Brown Rice – Health and Weight Loss Benefits, with Easy Recipes
Ditch the thought that rice will make you fat.
Rice is not entirely bad for our health, especially if it is brown rice, the good kind of rice that is low in calories, fats, cholesterol, and sodium.
So good is brown rice that is a staple in many Asian people’s diet.
It has also become popular among Westerners as a food of choice for losing weight.
It is one food that makes people feel full for a long time without giving them tons of carbohydrates and sugar in exchange.
Brown Rice versus White Rice – a Comparison
How now does brown rice differ from its popular white counterpart?
Essentially, the answer lies in the bran of brown rice.
You see, brown rice is the unpolished kind of rice, meaning only its husk or hull has been removed.
Because it is unpolished, brown rice retains its bran layer, a brown layer that locks in many nutrients.
On the other hand, white rice is the polished form of rice.
Both the husk and the bran layer have been removed.
With its bran layer removed, white rice does not have the level of nutrients that brown rice has.
If you are wondering why then white rice is more popular than brown rice, then you may find the answer at the price tag.
White rice carries a lower tab than brown rice.
Why then is brown rice more expensive than white rice when it is actually the “unpolished” kind?
That’s a toughie.
Many people, however, suppose that marketers of brown rice give premium to its health and weight loss benefits and charge accordingly.
Also, it is said that the production of brown rice is less than the actual demand for it, making its growers and sellers able to retail it even at relatively high prices.
Health and Weight Loss Benefits of Brown Rice
Brown rice is high in fiber, thanks to its bran layer.
You might know by now that health experts have been stressing the importance of natural fiber to our body.
Fiber has been discovered to facilitate digestion and weight loss.
That alone should be a valid reason to eat brown rice.
To add to its already valuable fiber contents, brown rice also delivers nourishing benefits to our bodies.
It is loaded with protein, iron, calcium, vitamin B and potassium.
It also has manganese, phosphorus, selenium and vitamin K.
Because of its nutrient contents, brown rice has been found to be able to help people limit the chances of developing cancer, keep blood sugar levels in check, and even prevent constipation, diarrhea, and ulcers.
How to Cook Brown Rice
You might think that this part is not really needed, that brown rice is prepared in the same way as white rice.
Well, not necessarily.
The bran layer of brown rice makes it a little more temperamental than white rice.
Here are some really basic things to keep in mind when preparing brown rice for eating:
- Soak brown rice in a bowl for 30 minutes to soften its grains.
- Add two cups of water for every one cup of brown rice when cooking.
- Too little water will make the brown rice stiff and bland.
- Too much water will make it gooey like a paste.
- To check if the rice is actually cooked, sample a few grains first.
Now, it is time to share some truly easy recipes using brown rice.
Recipe for Stir Fried Vegetables and Tofu with Brown Rice
Ingredients for Stir Fried Vegetables and Tofu with Brown Rice
- brown rice – 4 cups; cooked
- carrots – ¼ cup; chopped
- cashew nuts – 1 cup
- honey – 1 tablespoon
- lemon juice – 2 tablespoons
- low-fat cooking oil – 2 tablespoons
- onion – 1 piece; wedged
- oyster sauce – ¼ cup
- snow peas – ¼ cup
- tofu – 1 medium-sized package; cubed
- water – ¼ cup
Steps for Cooking Stir-Fried Vegetables and Tofu with Brown Rice
- In a mixing bowl, pour in oyster sauce, lemon juice, and honey.
- Drain the tofu from its package and place it in the mixing bowl.
- Marinade tofu for at least 10 minutes.
- In a pan set over medium heat, pour in low-fat cooking oil and allow it to heat up.
- Drain tofu from the mixing bowl and place it in the pan. Make sure to save the sauce in the bowl.
- Fry the tofu until golden brown.
- Add in onion into the pan.
- Stir fry.
- Add in carrots, snow peas, and cashew nuts.
- Stir fry again.
- Pour in water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low.
- Allow to simmer for three minutes or until water has almost dried up.
- Mix in brown rice.
- Pour in sauce from the bowl.
- Fry for about five minutes, making sure to mix everything thoroughly.
- Serve your stir-fried vegetables and tofu with brown rice in a platter.
Enjoy your filling meal!
Recipe for Tilapia with Brown Rice
Ingredients for Tilapia with Brown Rice
- garlic – 2 cloves; pounded
- lemon juice – ¼ cup
- low-fat cooking oil – 2 tablespoons
- tilapia – 4 pieces; filleted
- brown rice – 4 cups; cooked and fried
Steps for cooking Tilapia with Brown Rice
- In a pan set over medium heat, pour in low-fat cooking oil and allow oil to heat up.
- Add in garlic and fry until golden brown.
- Season tilapia fillets with salt and pepper.
- Place tilapia fillets in the pan.
- Fry tilapia fillets.
- Transfer fried tilapia onto a platter.
- Sprinkle lemon juice on top of tilapia.
- Serve with fried brown rice.
Copyright © 2012 Kerlyn Bautista
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