We all know that rice is one of the world’s most important foods, which supplies as much as half of the daily calories for half of the world’s population. While some people eat it as an accompaniment to meat, fish and vegetables, others take it as their main meal. A whole grain of rice has several layers. The various methods of cultivation, milling and cooking have resulted in different varieties of rice, such as white rice, yellow rice and brown rice. When we consider the nutritional difference between white rice, yellow rice and brown rice, the healthier choice is the brown rice.
This is a grain, which means it has the outer bran, the kernel and the inner germ intact. Only the outermost layer, the hull, is removed and this process is the least damaging to the nutritional value of the rice. The bran and the germ are the main source of minerals, vitamins, proteins and fiber. The bran gives the brown color to the rice and it also gives a nutty flavor and texture. The bran is the reason why brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice.
- Rich in Selenium: Brown rice has a great amount of selenium, which is an important trace mineral. Selenium reduces our chances of developing many illnesses.
- High in Manganese: Manganese helps our body to create the fatty acids that aid in the making of healthy cholesterol. This mineral is also beneficial to our reproductive and nervous systems.
- Natural Oils: Brown rice has heart-healthy naturally occurring oils, which helps our body to reduce the bad or LDL cholesterol.
- Antioxidants: Most of us think that green tea and blueberries are great antioxidants and we are unaware that brown rice is a source of antioxidants.
- High Fiber Content: The high fiber content in the whole grains like brown rice promotes bowel function and this helps lower our risk for colon cancer.
- Promotes Weight Loss: Brown rice is rich in fiber and this helps in a healthy bowel function. So, it promotes weight-loss and metabolic function.
- Whole Grain: Studies show that whole grains can lower the buildup of arterial plaque and reduces our chances of developing heart disease and high cholesterol. We all know that the brown – rice is a whole grain.
- Slow Release of Sugar: Brown rice releases sugar slowly, which helps stabilize blood sugar. This property makes brown rice a good option for diabetics.
White rice is refined grain that has been milled and polished to become the sparkling white grain, which we buy in stores. During the refining process, the outside hull, bran and the germ are removed, and only the starchy kernel is left behind. This makes the rice lighter and easier to cook. But the rice which has been removed of its natural wholeness losses its fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, proteins, thiamine, lignans, phytic acid and phytoestrogens. However, white rice is a great source of carbohydrates and it is also low in fat. White rice has a slightly nutty flavor and has a hint of creaminess.
Yellow rice is essentially white rice, which has been colored by adding turmeric or saffron. In addition to giving the rice a bright color, these spices render it a piquant flavor. Yellow rice when colored with saffron has an earthy fragrant aroma and turmeric adds heat to it. Although yellow rice has been removed of its nutrition, it is a great source of carbohydrates and proteins. The calories in yellow rice come mostly from its carbohydrate content. Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient and our body’s preferred source of energy. Some versions of yellow rice may be high in sodium and we can reduce the sodium content by reducing the amount of added salt. Yellow rice cooks easily as the husk has been removed.
White rice, yellow rice, brown rice – the differences in taste are not enormous, but when we compare their nutritional values there is certainly much difference. Generally speaking, whole grains are better than their non-whole counterparts. When you compare brown, white and yellow rice on a nutritional basis, then the brown rice wins.