rice-475055_640Did you know that brown rice qualifies as 100% whole grain? Many products such as wheat bread and cereals don’t count because they are made of a mixture of whole grains and enriched grains. But brown rice, with its naturally chewy texture and slightly nutty texture due to its unrefined nature, is a great healthy choice.

But what’s the difference between brown and white rice, you might ask? It’s very simple – white rice is brown rice that has had the side hull and bran removed. While this shortens cooking time and makes it easier to digest, it also strips the rice of much of its vitamin and mineral content and fibre.

Brown rice is rich in selenium, which reduces the risk of heart disease and some cancers, particularly colon cancer, It also contains high levels of manganese, which helps the body synthesize fats, and fibre. Surprisingly, it is also a good source of antioxidants. The oil in unrefined brown rice also lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). As if all that wasn’t enough, it also helps stabilize blood sugar levels, and as such is a good choice for those suffering from diabetes or who have been advised by healthcare professionals that they are at risk of developing the condition.

This nutrient dense whole grain contains just 111 calories per 100 g (100 calories per 1/2 cup serving), and because it makes you feel full, it encourages weight loss through smaller portion sizes. It can be used to replace white rice in most recipes. If it has a negative point, it is just that brown rice needs a slightly longer cooking time for the water to penetrate the healthy bran covering.