Top 10 Health Benefits of Brown Rice

White and brown rice

Brown rice is better for you than white — the evidence is compelling when you look at the top 10 health benefits of it that follow. The majority of consumers typically choose white rice over brown because of the difference in appearance.

While it’s true white rice might look more appealing to some than its brown relative, 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. Let’s compare: brown vs white rice.

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Why Brown Rice? Before white rice went through the refining process, it at one time looked exactly like the brown stuff. Brown, 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, it 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 It 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 it 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. It is the perfect addition to the daily diet for those seeking bowel regularity. In addition, it 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. Whole grains are proven to reduce the buildup of arterial plaque and reduce the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol.

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6. 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. Its antioxidant capacity is right up there with these super stars.

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

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

How to Cook brown rice

The amount of water recommended for cooking long- and medium-grain brown rice varies depending on the source, from as little as 1½ parts water to as much as 3 parts water per 1 part rice. I’ve always preferred 2 1/2 parts water to 1 part rice. For example, 2 1/2 cups water to 1 cup rice.

Remember to rinse the rice well before cooking. Combine in a medium saucepan with the water. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat, Cover (leave lid ajar) and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. If the rice isn’t tender to your liking at this point, add 1/2 cup additional water and continue to simmer until it’s absorbed.

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  • Reply
    brown rice side effects
    November 26, 2015 at 1:13 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Vijay kr pd singh
    December 10, 2015 at 4:24 am

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

  • Reply
    Mike Maybury
    December 10, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    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 !)

  • Reply
    Raghuram Kshirasagar
    December 22, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Very informative,very helpful, I am from Karnataka, India.

  • Reply
    krunal rathod
    December 26, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    thnks 4 this..!i
    can we eat brown rise daily..??? & how much..??!

    • Reply
      December 28, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    Zi Newton
    January 15, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    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.”

  • Reply
    James Peden
    January 25, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    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 😀

  • Reply
    February 3, 2016 at 6:48 am

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

  • Reply
    Syed Shafi
    February 9, 2016 at 1:02 pm


    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


  • Reply
    Lolo Nyingifa-Williams
    February 12, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    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?

  • Reply
    Tony Stubbs
    February 16, 2016 at 2:05 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Nonee Friend
    February 23, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    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”

  • Reply
    Nextech Solutions
    February 25, 2016 at 4:15 am

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

  • Reply
    February 28, 2016 at 6:04 am

    Very informative

  • Reply
    March 1, 2016 at 3:41 am

    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.

  • Reply
    March 20, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    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?

  • Reply
    Lindsey J.
    April 6, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    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…

  • Reply
    Joshua Prieto
    April 25, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Linda, great information and thanks for the article. I’ve heard several stories about the switch from white to brown rice being beneficial, but only recently found the reasons why. This video shows several scientific studies that also supports your information.

  • Reply
    May 9, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    I love brown rice. Sadly it causes me a great deal of gas.

    • Reply
      May 23, 2016 at 8:31 am

      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.

  • Reply
    Stefan K
    May 26, 2016 at 7:27 am

    I would do more research before placing a verdict. All in all I would rather go more natural and unprocessed. However, there are other interesting views (below)

  • Reply
    August 3, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    I am eating brown rice more than a year. It is very light, easy to will not feel over eating or feel heavy. I suggest to take brown rice without any hassle.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2016 at 1:19 am

    Can i eat brown rice daily? What is a good brand for brown rice?

    • Reply
      August 8, 2016 at 10:59 am

      Nellie, you can eat brown rice daily if it agrees with you, but I wouldn’t eat it every day. It’s good to have variety, even with a healthy grain like brown rice. Vary it with quinoa, barley, whole grain couscous. I recommend organic brown rice, which you can buy in bulk to save money. Or try some rice blends like Lundberg.

  • Reply
    September 19, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    I stopped eating white rice for more than five months, I have not started eating brown rice, it is something that have been in my thought lately. I have lost weight after introducing oats in my diet, I eat oats breakfast and supper, lunch is anything big or small (healthy), but oats have been doing wonders, people have been complimenting my smooth beautiful skin and weigh loss. my bowels work perfect, no bloating, I used to look like a pregnant woman:)

  • Reply
    September 28, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Is the sunrise brand brown rice out of the packet good for you?

  • Reply
    September 28, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    I am curious about sprouted brown rice and wonder where I can find it? I read that sprouted brown rice is better for you because it reduces the phytic acid found in all brown rice more so than white rice. I’m aware that brown rice can’t benefit us consumers well because our bodies can’t absorb all its nutrients. Those nutrients are not absorb in brown rice due to the high content of phytic acid, the “anti-nutrient”.

    I personally LOVE brown rice far better than white rice because brown rice is tastier, looks healthier and is satisfying to my palate. Can I find sprouted brown rice in Safeway, Giant, a Chinese/Japanese restaurant or do I need to go somewhere else to buy sprouted brown rice?

  • Reply
    Tony Trapp
    September 30, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    2.5 years ago I had a stroke when I was 44 because my homocysteine levels were to high, I eat brown rice almost everyday with lentils sometimes, after that I feel a lot better and pleasantly full and I have a lot of energy, I used eat garbage like fried foods, burgers, pizza etc, with these foods i feel sluggish, very tired. I made the right choice, thank you a million brown rice your my new best friend.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I am from India and I still don’t see anyone anywhere buying brown rice if its so healthy then how cum its hidden and not known publicly only when I read it on Internet I see ppl discussing abt brown rice… ???? Y its not available lik wwhite rice..everywhere.?

  • Reply
    October 18, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Where can i get it in nigeria? I have never seen it before.

  • Reply
    Richard claypool
    October 25, 2016 at 7:36 am

    I love brown rice! I’m not vegan, nor am I a vegetarian, but I do eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.

    When I was younger, I was turned on to brown rice, and never looked back. It is sad go, that brown rice cost more than white rice.


  • Reply
    October 31, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    i have to askd is it ok to recommend brown rice to a child age 6 and 9 yrs old?

  • Reply
    November 2, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    i sell brown rice. very neat and nice. you can use it for jollof fried rice and white rice.

  • Reply
    Julius S Benggon
    January 8, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    I prefer unpolished rice & not polish brown rice. The polish brown rice are the same as the white rice. Don’t be mistaken because the polish brown rice is still looks brown colour but it is polish just like the white polish rice.
    So make sure you take the unpolish rice or unpolish brown rice. Thanks.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    I really enjoy brown rice but find the higher levels of arsenic makes my head hurt. The protein in rice is very low grade so I always add meats or good protein legumes into the meal. I thought the vitamins were kind of valuable but it turns out my organic multivitamins cover all of my needs. Hmmm, I guess I just like the flavor of brown rice better.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks for good information about brown rice. Could you tell me how much need for diabetes person type 2 for per day.

    • Reply
      January 29, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      Hi Shahla, we can’t give advice for medical conditions; this would be best discussed with a Registered Dietician.

  • Reply
    خرید نان
    February 6, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Excellent thanks

  • Reply
    Yukio Uehara
    February 27, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Why isn’t Arsenic mentioned in this Article? Brown rice has about 80 percent more inorganic arsenic on average than white rice of the same type. Arsenic accumulates in the grain’s outer layers, which are removed to make white rice.

    Regular exposure to small amounts of arsenic can increase the risk of bladder, lung, and skin cancer, as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

    You may be able to cut your exposure to inorganic arsenic in any type of rice by rinsing raw white rice thoroughly before cooking, using a ratio of 6 cups water to 1 cup rice, and draining the excess water afterward. That is a traditional method of cooking rice in Asia. The modern technique of cooking rice in water that is entirely absorbed by the grains has been promoted because it allows rice to retain more of its vitamins and other nutrients. But even though you may sacrifice some of rice’s nutritional value, research has shown that rinsing and using more water removes about 30 percent of the rice’s inorganic arsenic content.

  • Reply
    vignesh shetty
    March 6, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    how to cook it fast?

    • Reply
      March 7, 2017 at 9:43 am

      When it comes to brown rice, there are only a few options for cooking it fast. First, you can bring the water with the rice to a boil in a saucepan in the morning, then cover and let stand until dinnertime. It will have cooked part way and will only need a few more minutes. If you cook it in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, it will cook quickly. And finally, companies like Uncle Ben make quick-cooking brown rice that’s partially cooked. It’s not as good, but not terrible, either!

  • Reply
    March 23, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Brown rice is harder to digest than white rice because the grain is intact. The phytic acid also causes gut irritation and bloating. White rice is superior to to brown rice especially for athletes for fueling workouts and facilitating recovery. The differences between brown and white rice (fiber and protein content, etc.) are negligible.

  • Reply
    April 10, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    I don’t care about arsenic. Is there a case that died eating brown rice let me know and I will stop my brown rice. Our body contains more chemicals which is like arsenic, its only minimalist

  • Reply
    April 11, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Woow .. I’m in Ghana where can I get original brown rice to buy? and how do I know this rice is the best on the market?

  • Reply
    Ritika Gupta
    May 27, 2017 at 6:34 am

    I Ritika gupta start dealing with hand pounded rice. we are producing hand pounded rice by humans only and not by any machines. so that all the rice nutrients will not get lost. secondly this rice is beneficial for high Cholesterol, high sugar patients and also helpful in weight losing.We are trying to bring back our ancient india.

  • Reply
    Barbara Tremblay
    July 6, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Tell us more about protein. In brown rice

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