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Advantages of Brown Rice For Diabetes: Things You Must Know

The whole brown rice has greater nutrients content such as proteins, lipids, vitamins and minerals than the polished white rice. Therefore, it’s great for diabetes patients.

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Benefits of Eating brown rice for diabetes

Do you want to lose weight but can’t give up on rice? Are you diabetic and finding an option to replace your regular white rice? Don’t worry! You are at the right place.

Well, brown rice is much more nutritious than regular white rice and it’s the best option for diabetes.

But, it may be risky to consume a huge amount of brown rice on a regular basis. This is because, brown rice contains more amount of arsenic and phytic acids as compared to refined white rice.

And regular exposure to arsenic by food can cause cardiovascular diseases, lungs damage and cancer.

However, phytic acids are the antinutritional compounds. Regular consumption of phytic acids can reduce the nutrient absorption of the body. So, it’s always better to understand the do’s and don’ts regarding any foods.

But what is the common difference between white rice and brown rice?

Brown rice contains outer layers called bran, germ and endosperm. These brown rice are polished to remove the outer layers and white rice is produced. In this article, we will focus on the benefits of brown rice for diabetes.

Also Check: The Most Effective Yoga Practices for Diabetes

Nutritional content:

The whole brown rice has greater nutrients content such as proteins, lipids, vitamins and minerals than the polished white rice. The approximate amount of nutrients in the brown rice areas follows:

100g of brown rice contains:

Energy370kcal
Carbohydrates77.24g
Dietary Fiber3.5g
Protein7.85 g
Fat2.92g
Cholesterol0g
Minerals
Sodium7mg
Calcium23mg
Magnesium143mg
Phosphorus333mg
Potassium223mg
Vitamins
Vitamin B10.40mg
Vitamin B20.09mg
Vitamin B35.09mg
Vitamin B51.49mg
Vitamin B60.50mg
Vitamin B920 microgram

How is brown rice better than white rice?

Both brown and white rice are mainly composed of starch. Due to high starch content these are good sources of energy.

However, brown rice has higher dietary fiber than white rice as the fiber rich bran layer is intacted to brown rice.

The percentage of many nutrients is higher in brown rice, so brown rice is healthier than the white rice. Replacement of white rice with brown rice in our diet will provide more proteins, carbohydrates and many other nutrients also (2).

Brown rice for diabetes

Rice is a necessary food in many countries of the world, especially in the countries of Asia and Africa. But white rice is more popular as compared to brown rice.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic lifestyle disorder. Therapeutic treatment of this diabetes is costly and partially effective.

Scientists are searching for a more effective and affordable treatment. So, we need an appropriate diet to control it.

In this situation consumption of brown rice instead of white rice can boost your treatment.

Researchers have found that parboiled brown rice can reduce the plasma glucose level and well as it reduces plasma insulin response. So, brown rice is a good choice for diabetic patients.

Brown rice has a slower gastric emptying rate than white rice which indicates a lower glycemic response of brown rice. The germinated brown rice (GBR) is more functional for diabetes than brown rice due to reduction of insulin index, glycemic index, oxidative stress, hypercholesterolemia and tumor necrosis factor alpha.

Brown rice contains acylated steryl glycoside (ASG) which regenerates sodium potassium adenosine triphosphate and homocystein thiolactonase enzymes. This results in the reverse of diabetic neuropathy.

The actual mechanism by which brown rice controls diabetes is by protecting beta-cells against apoptosis. The gamma-oryzanol present in brown rice acts as a molecular chaperone and improves reticulum stress. Thus, it protects beta-cells from apoptosis.

Limited consumption of brown rice improves the insulin resistance. But excessive consumption of this whole grain can spike the blood glucose level.

Other benefits of brown rice:

Apart from anti-diabetic effects, brown rice also has many other roles. Those are anti-dyslipoproteinemia effects, anti-cancer effects, lowering cholesterol, cardioprotective effect, anti-oxidant effect, anti-celiac effect and neuroprotective nature etc.

Anti-dyslipoproteinemia effects:

When the level of cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoproteins increase in plasma, this disorder is called dyslipoproteinemia. This heterogeneous disorder leads to several other diseases like atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases and pancreatitis.

Mainly diet is responsible for this disorder. When high amounts of fats and sugars are included in diet, this may cause dyslipoproteinemia.

Recent studies show that germinated brown rice may decrease the lipid absorption and synthesis along with the decrease in triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Thus brown rice has anti-dyslipoproteinemia properties. (1)

Anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects:

Cancer is a major fatal issue in the world. Treatment of cancer is of high cost and can’t be affordable by middle and lower class people. So reduction of cancer risk is the only way to prevent it. Healthier food can reduce the cancer risk to some extent.

Researchers have stated that brown rice has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. Brown rice and rice bran can reduce the cyclooxygenase-2 expression in the middle colon and these can be used to prevent colon cancer.

Consumption of parboiled GBR can reduce liver inflammation and fibrosis. GBR combined with lactobacillus acidophilus also can inhibit carcinogenesis. (2)

Brown rice for diabetes

Cardioprotective effect:

The diseases related to the heart and circulatory system are called cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

Angina, hypertension, congenital heart diseases, heart attack and stroke are some of the examples of cardiovascular diseases.

Many people are facing these issues globally. So to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, one should maintain a proper diet.

Some clinical studies have shown that brown rice has cardioprotective effect. Brown rice reduces inflammatory markers and other risk factors like weight, waist, diastolic blood pressure etc associated with CVD.

Consumption of brown rice as a staple food can prevent hyperlipidaemia, thus protecting against CVD. (1)

Antioxidant effect:

Brown rice contains phenolic acids. Phenolic acids are antioxidants which protect the cells against oxidative damages. So brown rice is a common antioxidant in our diet. These phenolic acids also contain chemopreventive properties for colon and breast cancer. (1)

Against celiac and other diseases:

People suffering from celiac diseases demand gluten free foods for their diet. Because gluten can damage their small intestine. Wheat, barley and rye based foods contain high amounts of gluten. So they prefer gluten free foods such as millets, sorghum, rice etc. Brown rice is very beneficial for gluten sensitive people.(2)

Neuroprotective nature:

The loss of neurons in the brain and spinal cord with increasing age is called neurodegenerative disease. Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are considered as the example of neurodegenerative diseases. Certain studies have shown that extracts of brown rice and GBR have neuroprotective effects against these diseases. (2)

Cooking of brown rice

Brown rice requires more time than white rice for cooking. Because brown rice has the bran layer which takes a long time to break. The average time to cook brown rice is 35 to 51 minutes.

Boil the brown rice grains in sufficient water for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove all the extra water after boiling. Cover the dry rice to be steamed for at least 10 minutes. Well, your meal is ready to serve. This is the most basic way to cook brown rice.

Final Words

Majority of the population are facing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and much more. So, replacing white rice with brown rice can prevent risks of many of these diseases.

Brown rice has more benefits to health for diabetes and hyperglycaemic patients than milled rice. But consumption of brown rice should be limited otherwise it will harm you.

Reference:

  1. Ravichanthiran, K., Ma, Z., Zhang, H., Cao, Y., Wang, C., & Muhammad, S. et al. (2018). Phytochemical Profile of Brown Rice and Its Nutrigenomic Implications. Antioxidants, 7(6), 71. doi: 10.3390/antiox7060071
  2. Saleh, A., Wang, P., Wang, N., Yang, L., & Xiao, Z. (2019). Brown Rice Versus White Rice: Nutritional Quality, Potential Health Benefits, Development of Food Products, and Preservation Technologies. Comprehensive Reviews In Food Science And Food Safety, 18(4), 1070-1096. doi: 10.1111/1541-4337.12449

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