Brown Rice: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Brown Rice: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits


Rice is the main component of meals in many countries, especially in Asia.

About 50 percent of the global population use rice as a great source of calories on a daily basis.

In fact, there are more than 8,000 different types of rice, but an ordinary person might only name one or two.

Rice has existed along with human civiliziation.

The first cultivation of rice was claimed to be as far as 6,000 years ago in China.

However, some archaeological evidence stated that the rice cultivation is 9,000 years old.

Throughout human history, rice seemed to be unique to Asia.

It made its way to ancient Greece thanks to Arab travelers and then, became world-wide with Spanish explorers in the 17th century.

Nowadays, Thailand and Vietnam are the leading exporters of rice in the world.

Rice which is popular in Asia usually has the white color.

Nevertheless, there is another type of rice that has many health benefits, according to scientists – brown rice.

The division among different types of brown rice can depend on its size: short, medium or long grain.

It is first important to shed some light on brown rice nutrition facts to understand why it is highly appreciated in the medicinal world.

Nutrition Facts

Brown Rice - Nutrition Facts

The main content of brown rice, as well as other types of rice, is carbs and a fair amount of proteins.

Technically, no fat is found in brown rice.

In long-grain brown rice, carbs account for about 76 percent of its content and the majority of carbs is starch with more than 72% (1).

Per 100 grams of brown rice, there is nearly 4 grams of fiber, which is higher than the amount of fiber in white rice (2).

Another interesting feature in brown rice nutrition is the presence of minerals and vitamins. Some of them are only present in brown rice.

  • Manganese: This mineral is present in most grains. It plays an essential role in the development of antioxidant system.
  • Magnesium: This amount of magnesium in brown rice can help you stay away from many problems related to the lack of this element (3).
  • Copper: Normally, copper is a missing substance in Western meals, while its deficiency can lead to some heart disorders (4).
  • Thiamin (vitamin B1)
  • Niacin (vitamin B3)
  • Selenium

Besides, plant compounds are also important in brown rice nutrition facts.

Lignans or phytic acids are responsible for many brown rice health benefits.

Health Benefits of Brown Rice

White rice is much more popular in most countries.

Nevertheless, after a closer look at brown rice nutrition, it is certain that brown rice exceeds white one in the number of benefits.

This article will introduce top 6 health benefits of brown rice that scientists have studied for years.

1. Diabetes

Brown Rice - Diabetes

There are many studies in favor of the idea that white rice is associated with a high risk of diabetes (567).

However, when it comes to brown rice, the opposite is true.

It is highly possible that one of the best health benefits of brown rice is to prevent diabetes (89).

There was a study focusing on more than 150 thousand female and male participants.

The result indicated that when white rice was replaced by brown rice, they were less likely to suffer from diabetes (10).

The explanation might come from brown rice’s high content of fiber (11).

In terms of the glycemic index which demonstrates the influence of foods on the blood sugar level, brown rice has a quite low score.

This means that brown rice contributes to a stable level of blood sugar.

Bottom Line: Unlike white rice that increases the risk of diabetes, brown rice might have positive impacts on diabetic patients.

2. Heart

Along with diabetes, heart disease is another common fatal cause all around the world.

Fortunately, you can protect yourself from it by choosing healthy foods, such as brown rice.

To lower the risk of cardiovascular disease is among top brown rice health benefits.

This statement has got support from numerous studies (1213).

In one study that lasted 10 years involved more than 75,000 women.

Its result proved that there was a link between the consumption of whole grains and the declining risk of heart disease (14).

Undoubtedly, when we dig deeper into brown rice nutrition, it is full of elements that are beneficial for the heart, such as lignans, antioxidants or fiber (151617).

Bottom Line: With its richness of beneficial nutrients, brown rice is effective in the prevention against heart disease.

3. Obesity

Carbs are often seen as the enermy of those who want to lose weight. So, brown rice does not seem a great recommendation for them, does it?

Wait a second! Science has just proved that the opposite is true.

One of the most common health benefits of brown rice is to support weight loss.

Manganese which is present much in brown rice has great effects on the synthesization of body fats (1819).

According to several research, the use of whole grains, like brown rice, will lead to a decline in body fat.

Other studies concentrated on brown rice’s positive effects on the metabolism, which improves the fat-burning process (2021).

Bottom Line: Despite common assumption, brown rice can give you a hand in losing weight more effectively.

4. Cognitive Function

Surprising as it might sound, one of the best health benefits of brown rice is to strengthen your cognitive function.

According to some studies on Mediterranean diet, whole grains made some contribution to a lower risk of cognitive problems occurring to elderly people (22).

In addition, thiamin and niacin in brown rice have great influence on the cognitive development (232425).

Therefore, you can use brown rice to stay away from some brain-related problems when you get older, for example, Alzheimer’s.

Brown rice is linked with the prevention against amnesia and dementia as well.

Bottom Line: Brown rice can help you fight against cognitive disorders related to aging.

5. Bone

Brown Rice - Bone Health

Top health benefits of brown rice include the improvement of bone health.

The considerable amount of magnesium in brown rice is mainly responsible for this quality.

This element is crucial to the prevention against bone loss (26).

Furthermore, with the support of brown rice, the risk of bone-related problems, such as osteoporosis or arthritis, will be lower (27).

6. Cancer Prevention

The next one among the most popular health benefits of brown rice is to have protective effects against many types of cancer.

With the evidence from many studies, brown rice has the most amazing impacts on preventing colon or breast cancer (2829).

Its amount of fiber will aid the eradication of toxins from the body, which reduces the concentration of these harmful substances in colon walls.

Besides, some other research suggested that brown rice could hinder the growth of leukemia cancer cells in our body (30).

Bottom Line: Containing many antioxidants and essential phenols, brown rice gives you a quick way to prevent cancer.

Side Effects

No matter how many amazing brown rice health benefits there are, you will pay a high price if you do not use it properly.

Brown rice contains phytic acid which serves as a hinderance for the body’s ability to absorb zinc and iron (31).

As a result, if you consume too much brown rice, your body will experience a lack of these minerals and a series of problems to come.

Besides, as the environmental pollution is increasing rapidly, there is a likelihood that most foods are contaminated seriously. And brown rice is not an exception.

This will trigger some cases of food poison or allergies, which might be life-threatening.

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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Brown Rice: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
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