Brown rice is better for our health than white. Most of us already know. It’s just that most consumers tend to choose white rice over brown because of the difference in appearance. While it is true that white rice looks much more delicious than brown rice, it does not mean that it is the healthiest alternative. According to a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , brown rice is the best choice in terms of nutritional and other health benefits.

Why is brown rice healthier than white rice?

With more than 8000 varieties, rice feeds the world. But what is the difference between brown rice and white rice exactly?

Brown rice is the whole grain with only the first outer layer (husk or hull) removed through milling. It preserves its fiber and the germ that contains vital nutrients.

White rice is brown rice that has been milled to remove the bran and much of its germ, reducing fiber and nutrient content dramatically. The grain is more polished to remove the remaining layer of germ (called the aleurone layer) that contains essential oils.

Brown rice has:

  • 2 times more manganese and phosphorus than white rice
  • 2 ½ times more iron and 3 times more vitamin B3
  • 4 times vitamin B1
  • 10 times vitamin B6

10 reasons to eat brown rice instead of white rice

1. It is rich in selenium

Extremely rich in selenium, an important trace mineral known to dramatically reduce the chances of developing certain forms of cancer, as well as heart disease, inflammatory disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

2. It is very high in manganese

One cup gives us more than 80% of our daily needs for manganese. This mineral helps the human body create the important fatty acids that make healthy forms of cholesterol. It is also beneficial for the health of our nervous and reproductive systems.

3. Sets oils naturally

These heart-healthy oils are naturally found in brown rice and can help the body reduce LDL forms of cholesterol.

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4. 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 option than refined white rice cereal products, as rapidly growing infants and toddlers require nutrient-rich diets to help maintain rapid growth cycles.

5. Candida infections

The natural digestibility of brown rice, along with the high fiber content, can help sensitive digestive systems heal from an overgrowth of candida organisms.

6. Promotes weight loss

Due to its rich fiber and ability to maintain healthy bowel function, brown rice “keeps things moving” in a way that promotes weight loss and metabolic function. Brown rice makes you feel fuller with less food.

7. Has antioxidants

Most people associate antioxidants with blueberries and green tea, but many are unaware that brown rice is also a source of antioxidants.

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8. It is very high in fiber

Studies have correlated high use of whole grains like brown rice with lower levels of colon cancer. This may be related to its high fiber content. Studies show that fiber actually binds to cancer-causing substances and toxins, helping to eliminate them from the body, and preventing them from sticking to the cells of our colon.

It also contains the components necessary to stabilize digestion, prevent / relieve constipation, and promote proper elimination / bowel function.

9. Slowly release the sugar

Unlike peeled rice, brown rice can help keep your blood sugar stable by releasing sugars slowly and steadily. This makes it a better option for diabetics, compared to white rice.

While studies in Asia have shown a link between white rice consumption and type 2 diabetes risk, new research shows that people who eat at least two servings of brown rice per week can lower their chances of developing type 2 diabetes up to 11 percent.

10. It is simply delicious

Brown rice is really delicious and a fantastic staple for both vegetarian and vegan diets.

It can be used as an alternative to white rice in most vegetarian recipes and provides a rich, 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.


One main reason rice is processed is to increase its storage time. The essential oils in brown rice go rancid after 6-8 months, while white rice lasts for up to 10 years. So buy brown rice in smaller quantities and make sure you’re not cooking with a stale grain.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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