I love rice. I’ve eaten Japanese white rice since I was a child, and it’s a staple in my diet. My mother would tell me to eat brown rice instead because it’s healthier, but I always preferred the taste and texture of white rice more. I’ve heard many people talk about preferring white or brown rice; it’s the Asian version of white bread vs brown bread! I want to see if my mother was right!
Whereas brown rice is whole grain, white rice has been processed and broken down. Rice grains are made up of 3 main parts: the bran, germ, and endosperm.
Bran: The hard outer layer of the grain, containing fibre, vitamin B, and antioxidants.
Germ: The part where a new plant sprouts from, it contains vitamin B, some proteins and minerals, and healthy fats.
Endosperm: The largest part of the grain that provides food and energy to the germ, containing carbohydrates and proteins.
Brown rice is made up of all of these, but white rice has the bran and germ removed, leaving only the endosperm. So does this mean brown rice is better is every way? Not necessarily.
Brown rice contains more magnesium, which is a very important mineral for our metabolism and blood pressure. Our bodies can not produce magnesium, so it needs to be ingested. Brown rice also contains for fibre, which is good for your digestion, and it keeps you feeling fuller for longer!
On the downside brown rice contains antinutrients, which make it harder for your body to absorb nutrients. One of these is phytic acid, which reduces absortption of iron and zinc.
White rice, being just made up of the endosperm, doesn’t contain as much nutrients, but is fluffier in texture, has a longer shelf life, and is often a lot cheaper. In a practical sense it is a lot better, as you’re able to save money, which makes it more accessible to more people.
Brown rice and white rice both have their own pros and cons, much like a lot of other foods. I think my mother was right about brown rice being a healthy option, but I don’t think white rice is much worse! I think because of white rice’s accessibility it makes it a lot more versatile, and you can get large quantities of it for less money that you can keep for longer.
I will definitely try out more dishes with brown rice, but white rice will always be number 1 for me!