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Red brown rice vs brown rice -- Which is better?

If you thought that brown rice is better than red rice, you MUST read this!

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Updated : February 3, 2017 10:03 AM IST

Given a choice between white rice and brown rice -- health conscious people will certainly opt for brown rice. And given the fact that brown rice is loaded with nutrients and rich in fibre, it goes without saying that choosing brown over white rice is a healthy idea. But have you ever wondered what is better between red brown rice and brown rice? Commonly available in the market, red brown rice is used since ages by South Indians and is know to be better than brown rice. So to clear the doubt, we asked Ms Rina Baliga, Dietician, Fitness First India, on what is a healthy option -- red brown rice or brown rice and here is what she has to say.

Red brown rice vs brown rice -- Nutrient value

The nutritional value of rice depends on various factors which include the type of rice and whether it is polished and if yes, then to what extent it is processed. Moreover, it also takes into account the manner in which it is enriched and how it is prepared before its consumption.

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When it comes to nutritional value both brown rice and red rice, both are nutritionally similar. After both the varieties of rice are harvested they are either de-hulled or partially-hulled but it retains the two most important parts of the grain - germ and the bran (which are stripped off to give you white rice). Read more on health benefits of brown rice.

The germ and the bran contain various essential nutrients like thiamine(Vitamin B1), calcium, magnesium, potassium, protein and fibre. However, one thing that sets apart red rice from its brown counterpart is the presence of a class of antioxidants called 'Anthocyanin'. These anthocyanins not only impart a characteristic red colour to the rice but also possess ten times more potent antioxidant activity than brown rice.

Health benefits of red brown rice and brown rice

  • Helps in the management and prevention of Type-2 diabetes.
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases owing to its antioxidant properties.
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Contains Vitamin B6, which is required to maintain the development of serotonin, red blood cells helping the creation of DNA cells.
  • Both the varieties have cholesterol lowering properties. In 1970, human studies reported red rice s effect on reducing the blood levels of total cholesterol. The active component in red rice is monacolin K. It s just like lovastatin within the prescription drug cholesterol-lowering drug, Mevacor.
  • Reduces the risk of obesity owing to the fibre content, thereby making you feel full and preventing overeating.
  • Helps in fighting asthma. Both contain magnesium that helps in normal breathing.
  • Both are rich in fibre, so it helps in normal bowel movements prevention bowel related disorders and relieving constipation.

How much is too much?

According to Rina, 1-2 servings per day is sufficient to reap the health benefits. However, since both the varieties are rich in fibre, it should be avoided in fibre restricted diets, where digestibility is compromised such as diarrhoea. It is also not advised in people suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), individuals who have undergone bowel surgery, individuals who are undergoing treatment such a radiation where the digestive tract is irritated or damaged due to its high fibre content. Also read about how many calorie count of rice.

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