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Grain of the month: Brown rice

Whole-grain rice comes in an array of colors, including gold, purple, red, and black. But the most common is brown, which refers not to a particular variety but the natural color of the grain.

Rice that is milled and polished to remove the bran and germ components, leaving only the starchy endosperm, is known as white rice. But that refining process also strips away key nutrients. Compared with white rice, brown rice contains much higher amounts of fiber, certain B vitamins (B1, B3, B6, and B9), magnesium, potassium, and iron. Research suggests that swapping white rice for brown rice may improve blood sugar levels and help with weight control.

You can now find different varieties of brown rice in stores, including fragrant, long-grain basmati rice (common in Indian cuisine) as well as jasmine rice (popular in Thai and other southeast Asian countries).

To cook brown rice, combine one cup of rice with about two cups of water (or low-sodium vegetable broth) in a saucepan with a lid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes. To save time, cook a large batch and store household-sized servings in the freezer for up to several months.

Source: health.harvard.edu