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Brown Rice or White Rice

9 July 2010 12 Comments

rice variety

A staple food for the major parts of the world’s population – Rice is one of the most popular and ancient grain available to mankind. And people of many underdeveloped countries are surviving only on rice, eating the same for all the three meals!

A life giving and wonder grain Rice has undergone many changes since early man discovered it. There are now numerous varieties of rice available in the market.

White rice, yellow rice, round rice, sticky rice, brown rice, Basmati rice and even green rice is there in some places.


But not all the rice get and cook are healthy.


Milling and processing have taken away all the nutrients with it, leaving us rice with empty calories, devoid of many essential nutrients.

wholegrain benefits


Components of a wholegrain

A wholegrain consists of all the three parts- bran, germ and endosperm intact, thus making it a power factory of nutrients. Oats, barley, corn, millet, Ragi, sorgam, wheat and Brown rice are some of the wholegrain.

White rice and Maida (refined flour) which are processed from brown rice and whole-wheat respectively lose all the health benefits associated with the wholegrain.

Bran: The outer shell contains approximately 50-80 % of the minerals, fibers, vitamin B and phytochemicals.

Germ: Found just under the bran is a rich source of trace minerals, vitamin B & E and certain phytochemicals.

Endosperm: Is the innermost part of a wholegrain, is starchy in composition and contain most of the protein & carbohydrates.

Milling and grinding the wholegrain removes the outer most nutritive bran and leaving the white color rice which is only starch and simple carbohydrates with a few nutrients in it.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

brown rice

Brown Rice: This is obtained after hulling and removing the husk  from the paddy. It is highly nutritious and and have a nutty taste. It takes longer to cook than the white rice, and becomes mushy unlike the fluffy white rice. But this should nit be a deterrent to include this goldmine of health in our daily diet.

Brown rice has a very short shelf life. The oil present in the bran gets oxidized and makes it rancid. It can be stored up to 6 months in a clean and warm place.

Cooking method: It takes longer to cook than the white variety. To get the maximum benefits from this wholegrain, soak t for about 20 hours before cooking. This helps in starting the germination process in the grain thereby increasing the nutrients effectively.

Health benefits of Brown rice;

  • Brown rice with bran intact contain many minerals, fibers and vitamins as well.
  • Possess all the eight essential amino acids required for growth and development of our body.
  • It has low Glycemic Index, which makes it longer to digest thereby releasing the sugar in the blood at a much slower rate.
  • Dietary fibers in it help reduce weight and lower the LDL counts.
  • It is an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral known for reducing blood pressure.
  • Brown rice is rich in anti oxidants.

Prudent ways to adopt brown rice:

  • Add brown rice to the white rice and cook your normal rice dishes. This way you will get the flavors and nutrients both.
  • Make brown rice patties. Mix cooked brown rice with boiled potatoes and make patties for burger.
  • Grind it coarsely and make healthy porridge for breakfast.
  • Use the brown rice powder for baking cakes and cookies.
  • Add 1 tsp of oil while cooking the brown rice to get fluffy texture.
  • Brown rice makes a perfect Risotto and pilaf dishes.
  • Cold salads with brown rice and vegetables is a good health diet.

Include this wonderful wholegrain- brown rice in your daily diet and stay healthy.


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  • Swathi said:


    I like the info on the rices. I love brown rice and try to cook with them as much as possible if available.

  • Sehra bindal said:

    Hi sanjeera,

    Love your site and this information on rice is fantastic….thanks for being a fb friend. Look forward to more interesting reads and recipes….


  • Sehra bindal said:


    sorry about the tip in spelling your name…my apologies..


  • Sujusri said:

    Hi Sanjeeta,

    It’s really valuable info. provided. Just a doubt, is the soaking time 20 hours? Or its a typo error?


  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    Hi Sujusri,
    Thanks for your comment. No its not a typo mistake. The soaking time given as 20 hours makes the brown rice start the process of germination. And as sprouting increases the nutritive value of any grain to manifolds, it is always advisable;e to soak it before use. And brown rice takes little longer to germinate.
    You can make the said dish without soaking if you wish. Since I value nutrition and health more than the recipe, I mentioned that soaking time.

  • ade yusnita said:

    hi sanjeeta.
    thanks u so much. i like with info about rice. i will always looks forward read interesting recipes.

  • Jenni said:

    Brown rice can be hard to digest for some, though it is healthy if you can digest it. Another option is parboiled rice, as found in South India. This has the vitamins and minerals of brown rice, but is much easier to digest. Of course, it has less fibre, but as long as you eat plenty of veggies too this should not be an issue. Remember, it doesn’t matter how many nutrients a food has if your body can’t digest it!

  • Hungry Jenny said:

    What a great post! I eat rice almost every day and I’ve never really read about it, interesting stuff here. I like brown rice but find it really difficult to cook – I get impatient and end up eating it when it’s still a bit hard, haha. But I’m going to try your tip of soaking it first for 20 mins.


    Hungry Jenny x

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    Jenny, the soaking time is close to 20 hours and not minutes, if you want a your brown rice to be more healthier. Soak it the previous night.
    Hope you don’t have to chew upon the hard rice anymore.
    Happy cooking. Take care.

  • vaishali said:

    20 hrs!!!my that’s sometime….but anything 4 health.thnx sanjeeta u r a real sweetheart..wat wonderful tips n information.
    my hubby sure will b impressed with this!!:))

  • Greedy Rosie said:

    Very few posts are so educational. Thanks for all the info on rice, Sanjeeta

  • kim said:

    I love the nuttiness of brown rice. Do you think it’s wierd to eat a cup as snack? 🙂
    kim recently posted..Pumpkin TurnoversMy Profile

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