Brown Rice versus White Rice:
Milling is the primary difference between brown and white rice. The varieties may be identical, but it is in the milling process where brown rice becomes white rice. Milling, often called "whitening", removes the outer bran layer of the rice grain. Milling affects the nutritional quality of the rice Milling strips off the bran layer, leaving a core comprised of mostly carbohydrates. In this bran layer resides nutrients of vital importance in the diet, making white rice a poor competitor in the nutrition game The following chart shows the nutritional differences between brown and white rices. Fiber is dramatically lower in white rice, as are the oils, most of the B vitamins and important minerals. Unknown to many, the bran layer contains very important nutrient such as thiamine, an important component in mother’s milk.
Health Benefits of Brown Rice
The health benefits of brown rice are immeasurable. Brown rice is a whole grain meaning it contains a large amount of fiber. This is due to the fact that the whole grain contains all three components: bran, germ and endosperm. Conversely, when grain is processed, all that is left is the endosperm. When the endosperm is left intact, it generates all of the proteins; the bran contains approximately 80% of the minerals; and the germ contains vitamin E, minerals, unsaturated fats, antioxidants and phytochemicals which are chemicals found in fruits, vegetables, beans and other types of plant food. In addition, it has been ascertained that the antioxidant levels in whole grains are higher than in white rice. The health benefits of brown rice are not only significant, but have proven to be effective in warding off disease and other conditions which can become chronic and, in some cases, life threatening. Now doctors are encouraging patients to consume more whole grain foods than ever before.
Comparison of Nutrient Contents of Brown Rice and White Rice
Bran contains several things of major importance - two major ones are fiber and essential oils. Fiber is not only filling, but is implicated in prevention of major diseases in this country such as certain gastrointestinal diseases and heart disease. The National Cancer Institute recommends 25 grams of fiber a day, a cup of brown rice adds nearly 3.5 g, while an equal amount of white rice not even 1 g. Also, components of the oils present in rice bran have been shown in numerous studies to decrease serum cholesterol, a major risk factor in heart disease.