Brown Rice 101: A nutrient dense, gluten free "good" carb. Brown rice is full of nutrients like manganese, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins, add that with all its fiber and protein; the results hold significant health benefits if eaten in moderation.
Food for thought:
1. All rice is NOT created equal. Black Rice is the most nutrient dense of all rice & white rice basically has zero nutritional benefit. The only caveat with eating black rice over brown rice, it’s higher in calories per serving. That could work against you if your goal is weight loss.
2. “B, I heard brown something about rice and arsenic.” You’re right. Arsenic in rice is a growing concern. But before you begin to freak out… What’s Arsenic? “Arsenic is an element in the earth’s crust that’s naturally found in the air, water and soil, so the fact that it is in rice isn’t entirely alarming. Arsenic can however also be a result of human activity, such as mining or the use of certain pesticides. There are two types of arsenic: organic (in the biological sense) and inorganic. Inorganic arsenic is the kind that’s dangerous and is associated with adverse health effects ― and it’s the kind that’s present in rice, which is why you might want to moderate your rice intake. Arsenic finds its way into food because it’s absorbed by the plant as it grows. Some plants absorb more than others, and rice seems to absorb the most among commonly eaten foods.”
Here’s how you lessen the arsenic in your rice...
Before cooking brown rice, at the least you always should make sure to rinse it and remove any debris. This will help ridding the arsenic. Also, soak and sprout your brown rice before cooking it. This decreases allergens and phytic acid content while increasing the absorption of nutrients (You can buy already sprouted brown rice).
To rid more arsenic, you simply need to cook your rice with more water than usual. A 6:1 water-to-rice ratio, similar to how you cook pasta will drastically decrease the arsenic in your rice (about 60%).
See if you can purchase Organic brown rice grown in areas that have been found to produce rice with less arsenic like California, India or Pakistan.
STILL anti rice?
Amaranth, buckwheat, millet and polenta have almost no levels of arsenic. Bulgur, barley, and farro have very low levels. Quinoa has lower levels than rice.
Portion control: The suggested serving size of brown rice is one cup (8 oz.)
Last Word: In moderation, brown rice can be a healthy, nutrient-rich addition to the menu.