Rice has been a staple of the human diet for thousands of years. Some rice farming tools from China date back 8,000 years, and some remains of ancient rice are up to 2,000 years older than that.
Today, rice is a staple in more than 100 cultures, and there are more than 40,000 varieties grown. Of those varieties, many can be prepared and sold as brown rice. Brown rice means you’re eating the rice as a whole grain. That’s important because the less processed the grain, the more nutrients you get.
The bran and germ, the two outer layers of brown rice, contain most of the vitamins and minerals in the grain. Those layers get removed when manufacturers make white rice, and that’s why brown rice is the healthier choice.
Here are some of the best health benefits brown rice has to offer:
Reduced Risk of Di abetes
Brown rice has a low (GI), meaning it doesn’t cause your blood sugar to spike after you eat. Studies show that by eating three servings per day of whole grains like brown rice, you can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 32%.
White rice, on the other hand, can increase your risk of diabetes. Another study found that people who eat a lot of white rice are about 17% more likely to develop diabetes than folks who eat less. Scientists estimate that by replacing about 50 grams per day of white rice with brown rice, a person can reduce their diabetes risk by 16%.
Many of the nutrients in brown rice help keep your heart healthy. It’s a rich source of dietary fiber, which can reduce your risk of death from heart disease. Brown rice also contains high levels of magnesium, which can help make you less vulnerable to heart disease and stroke.
Overall, studies show that eating more whole grains, including brown rice, could reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 22% and your risk of stroke by as much as 12%.