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.

Why Brown Rice? Brown rice is the “unrefined” version of white 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, which renders quicker cooking times and makes it easier to digest as it’s much “lighter” in the in the stomach. 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. She owns a 10,000 square foot state of the art nutritional laboratory where she produces nutritional health supplements that are free of animal products.

Plant power by Nava Atlas - coverBrown 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.


61 comments on “Top 10 Health Benefits of Brown Rice

  1. yasmeen

    I am really a brown rice eater and it really feels great. I just cooked it plain in my electric rice cooker and everthing is gonna be alright. it will not take long time to cook brown rice if you use rice cooker.

  2. Pon Kellogg

    I would like to say what I know about white rice, white rice is actually has not been through refining process, it’s the type of rice that is naturally white. The term use on this article ”
    Before white rice went through the refining process, it at one time looked exactly like brown rice.” I think this is inaccurate. Brown rice cannot be process or refine to become like jasmine white rice…it’s true that brown rice is healthier than white rice.

  3. Kifle Nerayo

    I am just researching for the use of brown rice. Per your explanations, I found it healthy. I am going to switch to brown rice from eating white rice. and thank for the news that brown is healthier than the white one.

  4. Sheryl Adams

    My 25 yr old son recently told me that brown rice is more healthy than white rice. So, I decided to check it out myself.

  5. Nava

    There’s always another viewpoint, but the one in the article you link to is very poorly supported, and the Weston Price organization has no credibility whatever! They are shills of the food industry.

  6. P.g.sim

    …saying that “white rice” is a refined “brown rice” is quite laughable…to a person from a paddy planter’s family..

  7. effie pagote

    We have a rice field back home. White rice really comes from white. People plant a grain of white rice and during harvest time it is really comes with white rice and not brown. And yup I agree brown rice is a healthy rice.

  8. Rudy

    We and my wife started eating brown rice and we really can tell the difference. Before whenever we eat white rice during dinner, both of us feel bloated but now as we eat brown rice we can sleep the night peacefully without feeling bloated.

    Thanks to this article it shed some light because of the healthy benefits of brown rice. The only “negative thing” I see about brown rice is that it takes roughly 40 minutes to cook it (you have to wake up earlier than usual lol), anyway, the benefits outweighs the “negative thing.” Thanks.

  9. MK

    @Pon Kellogg. There are literally hundreds of varieties of rice with different grain structure, texture and taste. But the author is right.

    Brown rice and white rice are the same grain. After de-husking and milling, what remains is the white core. It is the milling process that takes away the bran, the germ and other nutrients.

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