Top 10 Health Benefits of Brown Rice

White and brown rice

Brown rice is better for you than white — most of us know that! It’s The majority of consumers typically choose white rice over brown rice because of the difference of appearance. While it’s true white rice looks so much more delicious than brown rice, it doesn’t mean it’s the healthier alternative. According to a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, brown rice is the top choice in terms of both nutritional and other inherent healthy benefits.

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Why Brown Rice? Before white rice went through the refining process, it at one time looked exactly like brown rice. Brown rice, unlike white rice, still has the side hull and bran. The side hulls and brans provide “natural wholeness” to the grain and are rich in proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium. For those trying to lose weight or those suffering from diabetes, brown rice can prove a healthful staple given its low glycemic rating which helps reduce insulin spikes.

Unfortunately, all white rice packaging has a label that reads “enriched.” Since white rice has been stripped of iron, vitamins, zinc, magnesium and other nutrients during the refining process, manufacturers must add unnatural fortifications in the form of synthetic vitamins and iron so it can be marketed to the public as a “nutritious food.” Although white rice is fortified, it still doesn’t reach the minimum nutritional requirements for one serving of food as specified by the FDA. The healthy benefits of brown rice are listed below.


1. Rich in Selenium Brown rice is rich in selenium which reduces the risk for developing common illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis.

2. High in Manganese One cup of brown rice provides 80% of our daily manganese requirements. Manganese helps the body synthesize fats. Manganese also benefits our nervous and reproductive systems.

3. Rich in Naturally-Occurring Oils Naturally occurring oils are beneficial for the body as these healthful fats help normalize cholesterol levels.

4. Promotes Weight Loss The fiber content of brown rice keeps bowel function at it’s peak since it makes digestion that much easier. Brown rice is the perfect addition to the daily diet for those seeking bowel regularity. In addition, brown rice also makes the tummy feel full which translates to smaller meal portions.

5. Considered Whole Grain Brown rice is considered a whole grain since it hasn’t lost its “wholeness” through the refinement process. Wholes grains are proven to reduce the buildup of arterial plaque and reduce the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol.

Brown rice in a bowl6. Rich in Anti-Oxidants This is one of the best kept secrets regarding brown rice. We usually associate anti-oxidant rich foods with blueberries, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables. The antioxidant capacity of brown rice is right up there with these super stars.

7. High in Fiber Brown rice is high in fiber and on top of the list for foods that can help prevent colon cancer. This can be attributed to the high levels of fiber naturally contained in brown rice. These fibers attach to substances that cause cancer as well as to toxins in the body, thus eliminating them and keeping them from attaching to the colon wall.

8. A Slow-Release Sugar Brown rice helps stabilize blood sugar levels; therefore, it’s an excellent food choice for those suffering from diabetes. Studies show that those who consume one half cup of brown rice daily reduce their risks of developing diabetes by 60%. On the other hand, those who consume white rice regularly increase their chances of developing diabetes one hundred-fold.

9. Perfect Baby Food Brown rice cereal or brown rice itself is the perfect baby’s first food due to the dense natural nutrition and fiber it contains. This is a much better choice than refined white rice cereal products as rapidly growing babies and toddlers require nutrient rich diets to help maintain rapid growth cycles.

10. Candida Yeast Infections Brown rice is the perfect adjunct for candida yeast infection treatmentsgiven that high glycemic and otherwise sugary/starchy foods are prohibited during most candida treatment protocols. The natural digestibility of brown rice coupled with the high fiber content can help sensitive digestive systems heal from an overgrowth of candida organisms. Finally, brown rice is simply delicious and a fantastic staple for both vegetarian and vegan diets. Brown rice can be used as a white rice alternative in most vegetarian recipes and provides a full, rich and somewhat nutty flavor. Brown rice flour can be used for vegetarian pancakes, breads and other baked goods. All in all, brown rice is clearly the healthy choice.

Dr. Linda Kennedy MS SLP ND is an avid animal activist and nature lover.

Brown rice is one component of a healthy plant-based diet filled with veggies, fruits, beans, grains, nuts and seeds. If you enjoy exploring how to add more whole foods to your diet,  Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes*  delivers a beautiful must-have guide with more than 150 delicious and versatile plant-based recipes for every day of the year. Eating vegan doesn’t have to be about sacrifice and substitutions. With Plant Power, Nava Atlas celebrates the bounty of natural foods and teaches everyone—from committed vegans to those who just want more plants in their diet—how to implement a plant-based approach to their lives—easily, practically, and joyfully, every day. Available on Sept. 2, 2014, wherever books are sold.


175 comments on “Top 10 Health Benefits of Brown Rice

  1. brown rice side effects

    nice blog, thank you, here gives you some benefits and disadvantages of brown rice. may all of people know about brown rice, it is also good for health but we have to know also what are the side effects with brow rice. so in this article they gives you few more tips. lets visit.

  2. Vijay kr pd singh

    Got informed . Really good for health . Also a big remedy for many deseases and full of nutrition. I am from Jharkhand, India.

  3. Mike Maybury

    At age 15 I came across advocates of natural living and shortly adopted a wholefood vegetarian diet.
    It included whole-wheat bread and brown rice and other whole cereals, like flaked oats and barley.
    At age 80, I look back on a life with very few illnesses. Flu once in 1958, and only one cold in the last 15 years- mind you, I put this last benefit largely down to the natural supplements that I have taken for 15 years. Before that I would get a cold every couple of years, probably.
    The fibre, in particular in whole-grains is very beneficial for health, as you state, and means that I have never had constipation (other than a couple of occasions when I was persuaded to take doctor’s drugs, most of which cause constipation !)

  4. Nava

    Krunal, while brown rice is healthy, I’m not sure it should be absolutely every day. It’s always good to have variety. Try other grains like barley, quinoa, and bulgur, along with brown rice.

  5. Zi Newton

    Now that brown rice is well known for its health benefits will the market sell “fake” brown rice? As we know merchants will do anything to cheat for a buck. I have been buying brown rice for a while but often wonder if they are real, especially if it is from China. A Chinese friend use to say: “In China, everything is fake. Only cheaters are real.”

  6. James Peden

    The article about white rice being better than brown rice makes a very large error. Brown rice indeed has a much higher phytate content, which INHIBITS CANCER CELLS! For that one reason alone brown rice is much preferred. California Basmati brown rice contains the least arsenic.

  7. BAM

    Just introduced brown rice into my diet and eliminated bread (wheat) and I’m amazed at how much better I feel. After a period of severe abdominal cramping and bloating, I began to investigate whether I was gluten intolerant and decided to try brown rice with veggies and fish for one day. Lo and behold I felt better within just one day (amazing but true). The bloating and cramping I had experienced disappeared overnight (not an exaggeration). I’m sold now on brown rice and have added it as a daily diet staple to replace wheat bread. Enjoying all the new energy and not missing the cramping and bloating 😀

  8. zanele

    Hi….it’s my first time eating brown rice. mmmm … I am waiting for good results in my body… I really enjoy it.

  9. Syed Shafi


    I would like to know whether can a diabetic patient eat this Brown Rice in the night instead of Roti
    ALso good if you can tell us how to cook the Brown Rice
    would be very helpfull


  10. Lolo Nyingifa-Williams

    I bought and ground brown rice today ,mixed and cooked it like pounded yam and ate with fish stew and okra . and I feel less bloated. will it reduce my cholesterol level, and should I eat it every day?

  11. Tony Stubbs

    We are septagenarians sailing around the world and are now in S E Asia. Brown rice provides most of our carbs with small amounts of meat and fish. We avoid anything with residual antibiotics like battery chicken and are fit and healthy. Wholegrain Basmati is our favourite along with red rice. I am a chef and normally simmer rice for 20 mins then put it “in bed”, covered, to cook it for an hour or so. Our favourite is stir fry with maybe 10 fresh veggies, herbs and spices, but very little pomace olive oil. The rice is best the next day as the carb content is much less according to the BBC news!

  12. Nonee Friend

    4. Promotes Weight Loss The fiber content of brown rice keeps bowel function at it’s peak since it makes digestion that much easier.

    ITS peak, not IT’S peak.
    IT’S means “it is”

  13. Nextech Solutions

    Very informative article on the health benefits of basmati rice. Love basmati! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Diggy

    I suffered stroke in 2007 affecting my bowel movement. For 7 years I was taking Dulcolax almost everyday just to move my bowel. And in early 2015 my eldest daughter introduced to me eating brown rice. Thanks God, my bowel movement became almost normal until now.

  15. Giggy

    I have eaten white rice all of my life with sporadic ventures into brown for the supposed health benefits. After reading your article brown appears to be the way to go but I am wondering just how much better it is. Can you put a figure or scale of the difference?

  16. Lindsey J.

    At the age of 35, my bf and I decided to make the change from white rice (Jasmine is my fave!) and have been eating brown rice for over a month now.
    We have noticed a tremendous change in our bodies and have lost about 5-10 pounds from this change alone. I had no idea the impact and how this little change made a world of difference…

  17. Alexanderia

    I have always struggled to enjoy brown rice because each time I have eaten it, the grains were so hard and it didn’t feel right. I cooked it with dinner tonight and I actually liked it better than white rice – and I added no additional seasonings. #score! I’m looking forward to creating more healthy alternatives for or dishes on my food blog. =) so glad to finally enjoy it.

  18. Nava

    Try adding more water when it’s done, and cooking it further, almost to the point of overcooked but not mushy. It may be easier on your digestion that way.

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