The nutrition content of white rice is interesting (not brown rice- more on this later!):
- carbohydrates - 92%
- protein - 7% (but is not a "complete" protein as it's missing some amino acids)
- fat - 1%
- high in some B-group vitamins, especially Folate
- high in some minerals, especially phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
One main reason for this article is that rice is high in arsenic! Arsenic is a toxic and cancer-causing mineral. Arsenic is much higher in brown rice compared to white rice. This is just one reason why I don't recommend brown rice.
Plants produce grains as a seed to replicate their species. They don't want bugs and pests eating them, so they produce natural pesticides which are found in the outer hull and bran - ie, the brown stuff! This is why brown rice is harder to digest and can cause digestive complaints.
The brown stuff also contains phytates (or phytic acid) which strongly binds to other essential nutrient minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc, which you may have consumed in the same meal. This prevents you from being able to absorb and use these nutrients, and these minerals bound to fibre are excreted instead.
Arsenic is also concentrated in the brown stuff, but in much smaller amounts in white rice.
Despite these facts, brown rice is more often recommended as being "healthier", because it has more fibre and slightly more vitamins and minerals. Sure it has, but it also has all the above negative points as well, which white rice doesn't have! As long as you are eating a high amount of vegetables and some fruits in your daily intake, you will get all the fibre, vitamins and minerals you need, and you will not miss any from not having brown rice (or other grains).
White rice still has some arsenic, but you can reduce it further by changing how you prepare and cook white rice! The steps are:
1. Soak your white rice overnight
2. Tip off the water, rinse in clean water and tip out water again
3. Do not use the absorption method of cooking (ie, 2 cups water to 1 cup rice)! Use 5 cups water to 1 cup rice - as the arsenic comes out of the rice and stays in the water!
4. Monitor the rice until it's cooked
5. Tip off excess water (with its arsenic), and rinse rice in hot water
Brown rice is not all the healthy hippy food it's cracked up to be! I recommend sticking to white rice instead, if you must have rice.
Perhaps the Asian countries have it right all along about white rice... but because rice is extremely high in carbohydrates, it is not something you should have a lot or every day, and for those with certain health conditions (being overweight, diabetes, cancer and others) should even stop their intake of rice.