Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

More by this author

Tegan Jones

Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

26 Romantic Ways to Show Your Love for Someone 10 Leadership Qualities Revealed by the World’s Most Successful Leaders 12 Unexpected Benefits of Drinking Hot Water 10 Surprising Benefits Of Earl Grey Tea You Never Knew 10 Exercises You Can Do In Bed Every Morning

Trending in Health

1 12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power 2 12 Things That May Cause Breast Cancer You Should Avoid 3 How to Eliminate Work Stress When You’re Stressed to the Max 4 Do Vitamins for Weight Loss Work And How? 5 Is It Possible to Repay Your Sleep Debt? Why Being Well Rested Matters

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 21, 2019

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

Advertising

2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

Advertising

Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

Advertising

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

Advertising

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

Read Next