Monday, February 21, 2011

Brown Rice

Did you know that worldwide there are more than 40,000 different varieties of rice? Rice comes in a rainbow of colors and flavors and almost every culture on Earth has incorporated rice into their diet. For more than half of the world's population rice is a staple and, according to the World Food Grid, 20% of the total food energy intake in the world comes from rice. In Asia alone, more than 2 billion people get up to 70 percent of their daily dietary energy from rice and its by-products.

A recent study conducted over 22 years with 197,000 participants found that found that those who ate more refined white rice had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, while those eating more brown rice had a lower risk of the disease.

Brown rice is a whole grain. Eating only 1 ½ cups of brown rice provides all three servings of whole grain that your body needs daily. Like all carbohydrates, it provides energy to keep your body going; however, unlike refined grains, it is digested relatively slowly so the energy lasts for longer. White rice, on the other hand, does not have these benefits.

Rice is relatively low in calories, has virtually no fat or sodium, and contains fiber, which can help a person on a diet remain full for longer. (Brown rice does contain more fiber than white rice.) Rice is also nutrient dense, which means that you can get more nutrients into your body by consuming fewer calories by eating rice.

Rice can also help regulate your mood. The consumption of rice can cause the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that can improve mood.

Brown rice is simply white rice that has not had the brown-colored bran covering removed. So brown rice is considered a whole grain. Why remove the bran? Because most people prefer white rice since it is fluffier and cooks faster than brown.

· Brown rice has only the hull removed. (Further milled, it becomes white rice.) Slightly chewy texture with a nut-like flavor. Rich in minerals and vitamins.

· Wild rice is not really rice at all, but a grass seed. Taking longer to cook and with a distinct flavor, it is a bit more costly but is richer in protein and other nutrients.

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