When brown is best

Even as every weight-reduction diets urged people to give up rice, many an alternative seems to suggest brown rice as a viable replacement.

Published: 18th November 2020 04:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th November 2020 04:54 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Brown rice has been a staple course in the south Indian household for a while now. This ancient grain is believed to have been cultivated in the paddy lands of south India since around 3000 BC.

Even as every weight-reduction diets urged people to give up rice, many an alternative seems to suggest brown rice as a viable replacement. Brown rice is a healthy, whole-grain food and a suitable substitute for white rice.

It is low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol and it may reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers. It is also popularly recommended for weight loss. J Jayavani, chief dietician at LifeLine Hospitals, Chennai, adds that because of the intact outer layers of each grain of brown rice, its texture, once cooked, is more coarse and tough when compared to white rice. Because of the high sugar content in white rice, brown rice may taste a little more earthy and fibrous in comparison. She lists the benefits of brown rice.

Satiates hunger
Brown rice increases metabolism. Due to its high fibre content, it increases the intestinal transit time, leaving us satiated by delaying hunger. The fibrous outer layers of this grain take longer to digest, hence giving the feeling of being full for a longer time. It even helps regulate the rate at which glucose is released into the blood, thus maintaining healthy sugar levels.

Brown rice over white rice
Brown rice has three layers — bran, endosperm and the germ. These are rich in nutrients. White rice, which is ripped of these essential nutrients after being processed and polished, does not match up. The bran and the germ are removed during the polishing process, leaving the grain with only a few vitamins and minerals and a higher sugar content.

The fibre in the layers of the brown rice helps lower cholesterol, moves waste through the digestive tract, promotes fullness and prevents colon cancer. Since the fibre binds to cancercausing chemicals, it keeps them away from the cells lining the colon. It also helps normalise bowel function and reduce constipation.

This mineral strengthens the immune system and regulates the thyroid gland. It advocates DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells.

As important as selenium, magnesium causes over 300 enzyme reactions in the human body. It is essential for the management of nerve function, regulating blood pressure and blood glucose.

Vitamin B
Vitamin B is involved in biological functions like cell metabolism, cognitive functioning and the capacity to fight against pathogens.

This mineral helps carry the oxygen to the blood. Your body uses iron to make haemoglobin that carries oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body. It is also needed for growth and development.

Manganese in brown rice is essential in reducing inflammation. It improves bone health and has strong antioxidant properties that lower the risk of cancer.



  • Brown rice: 1 cup
  • Mushrooms: 8-9
  • Onion: 1, chopped
  • Butter: 1 tbsp
  • Green capsicum: 1
  • Water: 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Wash the brown rice with water.
  2.  Cut the mushrooms,onions and capsicum.
  3.  In a pan, add butter (or olive oil) and onions, and saute till it turns pink.
  4.  Add mushrooms; saute till it wilts.
  5.  Now, add the capsicum and saute. Add the prewashed brown rice and saute for 5-7 minutes.
  6.  Add salt, pepper and 2 cups water.
  7.  Cook for 15 minutes or till the rice is done.


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