What is brown rice?
Brown rice – in contrast to white rice - still has the bran layer.
What are the benefits of brown rice?
The bran layer gives rice a dark coloring and is rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B1, B3 and B6, manganese, phosphorus, and iron. Brown rice can contain as much as four times the amount of insoluble fiber as white rice. This fiber is a major health benefit of brown rice over white rice.
Are there any problems with brown rice?
- Storage: The oil-rich bran layer can turn rancid at room temperature, but it can last up to one year if stored in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator or freezer. Most poor people of Asia do not have house coolers and this in part helps explain why white rice is often preferred.
- Iron deficiency: The phytate in brown rice is thought to tie up iron when eaten. This is an area of on-going research.
How to prepare brown rice?
Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice. However, soaking overnight can significantly reduce the amount of time required to cook brown rice. A typical ratio of 2:1 water:brown rice is usually suitable, although the ratio may vary with the variety of rice being cooked. Use just enough water such that, when cooked, all the water is absorbed by the rice. Discarding any excess cooking water means nutrients in the water will be lost. If most of the water has been absorbed but the rice is still not cooked, then add a little extra water.