There is a difference in appearance, taste and nutritional content between brown rice and white rice. In light of these differences and studies showing the health benefits of brown rice and rice bran in the diet; there are more and more people making the switch. Brown rice is made up of numerous layers even after the simplest of processes that removes just the hull from the brown rice. If brown rice is processed further to the extent that the rice bran and parts of the germ layer are removed you have white rice. To add insult to injury; after all nutrients are removed from the brown rice; the FDA requires that the process must reverse itself to "enrich" the white rice with only a portion of the lost nutrients.
Magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, niacin, fiber, iron and vitamin B-6 are just a few of the vital components in the make up of whole brown rice. Unfortunately white rice in its "enriched" state still cannot compare to its former self; brown rice. Essentially brown rice and white rice are the same in relation to amounts of their calories, carbs, fat, and protein.
However, major differences between brown rice and white rice from processing the brown rice result from not being able to add back all the great parts of the bran to the brown rice. There is a significant loss of magnesium in addition to fiber and fatty acids including bran oil from having been removed from brown rice. In lieu of recent studies of the effects of brown rice and rice bran in a healthy diet; we do ourselves a great disservice in eating a processed brown rice in the "polished" white form. Studies show the rice bran oil may assist in lowering the bad cholesterol known as LDL.
It also indicates that women who eat more whole grains like brown rice weigh less and gain less weight over time than women who eat processed foods. Magnesium is a work horse in converting protein and carbs to energy. The fiber in brown rice assists our digestive processes and help to treat constipation. In addition; the fiber in brown rice coupled with amounts of selenium also found in brown rice aid in the fight against colon cancer.
Individuals living on a vegetarian or macrobiotic diet have long understood the benefits of brown rice and rice bran in their diets. Under processed foods like brown rice lend themselves to a healthier diet and lifestyle. We eat all around better foods for our bodies; what is brown rice without a few good steamed vegetables. We exercise with the extra energy we have from a food like brown rice.
It's that wonderful merry-go-round; if you eat better, you live better; if you live better, you eat better. So hop aboard now before it's time to get off.
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