Hindi Name: ब्राउन राइस
Rice is a staple in most Indian households. Brown rice is a variety that is un-milled or partly milled and is considered as a whole grain. This means that it contains all the natural components – the bran, germ and endosperm. The basic difference is that white rice is stripped off the first two layers only to be left with the starchy endosperm. On the other hand, brown rice is obtained by removing the outermost layer of a grain of rice.
A chewy rice with a nutty flavor, it is more nutritious than the more commonly used white rice but goes rancid faster. It is also called unpolished rice and is slightly brown in color. It is available in both short grain and long grain varieties. After the milling process rice loses most of its essential vitamins and minerals and therefore brown rice is considered to be healthier. Although, the calorie and carbohydrate content is the same in both.
Is it healthier than white rice?
Brown rice is packed with fiber. In fat, it has a higher fiber content than white rice. Fiber gives it a high satiety value which helps in keeping you full for longer and therefore brown rice is a great alternative for those who are trying to manage their weight.
Brown rice also has a low glycemic index (the rate at which the body absorbs sugars). It releases sugar slowly and takes longer to digest. This way it helps in regulating the metabolism and maintaining steady blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that brown rice helps in reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes. Processed rice has a higher glycemic index.
Brown rice is also a great source of manganese which makes it heart-friendly. Manganese helps in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. After the milling process, rice loses almost half of its manganese content. Brown rice also contains various essential natural oils that may be lost on processing it.
How to cook brown rice?
Brown rice is slightly tricky to cook as one needs to soften the outer bran layer. Therefore, it may also take longer to cook. Boil it like regular rice and then allow it to steam in its own moisture for about ten more minutes. Always use a larger pan for cooking rice, it helps in achieving a consistent texture.