Most of us choose brown rice over white rice as the healthier option, and it is. Very simply, brown rice only has the outer husk removed, leaving the nutrient-rich bran underneath intact. If the bran is also removed, then what you have left is white rice.
The bran contains a powerful vitamin E compounds called gamma-tocotrienols and fat soluble antioxidants like gamma-oryzanol. Studies show these compounds lower levels of LDL cholesterol and promote heart health. So, brown rice is definitely a healthy choice.
What you may not even realize is that there are other types of rice besides white, brown and wild. There are actually more than 7,000 varieties of rice. One of the most nutritious is a type of black rice (also sometimes called purple rice), which is used mainly in Asia. However, samples of black rice grown in the United States were analyzed. The bran and pigments in black rice were found to contain even higher levels of the fat soluble antioxidants, as well as anthocyanins, which are the same antioxidants found in “super” fruit like blueberries.
This intrigued me so I researched it a little further and found that not only is black rice another extremely healthy option, but there are others as well. I found pink rice, red rice and green rice among many others!
Each has its own unique nutritional profile and subtle flavor difference.
While limiting grains, even healthy whole grains is best for overall health, when you do include whole grains, why not seek out and try some of these unique variations on the old stand-bys?
You not only will improve the nutritional content of your meals – you’ll add interest as well. Who says eating healthy food has to be boring?