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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.

More by this author

Tegan Jones

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

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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