Brown rice is often recommended by fitness influencers and some nutrition experts as a healthy alternative. It is less processed than white rice since its hull, bran, and germ are not removed. The bran and germ of rice are packed with nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But is it really healthy as claimed? In this article, we shall discuss the potential health benefits and nutritional facts of brown rice and bring you a simple recipe that you can easily try out at home.

Brown Rice Nutrition Facts

Rice bran and hull contain more nutrients than white rice. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a cup of brown rice contains:

  • Calories: 216 kcal
  • Carbs: 44 grams
  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Fat: 1.8 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Thiamin (B1): 12% of the RDI
  • Niacin (B3): 15% of the RDI
  • Pyridoxine (B6): 14% of the RDI
  • Pantothenic acid (B5): 6% of the RDI
  • Iron: 5% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 21% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 16% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 8% of the RDI
  • Copper: 10% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 88% of the RDI
  • Selenium: 27% of the RDI

From this data we can see that this kind of rice contains more nutrients than white rice, most notably vitamins and minerals like magnesium, manganese, selenium, niacin, and pyridoxine. It also contains more dietary fiber than white rice. Manganese is essential for many important functions of the body, such as bone growth, wound healing, muscle contraction, nerve function, and blood glucose regulation.

Unpolished rice contains more nutrients (Image via Unsplash/Kawin Harasai)
Unpolished rice contains more nutrients (Image via Unsplash/Kawin Harasai)

Apart from these nutrients, antioxidants like phenols and flavonoids make this rice healthy and nutritious. These compounds can protect the body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress can trigger a number of health conditions, including heart disease, liver disease, chronic pain, hair loss, certain types of cancer, and premature aging.

Is Brown Rice Good for Weight Loss?

Increasing the fiber content of food might help with weight loss up to a certain extent by reducing the insulin spike caused by the consumption of carbs. However, the weight loss effects aren’t significant. The amount of carbs consumed remains the same for both white rice and brown rice. Several studies have found that people who consumed more whole grains weighed less than those who consumed refined grains. This is due to the fact that dietary fiber present in whole grains slows down the absorption of glucose from grains in the gut. This reduces the spike in insulin levels that cause fat gain.

In one study, 40 overweight women who were made to consume 150 grams of brown rice per day for six weeks showed a reduction in body weight and waist circumference compared to the control group who ate the same amount of white rice for six weeks.

Is Brown Rice Gluten-Free?

All types of rice are naturally gluten-free. This also includes white rice, Basmati rice, Asian sticky rice, wild rice, and rice flour. Rice is one of the most popular gluten-free grains recommended for people with celiac disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Rice flour is used to prepare gluten-free packaged foods instead of baking flour. Gluten is a type of plant protein present in certain cereals, including wheat, rye, and barley. This protein is treated as an allergen by the body and causes flaring and irritation in the gut. Gluten can also trigger other allergic reactions, including wheezing, rashes, and breathing difficulties. Gluten-free foods are safe for people with gluten allergies.

Brown Rice Recipe

Try out this easy recipe at home:


  • 100 g uncooked brown rice
  • 80 g cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup of broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of zucchini, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • A handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds for garnish, optional


  • Boil the brown rice in water.
  • Take some water in a frying pan and bring it to a boil. Then add the veggies and cook for 1 to 2 minutes over high heat. This is known as glazing. Discard the water.
  • Heat the oil in the pan and add the garlic and parsley.
  • Add the vegetables, rice, and soy sauce. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add some sesame seeds for garnish and serve hot.
  • Serve along with cooked brown rice.
Rice bran is good for health (Image via Unsplash/David Gabrielyan)
Rice bran is good for health (Image via Unsplash/David Gabrielyan)

Is Brown Rice Healthy to Eat Daily?

Yes, it can be consumed daily just like white rice. Remember to include it as per your calorie requirements and target. If you are on a low-carb diet, it is better to avoid rice and rice products. Try to buy certified organic products for better health.

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Edited by Siddharth Dhananjay


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