is always worth it. Do you add any particular spices to it while its cooking?


    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      HappyHer, I'm glad if this hub will help you and brown rice is good to consume every day, or at least twice a week.

    • HappyHer profile image

      HappyHer 7 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Thank you for a great reminder about eating healthy! I'm never sure which rice to use, so now I'll default to brown rice.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      Dave, yes it's a little bit more chewy.

      Agus, you're absolutely right!

      Prasetio, that's really great, Urap, fish or fried chicken or grilled fish, with sambal...plenty of sambal make me hungry sigh, it's almost lunch anyway. Thank's for visiting Pras!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Useful information from you. I'll to found brown rice in the market. I think it good to accompanied by URAP-URAP kind of vegetable mix with coconut. Thank you very much, Febrie. I learn much from here. Thumbs up for you!

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 7 years ago from Indonesia

      Brown rice is not only attractive but also healthful.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      I like rice but find the brown rice a little hard to digest.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      Hello, hello, well it's okay not everybody enjoy the brown rice, it depends on our personal taste :) Thank you for visiting!

      Anginwu, thank you, yes I also enjoy white rice more than the brown one, good to see you!

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 7 years ago

      Good information on brown rice. I know brown rice is far more superior in terms of nutrition but every once in a while, I enjoy fluffy white rice with my Asian dishes. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I tried it once and didn't like it. Sorry. Thank you for your very explicit hub.

    • Anita_Lumley profile image

      Anita_Lumley 7 years ago from Springfield, MO

      Great hub!

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      heart4theworld, thank you for visiting. Yes, Brown basmati rice is great!

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 7 years ago from hub

      I knew brown rice was good in fiber, yet not all the healthy benefits you listed! Brown Basmati Rice is my avorite...just adding a little sea salt and pepper, it's great:)

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      Chin chin, Yes, brown rice is better than the white one and I try to have it as often as I can. Thank you for visiting.

      Nell Rose, Brown rice is good for hangover because it contain many minerals and vitamins that really good for it. Like oats as a basic ingredient of posset (oat,water,orange juice, sugar, and spices), the traditional drink that will reduce hangover. Thank's for visiting Nell :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, I never realised that brown rice was so much better than white rice. And it helps a hangover! I will certainly be changing to it in future. cheers thanks nell

    • Chin chin profile image

      Chin chin 7 years ago from Philippines

      I like brown rice because of its nutty taste. It also makes one feel fuller longer thus it is a good substitute for those who want to control their diet or lose weight. It is more expensive though compared to white rice.