Brown rice is widely known in many diets around the world. One of the most common brown rice benefits is the fact that it contains high quantities of several recommended daily nutrients. Of all the rice varieties, the brown type also tends to be the least processed. Therefore, it usually retains the greatest amount of its nutrients. Due to its reputation for helping to reduce or prevent the risks of several health problems, many nutritionists often recommend it as an important part of a wholesome diet.
Switching from white rice to brown rice could dramatically reduce your chances of developing diabetes. A study has found, wholegrain rice raises the body’s blood sugar levels far less dramatically than white rice, which is little more than starch, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health.
The researchers, believed to be the first of its kind, found that replacing 50g (1.8oz), or a third of a serving, of white rice per day with brown rice would cut the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 16 per cent. After adjusting for age and other lifestyle and dietary risk factors, they found that those who consumed five or more servings of white rice per week had a 17 per cent increased risk of diabetes compared with those who had no more than one serving per month.
People with diabetes have problems synthesising their sugar, and uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause sufferers to fall into a coma, kidney failure, ulcers or nerve damage. Other patients suffer heart attacks and strokes, the risk of which is increased five-fold by diabetes. Many have to have limbs amputated.
Study author, Dr Qi Sun, wrote: ‘The high glycaemic index of white rice consumption is likely to be the consequence of disrupting the physical and botanical structure of rice grains during the refining process – in which almost all the bran and some of the germ are removed. The other consequence of the refining process includes loss of fibre, vitamins, magnesium and other minerals, many of which may be protective factors for diabetes risk.’
Rice has been a staple food in Asian countries for centuries. By the 20th century, the advance of grain-processing technology made large-scale production of refined grains possible. Through refining processes, the other bran and germ portions of intact rice grains (i.e. brown rice) are removed to produce white rice that primarily consists of starchy endosperm.
Rice played a groundbreaking role in the history of medicine when researchers noticed that Japanese sailors fed a diet of white rice were more prone to the disease beriberi – while those who ate a Western-style diet rarely succumbed.
Later studies showed that chickens fed brown rice did not suffer from beriberi, while those on white rice often did. English biochemist Frederick Hopkins realised there was a vital chemical in the coating of the rice which protected against disease – and led to the discovery of vitamins.
SRC: Guardianpress. wisegeek.com