It Increases Your Fiber Intake and Decreases Your Risk of Developing Diabetes
Photo Courtesy: Dmitry Ageev/Getty Images
A diet high in fiber can improve your health overall by decreasing your risk of developing certain cancers and cardiovascular (heart) disease. Research has shown that eating brown rice, which is high in fiber, can significantly lower your risk of colon and breast cancers. Additionally, fiber encourages your body to burn fat by helping you stay satiated longer after you eat it.
Fiber also plays an important role in blood sugar management for people with diabetes — but fiber-rich brown rice might also lower your diabetes risk. Harvard researchers discovered that eating at least two servings of brown rice per week may lower your risk of developing diabetes. Specifically, a 32% reduction in the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes was observed in people who ate three daily servings of a whole grain such as brown rice. White rice intake was associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes.
It’s an Excellent Source of Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants
Photo Courtesy: Taiyou Nomachi/DigitalVision/Getty Images
Brown rice is rich in many important vitamins such as B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), folate, vitamin E and vitamin K. Essential minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, manganese, selenium, iron and zinc are also found in brown rice. Manganese and selenium in particular have antioxidant properties that help fight off free radicals, which can cause genetic mutations and potentially contribute to the development of cancerous cells.
Phenolic acids are another common form of antioxidant in brown rice. Antioxidants have a protective effect on our cells and can help prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The phenols in brown rice are specifically known to aid in preventing colon and breast cancers.
It Improves Cholesterol & Aids in Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Photo Courtesy: 10’000 Hours/DigitalVision/Getty Images
Rice bran oil, which is found in brown rice, may increase your body’s "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and decrease your "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This is because rice bran oil contains molecules known as plant sterols, which alter the process of cholesterol reabsorption in your body. Additionally, research has demonstrated the amount of fat you digest can be reduced when you eat brown rice, suggesting this grain can help you maintain a healthy weight when paired with other nourishing food options.
It Supports Cardiovascular and Brain Health
Photo Courtesy: Eskay Lim/EyeEm/Getty Images
Eating brown rice can provide several cardiovascular (heart) benefits, such as reducing your risk of developing atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in your blood vessels) or stenosis (narrowing of the vessels), both of which can lead to serious consequences. In addition, eating brown rice can lower your risk of developing metabolic syndrome, which is a condition that may lead to heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Brown rice can help decrease your total cholesterol levels, which in turn helps contribute a neuroprotective effect to your brain. High cholesterol levels have been associated with certain neurodegenerative disorders that cause nerve cells to die. One study suggested that to obtain the most brain-boosting benefits from brown rice, you should eat the germinated form of the grain.