MANILA -- For many Filipinos, rice is the staple food, rendering any meal incomplete without it. But in the wake of the rising health awareness among many, its healthier alternative is also gaining popularity: brown rice.
Unlike white rice which is milled twice and then polished, brown rice is milled only once, hence retaining the bran layer which contains most of the fiber in rice.
This makes brown rice pack six times more fiber than white rice, and a higher amount of essential nutrients like vitamins B and E, iron, phosphorus, and essential fatty acids. White rice loses 50% of these nutrients due to the milling and polishing it undergoes.
Additionally, brown rice is also low-glycemic, which makes it an excellent food choice for diabetics. It's also rich in natural oils that is beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels. It’s also good for your digestive health because of its high fiber content.
It packs a lot of nutrients like selenium, which reduces the risk of colon cancer and heart disease; manganese, which protects from free radicals and synthesizes fats; magnesium, which helps to regulate blood pressure.
Aside from the benefits you can reap by choosing brown rice, this option is also better for the environment, the farm laborers, and the country.
Brown rice farming produces less air pollution and less carbon emissions from milling because it’s milled only once.
Farmers also need not buy polishing or whitening equipment because it's unpolished, which means that there are lower labor and production costs.
Brown rice also has 10% higher milling recovery compared to white rice, which would translate to almost 1-million tons of milled rice added to the country’s food supply. This will help us decrease our rice importation from other countries and achieve rice self-sufficiency.
Still not convinced, or worried about the taste? Check this recipe for brown rice sushi rolls: