Today I’m going to be answering the question, “Is rice healthy?” and specifically, “What’s the difference of white rice versus brown rice, and are either of them healthy?”
My answer is it really depends on you. In this article, I’m going to share with you the pros and cons of rice as well as go over what I believe to be, by far, the healthiest rice available today, that I believe a lot of people could start consuming and seeing great benefits from.
There is actually a debate today about whether you should be consuming rice or not. Now people in the Paleo diet community preach that everybody should be completely grain free and not consume grains whatsoever. So those people tend to say rice isn’t healthy.
Whereas people in the Chinese medicine camp, people that believe in traditional Chinese medicine or vegans would think that rice can actually be an incredible super food. I really believe that there is some validity to both, but it really depends on the person, and more important than that, it depends on the preparation, on how the rice is prepared, to depending on if it’s healthy for you or not.
Now let me start off by talking about the type of rice you should stay away from, and that’s refined white rice. Now I’m not talking about jasmine rice or basmati rice, which tend to be white rices. Those have not been processed. But some of that sticky white rice where the fiber has been taken out of, that’s the sort of rice that most people want to stay away from.
Reason is there’s a recent medical study that found those that consume that type of white rice are twice as likely to develop diabetes compared to those that consumed a whole grain brown rice. Most of that white rice today that you’d consume at a Chinese restaurant or fast food place, they’ve had the fiber taken out, they’ve had the vitamins and minerals taken out. So that type of rice, you want to stay away from.
So that’s sort of the con there of rice. The other con against rice or just rice in general is that it contains a compound called phytic acid or phytates. Those are mineral blockers or enzyme inhibitors. That’s what causes sort of the density and the hardness of the rice, and it keeps you from absorbing and digesting all the vitamins and minerals.
So that’s another negative. Then rice has certain types of protein that can be difficult to digest as well. So all of those are big cons that go along with rice. Now let’s talk about the positives. The positives, if you get a whole grain brown rice, brown rice or wild rice is high in vitamin B3, known as niacin.
That’s really, really important for your heart health and cardiovascular system. So it’s high in B3. It can also be very high in selenium. We know selenium actually supports the thyroid as well as the kidneys, and so, again, selenium is a crucial vitamin or mineral we know that rice has.
Also, certain types of rice contain GABA. That’s GABA. That’s a neurotransmitter that supports the brain. It helps reduce anxiety. It helps improve sleep. It can even support metabolism. So we know, in certain cases, rice can be an incredible super food. Now it really comes down to this, to answer the question, “Is rice healthy, or is brown rice healthy,” it has to do with how the rice is prepared.
I believe if rice is soaked and sprouted, that kills off the phytic acid. It then unlocks all the vitamins and minerals. It’s now a healthy rice versus most rices that aren’t germinated or sprouted, aren’t as healthy. That’s why this is the rice that I personally consume at home. I’m not tied to it in any way. It’s just what I actually consume. This is an organic rice by a company called truRoots, and it’s actually a germinated brown rice. That means it’s been soaked and sprouted, which kills off phytic acid.
You may notice this. For some people, brown rice or rices tend to be very hard to digest, and that’s because the rice hasn’t been sprouted. So when you sprout the rice or germinate the rice, that kills off phytic acid, that helps pre-digest the food, so now it’s much easier to digest. So it has the easy digestibility of white rice, but all of the vitamins and nutrients and minerals that you’re going to find in a whole grain brown rice, and it’s very easy to digest. So again, if you are going to consume rice, this is really the only type of rice to consume that I consider healthy.
The rest, unfortunately, I don’t consider to be healthy. I also want to mention this. In Chinese medicine, there is something called qi. That’s spelled Q-I in Chinese medicine. They believe that short grain brown rice, like this, increases your bodies qi. Qi is known as your vital energy and your life force. So if you’re a person that struggles with chronic fatigue, low energy levels, and poor digestive function, just generally you feel weak and tired all the time, this is known as one of the number one healing foods.
In fact, they recommend in Chinese medicine, I recommend to my clients, you make what’s called a congee, and that’s with chicken bone broth, so with chicken broth, brown rice, and then vegetables, such as carrots and celery and chicken. So essentially you make a chicken vegetable rice soup, and it’s very healing and nourishing to the body.
But again, stay away from the white refined rice, because it’s completely void of vitamins and minerals, and it can cause a spike in your blood sugar and insulin levels.