Latin name: Oryza sativa
What is a Brown Rice?
Brown rice, often referred to as whole rice, is the whole grain with only its inedible outer hull removed. Unlike white rice, this process leaves most of its nutrients intact. An ancient food, rice is believed to have been first cultivated in China around 9,000 years ago. Rice was a staple only in Asia until Arab travelers brought it to ancient Greece, where it was then introduced to India and gradually made its way around the world, finally appearing in South America in the seventeenth century. Most of the world’s rice is grown in Asia, where it plays a significant role in their food culture.
What are the health benefits of Brown Rice?
In traditional Chinese medicine, brown rice is considered neutral, neither cooling nor warming. It is often used to treat indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and irritability brought on by summer heat.
Modern research has identified a wealth of nutrients—more than seventy antioxidants—in the bran coating of brown rice. Brown rice is an excellent source of the mineral manganese, a trace mineral that helps your body produce energy and benefits the nervous system. It is also a good source of magnesium and selenium. The magnesium in brown rice benefits heart function, relieves muscle cramps, softens stools, and protects skin from UV damage. Brown rice is also remarkably effective in lowering high blood sugar and therefore serves as an excellent food for diabetics. The fiber content is also impressive, helping protect from colon cancer and slowing atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque that narrows blood vessels.
Taking into account these benefits, it is of little surprise that rural farmers in Asia, who eat brown rice because white rice is too expensive, live longer and develop fewer health problems than their city-dwelling counterparts, who eat mostly white rice.
Where can I find Brown Rice?
Brown rice can be found in most grocery stores.
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