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10 Surprising Benefits of Brown Rice You Didn’t Know About

10 Surprising Benefits of Brown Rice You Didn’t Know About

I’m going to come clean right off the bat here. Brown rice is incredibly healthy and far more nutritious than white rice. However, it can be less convenient due to requiring a longer cooking time. If this is a deterrent for you, I strongly recommend that you reconsider. Is being impatient worth risking your health and potentially shortening your life? My solution is to simply buy a cheap rice cooker and put your rice on a little earlier than usual. If that isn’t enough to convince you, check out some of the ways it will benefit you healthwise.

1. It’s a Whole Grain

Shocking, I know! Okay so this may not exactly be a hardcore knowledge bomb, but not everyone really knows how beneficial whole grains really ARE.

2. It Promotes Healthy Digestion

This is the sexy stuff, people.

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Brown rice is high in fiber, so it promotes healthy bowel function. This means that it helps your digestion and will keep you regular. In fact, brown rice supplies you with roughly 14% of your recommended daily dose of fiber.

3. Prevents Weight Gain

In addition to keeping your digestion in tip top shape, fiber can also also curb your appetite. This is because fiber makes you feel fuller, so you’re less likely to reach for that third piece of chocolate cake. A study from Harvard has shown that women in particular are almost 50% more likely to maintain a health body weight if they incorporate whole grains like brown rice into their diets. I’m not sure if that makes us luckier than men or not. Either way, get on those whole grains, ladies.

4. Cardiovascular Health

Brown rice is great for your heart for several reasons. Firstly, the oil within the rice can lower levels of bad cholesterol while simultaneously increasing levels of good cholesterol. I assume that science can explain this, but I’m happy to attribute it to magic.

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Secondly, it can slow down the buildup of plaque within your arteries, as well as the narrowing of your arteries, particularly if you’re a postmenopausal woman. If you’re not, well, it’s still good for protecting against heart disease anyway.

5. Reduces the Risk of Childhood Asthma

Studies have shown that children who have a wholegrain-rich diet combined with fish have a 50% less chance of developing asthma. Thanks for feeding me all that basmati when I was a kid, mum.

6. Healthy Bones

One cup of brown rice contains roughly 21% of  your recommended daily intake of magnesium. This is important because magnesium is imperative to maintaining strong and healthy bones. Bonus fact: the majority of the magnesium in your body actually lives within your bones themselves.

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7. Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are generally associated with foods such as blueberries, kale, chia seeds and other things that I’ve also written articles on. Shameless self-promotion aside, brown rice is also a surprisingly rich source of antioxidants. These are incredibly important because they fight off free radicals within your body which can help to prevent diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

8. Breast Cancer Prevention

Yes, I’m aware that I literally just mentioned that brown rice can help to prevent cancer due to the antioxidants it contains. However, it’s also imperative to mention that the pytonutrient Lignin also found within it can specifically target and inhibit the growth of cancerous cells within the breast region. I hope you didn’t skip this, gents, because breast cancer isn’t just limited to ladies.

9. Diabetes Prevention

Our good friend fiber strikes again. It effects the digestion time of the carbohydrates within the rice, which is far slower than more processed grains, such as white rice. Subsequently, sugars are released more slowly into the blood stream, meaning your blood sugar doesn’t spike as much or as high. Furthermore, brown rice has a lower GI than these other grains. This is worth taking notice of because lower GI foods create more stable blood glucose levels and can therefore reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Seriously guys, throw the white bread and rice down now.

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10. Gallstone Prevention

Did I mention that the fiber found within brown rice is also awesome because it can help to prevent gallstones in women? As much as it annoys me that us ladies seem to be getting the most screwed over by eating white rice, I’m pretty excited about preventing tiny rocks from stabbing my insides.

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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