There is a common misconception that all types of rice are health-giving. In fact this is far from true; recent research shows much of the rice eaten nowadays is destructive to health and can trigger disease. In contrast, the rice that was predominantly eaten in ancient times rejuvenates the body and provides nutrients which protect against disease.
This ancient rice, commonly known as Brown Rice; has the potential to provide you with important nutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc, selenium, chromium [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. White rice lacks these nutrients.
Type 2 diabetes
White rice is now recognised as major cause of type 2 diabetes . The more white rice you eat, the greater the risk [8-10]. In countries where white rice is the main starchy carbohydrate it is a major risk factor . If you eat white rice only occasionally you may be thinking you are safe, however, that is not the case. It is the total affect of all the refined (white) grain which is found in bread, pies, biscuits which contribute to increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol . Refined grains also make it harder for your body to stabilise blood sugar levels if you already have type 2 diabetes [11, 12]. Brown rice is the best option for people with diabetes, high blood sugar levels and of course for all those who want to avoid those conditions .
Preparation and Phytates
Preparation makes a huge difference to the nutrient content. Traditionally people throughout the world would soak the rice at least overnight, but often longer as part of a natural fermentation process.
We now know that substances called phytates or phytic acid present in grains are broken down by soaking in water for at least for 12 hours. If the grains are not soaked, the phytates will remove magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc. In addition, the phytates affect the B vitamins so these too become depleted. Soaking gets rid of a large part of the phytates, while cooking gets rid of a smaller amount. So ideally do both. Soaking also helps digestion , bowels  and energy.
It may be easier for you and your family to make the change to brown rice than you think. In one study after hearing about the nutritional advantages people were willing to change from white to brown rice , and also seemed happy with the different slightly more chewy taste [15, 2].
Contact Bay Health Clinic today to find out more or to book a consultation with one of our Naturopaths; if needed they will also prepare tailored herbal medicines and recommend supplements to help you feel your best. Call 07 571 3226 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Finocchiaro F, Ferrari B, Gianinetti A, Dall'asta C, Galaverna G, Scazzina F, Pellegrini N: Characterization of antioxidant compounds of red and white rice and changes in total antioxidant capacity during processing. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 2007, 51(8):1006-1019.. http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/17639995
2. Shobana S, Malleshi NG, Sudha V, Spiegelman D, Hong B, Hu FB, Willett WC, Krishnaswamy K, Mohan V: Nutritional and sensory profile of two Indian rice varieties with different degrees of polishing. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 2011, 62(8):800-810. http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/21619458
3. Meng F, Wei Y, Yang X: Iron content and bioavailability in rice. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology 2005, 18(4):333-338.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0946672X05000416
4. Hunt JR, Johnson LK, Juliano BO: Bioavailability of zinc from cooked philippine milled, undermilled, and brown rice, as assessed in rats by using growth, bone zinc, and zinc-65 retention. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2002, 50(18):5229-5235. http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/12188635
5. Liu K, Gu Z: Selenium accumulation in different brown rice cultivars and its distribution in fractions. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2009, 57(2):695-700. http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/19154168
7. Sun Q, Spiegelman D, van Dam RM, Holmes MD, Malik VS, Willett WC, Hu FB: White rice, brown rice, and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women. Archives of Internal Medicine 2010, 170(11):961-969. http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/20548009
8. Hu EA, Pan A, Malik V, Sun Q: White rice consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis and systematic review. BMJ (Clinical research ed) 2012, 344:e1454. http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/22422870
9. Nanri A, Mizoue T, Noda M, Takahashi Y, Kato M, Inoue M, Tsugane S, null: Rice intake and type 2 diabetes in Japanese men and women: the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010, 92(6):1468-1477. http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/20980490
10. Nanri A, Mizoue T, Noda M, Takahashi Y, Kato M, Inoue M, Tsugane S, Group ftJPHCbPS: Rice intake and type 2 diabetes in Japanese men and women: the Japan Public Health Centerbased Prospective Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010, 92(6):1468-1477. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/92/6/1468.abstract
11. Villegas R, Liu S, Gao YT, Yang G, Li H, Zheng W, Shu XO: Prospective study of dietary carbohydrates, glycemic index, glycemic load, and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in middle-aged Chinese women. Archives of Internal Medicine 2007, 167(21):2310-2316. http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/18039989
12. Fung TT, Hu FB, Pereira MA, Liu S, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Willett WC: Whole-grain intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective study in men. Am J Clin Nutr 2002, 76(3):535-540.http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/76/3/535
13. Panlasigui LN, Thompson LU: Blood glucose lowering effects of brown rice in normal and diabetic subjects. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 2006, 57(3-4):151-158. http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/17127465
14. Kong F, Oztop MH, Singh RP, McCarthy MJ: Physical changes in white and brown rice during simulated gastric digestion. Journal of Food Science 2011, 76(6):E450-457. http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/22417496
15. Zhang G, Malik VS, Pan A, Kumar S, Holmes MD, Spiegelman D, Lin X, Hu FB: Substituting brown rice for white rice to lower diabetes risk: a focus-group study in Chinese adults. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2010, 110(8):1216-1221.http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/20656097
16. Hudson EA, Dinh PA, Kokubun T, Simmonds MS, Gescher A: Characterization of potentially chemopreventive phenols in extracts of brown rice that inhibit the growth of human breast and colon cancer cells. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology 2000, 9(11):1163-1170. http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/11097223
17. Tovey F, Hobsley M: Milling of wheat, maize and rice: Effects on fibre and lipid content and health. World J Gastroenterology 2004, 10(12):1695-1696. http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/10/1695.asp