Brown rice is better than white rice because it contains more food value. It has a delicious nutty flavour, a slightly chewy texture and is just as versatile as white rice.
Anyone who is conscientious about their diet today automatically serves brown rice in preference to white because it is a natural food, unrefined, whole and healthy.
Health foods are at last being taken seriously by the community (both physically and mentally) and there are plenty of books available on nutrition to substantiate the claim that natural health foods or unrefined foods have an important role in a healthy diet.
Nutritionists tell us that our diet can determine how we look, feel and act, whether we are miserable or cheerful, dull or beautiful, and physically young or old. Diet can also determine whether we think clearly or become subject to stress.
The answer is a nutritionally well-balanced diet such as the cardiac diet, nutrition being the study of the food values of foods and what happens to them in the body. If these principles were taught to all pupils in school, not just to those in home economics classes, then perhaps the propaganda of the refined-food industries would not be swallowed so easily without questions.
Brown and white rice begins as one and the same grain. It is first cleaned to remove chaff and dust, the hull or outer shell is removed next and the result is brown rice. If this is polished to remove some of the outer layers of bran, the result is white rice. The extra food value of brown rice is in these layers of bran which make it preferable to white rice.
In nutritional terms brown rice has slightly more protein, three times the fat and fibre (roughage) content, twice the iron content, one third more calcium and is much richer in the vitamin B group, thiamine, niacin and riboflavin.
- Protein is needed to build and repair the body tissue.
- Fibre is essential to aid the digestive system.
- Iron is necessary for the formation of haemoglobin which is the red pigment in red blood cells.
- Calcium is needed for the correct growth of bones and teeth, muscle function and for the clotting of the blood.
- Thiamine is needed for the efficient use of carbohydrates and the normal functioning of the nervous system.
- Niacin is needed for the release of energy to the muscles and a healthy skin and nervous system.
- Riboflavin is essential for the correct use of carbohydrates and protein and for growth and good health. (Note: Both brown and white rice are rich sources of carbohydrates for energy.)
If you have not cooked brown rice before, it should be pointed out that it does take a longer time to cook than white rice. It will take 30 to 40 minutes to cook in rapidly boiling water or 1 hour in simmering water, so remember this when planning to serve it to guests.
Try adding a few cloves of crushed garlic and the juice of a lemon to the cooking water, or cook it in stock if serving it with savoury dishes.