How to Eat for Better Sleep

Fitness gives us nutrition rules experts swear by for a good night’s rest.

Don’t skimp, then splurge.

by Ana Mantica – Skipping midday meals may seem like an easy way to shed weight, but doing so can throw off your body’s normal sleep pattern. Researchers who followed a group of Muslims during Ramadan (a month of fasting from sunup to sundown) found that the group lost an average of 40 minutes of sleep a night compared with a nonholiday time of year. The likely cause: changes in hormone levels due to fasting. Large, late dinners exacerbate the problem: “A big meal increases the blood flow to your digestive tract, causing your stomach to secrete more gastric acid and making your pancreas and intestinal muscles work harder,” Breus says. This stimulates your system instead of calming it.

Do eat early and often.

“Your body uses up energy during the sleep process; it needs to be restored,” Breus says. Eat a mix of protein and carbs for breakfast (think eggs and whole wheat toast), and have six 250- to 300-calorie mini meals throughout your day. Eating something nutritious every few hours helps your body and brain maintain the right balance of hormones and neurotransmitters, essential for falling — and staying — asleep at night.

Don’t be a party victim.

Just say no to canapes, cheese plates, and mini meatballs. High-fat and spicy foods spark indigestion and reflux, keeping you up long past your bedtime, says Carolyn O’Neil, RD, author of The Dish: On Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!

Do eat carbs for dinner.

A recent study found that people who ate jasmine rice before bedtime fell asleep faster than those who didn’t, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports. The reason? Jasmine rice is high on the glycemic index, so it helps increase the body’s production of tryptophan, an amino acid that makes you sleepy, explains study author Chin-Moi Chow, PhD, senior lecturer at the University of Sydney.

Don’t go to extremes.

When daily calories dip below 1,200, you miss out on key nutrients, and this may affect your sleep, says Susan Moores, RD, a dietitian in St. Paul. Low iron, for instance, may cause symptoms similar to restless leg syndrome. A deficiency in folic acid may lead to insomnia. Studies also suggest that anorexics on extremely low-cal diets limit the time their bodies spend in the slow-wave sleep cycle, necessary for muscle repair and recovery.

Do strike a balance.

A well-rounded diet with foods high in B vitamins, calcium, and zinc will help you rest better. “Vitamin B6 signals your body to produce the calming hormone serotonin,” Breus says. “And calcium and zinc are natural relaxants.”

Don’t overdo the cold cuts or coffee.

Processed foods like deli meats contain a lot of sodium, which can interrupt sleep by raising your blood pressure and dehydrating you, Cornell’s Maas says. Caffeine, meanwhile, stays in your system for up to 12 hours, so the effects of a p.m. latte could linger till midnight. Try skipping the joe tomorrow: Not having caffeine for a single day can improve sleep quality that night, a study in the Journal of Clinical Nursing found.

Do go herbal.

Before bed, have a cup of chamomile tea; the plant it’s made from acts as a mild sedative, Breus explains, calming your body and helping you drift off.

The bottom line is to focus on eating foods in as close to their natural form as possible (for instance, apples, not apple danish). And eat smaller meals, says Breus, but more frequently. Simple, no? And all without counting a single sheep. Sweet dreams.

Vitamins and Minerals for Great Sleep

These vitamins and minerals will help you snooze soundly tonight. Eat ’em and sleep:

B Vitamins

They improve your body’s ability to regulate its use of sleep-inducing tryptophan and produce more system-calming serotonin.

Find Them In: Chicken breast, lean beef, salmon, bananas, potatoes, cereals fortified with B3 or B12

Calcium

This natural relaxant has a calming effect on the body’s nervous system.

Find It In: Low-fat yogurt, milk, cheese, fortified orange juice

Zinc

Deficiency in this mineral has been linked to insomnia.

Find It In: Oysters, beef, Alaska king crab, fortified cereal

Iron

A lack of this mineral can cause symptoms similar to restless leg syndrome.

Find It In: Oysters, clams, beef tenderloin, dark-meat turkey

Copper

This substance regulates serotonin.

Find It In: Whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, dark leafy greens

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5 Foods to Lift Your Mood

Senior editor of Caring.com, Paul Spencer Scott says to try these smart choices when your mood needs a little boost.

The right foods — like the following five — can stabilize blood sugar, eliminate mood swings, and boost neurotransmitters in the brain, all factors that influence your emotions.

1. An omelet — just don’t skip the yolk

Eat it for: The B vitamins and protein. Egg yolks are the vitamin-B-rich part of the egg.

Other examples: Lean beef, wheat germ, fish, poultry

Why they help: A diet rich in B vitamins can help lessen the severity of depression symptoms. B vitamins, especially B-6 and B-12, can help improve neural function — the way the neurotransmitters of the brain send signals, which helps govern mood. There’s also a growing link between vitamin B deficiency and depression. A 2010 study of 3,000 older adults followed over 12 years found that those with lower intake of these vitamins had a higher risk of depression, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The protein in eggs (as with lean meats) helps you feel satisfied longer, stabilizing blood sugar. And eggs can be consumed in a variety of ways, from scrambled to used as a French toast batter to boiled and chopped up as a salad topper — so long as you go easy on the accompanying animal products that are high in saturated fats, like bacon or butter.

2. Nuts and seeds

Eat it for: The magnesium

Examples: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, peanuts. (Green leafy vegetables and whole grains are also high in magnesium.)

Why they help: Magnesium, a mineral found naturally in nuts and seeds, influences production of serotonin, a “feel-good” brain chemical. Magnesium also affects overall energy production.

Bonus: Nuts are also a good source of protein and healthy fats. And as a whole food, they make a healthy alternative to processed snacks, provided you choose unsalted and unsweetened varieties. Salt and sugared coatings don’t add any health benefits and may make you overeat because they set up cravings in the brain for more and more salt or sugar.

3. Cold-water fish

Eat it for: The omega-3 fatty acids

Examples: Wild salmon, herring, sardines, anchovies, tuna (not more than once per week), rainbow trout, mackerel. Fish-oil supplements are a practical alternative for those who don’t eat these cold-water fish at least three times a week, Reardon says.

Why they help: There’s a reason fish is known as “brain food.” Fatty fish such as wild salmon contain the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which has been shown to increase the membrane quality and nerve function of gray matter in the brain. Twenty percent of the gray matter in the brain is composed of DHA. Some studies have found that DHA consumption especially increases gray matter in the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the cingulate, three areas of the brain associated with mood. People with severe depression have less gray matter in these areas.

Fish is also a great source of lean protein, which stabilizes blood sugar. Eating small amounts of protein with meals can help keep your mood on a more even keel.

4. Ancient grains

Eat it for: The complex carbohydrates

Examples: Quinoa, millet, teff, amaranth, spelt, barley

Why they help: Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, which means they don’t cause spikes in blood sugar that can create roller-coaster moods. Complex carbs also increase levels of serotonin in the brain.

While any whole grain is good, so-called “ancient grains” are even better, according to Reardon, because they’re less likely to be man-modified and processed. Packaged, processed, and refined foods made with wheat flour and sugar, in contrast, tend to be digested quickly, causing cause blood sugar to spike. When this happens, the body responds with an oversecretion of insulin, which winds up moving too much sugar into cells — and blood sugars plummet. The end result: poorer concentration, fatigue, mood swings, intense cravings, and overeating.

Ancient grains are increasingly available at mainstream grocery stores and big-box stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club. Look where rice products are shelved. Many ancient grains can be cooked like pasta or rice and served in their place as side dishes, in casseroles, or as a base for fish or chicken.

Bonus: Some ancient grains are a whole-grain alternative for those who are allergic to wheat or have gluten intolerance. (Barley, though, contains gluten.)

5. Green tea

Drink it for: The amino acid L-theanine

Examples: Hot green tea, brewed iced green tea — including flavored varieties like jasmine green tea or berry green tea

Why it helps: L-theanine is an amino acid found mainly in tea leaves; it’s been shown by EEG tests to stimulate alpha brain waves. This can improve focus while also having a calming effect on the body.

“Despite the caffeine, the L-theanine in green tea seems to be profoundly relaxing, with effects that last up to eight hours,” Reardon says. L-theanine is easily absorbed and can cross the blood-brain barrier, adding to its effectiveness.

Clinical depression is a serious illness that requires treatment beyond nutrition, changing what you eat can help beat garden-variety blues caused by stress, and will boost low energy, too.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, be sure to visit: http://www.caring.com

This content was originally published by Caring.com: “5 Food to Eat When You’re Depressed” and this excerpt reprinted here with permission.


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Other non-food things to do

  • Get plenty of sunshine. Natural sunlight is a proven cure for depression.
  • Engage in regularexerciseat least three times per week. Exercise lifts and mood and alters brain chemistry in a positive way.
  • Experience laughter. It’s goodmedicine.
  • Take a quality superfood supplement to get even morenaturalmedicine from the world of plants.

Four more foods for beating depression from Naturalnews.com


Brown Rice:Contains vitamins B1 and B3, andfolic acid. Brown rice is also a low-glycemic food, which means it releases glucose into the bloodstream gradually, preventingsugarlows and mood swings. Brownricealso provides many of the tracemineralswe need to function properly, as well as being a high-fiber food that can keep the digestive system healthy and lowercholesterol. Instant varieties of rice do not offer these benefits. Any time you see “instant” on a food label, avoid it.

Brewer’s Yeast:ContainsvitaminsB1, B2 and B3. Brewer’s yeast should be avoided if you do not tolerate yeast well, but if you do, mix a thimbleful into any smoothie for your daily dose. Thissuperfoodpacks a wide assortment ofvitamins and mineralsin a small package, including 16amino acidsand 14 minerals. Amino acids are vital for the nervous system, which makes brewer’s yeast a no-brainer for treating depression.

Cabbage:Contains vitamin C and folic acid. Cabbage protects against stress, infection and heart disease, as well as many types of cancers, according to the American Association for Cancer Research. There are numerous ways to getcabbageinto your diet; toss it in a salad instead of lettuce, use cabbage in place of lettuce wraps, stir fry it in your favorite Asian dish, make some classic cabbage soup orjuiceit. To avoid gas aftereatingcabbage, add a few fennel, caraway or cuminseedsbefore cooking. Cabbage is also a good source of blood-sugar-stabilizingfiber, and the raw juice of cabbage is a knowncurefor stomach ulcers.

Also worth mentioning:Foods likeraw cacao, dark molasses and brazilnuts(high in selenium) are also excellent for boosting brain function and eliminating depression. Get rawcacaoand brazil nuts atNature’s First Law. Another source for cacao isNavitas Naturals.

Things to avoid

If you feel you are depressed or at risk for depression, you also need to avoid certain foods and substances. Some commonly prescribed drugs — such as antibiotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, pain killers, ulcer drugs, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, anti-Parkinson’s drugs, birth control pills, highbloodpressure drugs, heart medications and psychotropic drugs — contribute to depression. If you are taking any of these, don’t quit them without talking to yourdoctor; but be aware that they may be contributing to your condition by depleting your body of depression-fighting vitamins and minerals.

You should also avoid caffeine, smoking and foods high infatand sugar. Keeping your blood sugar stable and getting B vitamins is important for stabilizing your mood. Cacao can be good for mood because it releases endorphins inthe brain, but watch out for milk chocolate and candy varieties high in sugar.

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Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/020611.html#ixzz1sJ20Y5CM

Stay healthy! 🙂

Why Not Serve Sushi Rolls with Brown Rice?

A recent study said 3 to 4 servings of white rice a day raises the risk of type2 diabetes.  Media strategist and CFO of Fusion TV, Kelly Lefkowitz said what a bummer that was for sushi chefs. 

Good point.  Makes me wonder…

Why don’t they make sushi rolls and serve sushi with brown rice?  I love sushi. So, the words sushi and bummer absolutely cannot coexist. 

Making sushi rolls with brown rice is just as yummy!  I’ve made my own sushi rolls using brown rice and I also request it when in a sushi restaurant.  Chef looks at me funny, but obliges. 

In fact, why not do away with white rice all together since brown rice is clearly healthier AND it’s been proven that brown rice and other whole grains LOWER Type2 Diabetes risk.  I will find out why they continue to use white rice and update this post (is there a $ factor?).  Meanwhile, let’s take a look at available health info on brown rice:

Why Brown Rice is One of the World’s Healthiest Foods

The difference between brown rice and white rice is not just color! A whole grain of rice has several layers. Only the outermost layer, the hull, is removed to produce what we call brown rice. This process is the least damaging to the nutritional value of the rice and avoids the unnecessary loss of nutrients that occurs with further processing.

If brown rice is further milled to remove the bran and most of the germ layer, the result is a whiter rice, but also a rice that has lost many more nutrients. At this point, however, the rice is still unpolished, and it takes polishing to produce the white rice we are used to seeing. Polishing removes the aleurone layerof the grain–a layer filled with health-supportive, essential fats.

Because these fats, once exposed to air by the refining process, are highly susceptible to oxidation, this layer is removed to extend the shelf life of the product. The resulting white rice is simply a refined starch that is largely bereft of its original nutrients.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF BROWN RICE

Brown rice has been ranked as an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of the minerals selenium and magnesium. The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.

By law in the United States, fully milled and polished white rice must be “enriched” with vitamins B1, B3, and iron. But the form of these nutrients when added back into the processed rice is not the same as in the original unprocessed version, and at least 11 lost nutrients are not replaced in any form even with rice “enrichment.”

Here are some of the ways in which the nutrients supplied by brown rice can make an important difference in your health:

Manganese—Energy Production Plus Antioxidant Protection

Just one cup of brown rice will provide you with 88.0% of the daily value for manganese. This trace mineral helps produce energy from protein and carbohydrates and is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids, which are important for a healthy nervous system, and in the production of cholesterol, which is used by the body to produce sex hormones.

Manganese is also a critical component of a very important antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is found inside the body’s mitochondria(the oxygen-based energy factories inside most of our cells) where it provides protection against damage from the free radicals produced during energy production.

Women Who Eat Whole Grains Weigh Less

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition underscores the importance of choosing whole grains such as brown rice rather than refined grain, i.e., white rice, to maintain a healthy body weight. In this Harvard Medical School / Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, which collected data on over 74,000 female nurses aged 38-63 years over a 12 year period, weight gain was inversely associated with the intake of high-fiber, whole-grain foods but positively related to the intake of refined-grain foods.

Not only did women who consumed more whole grains consistently weigh less than those who ate less of these fiber-rich foods, but those consuming the most dietary fiber from whole grains were 49% less likely to gain weight compared to those eating foods made from refined grains.

Brown Rice is Rich in Fiber and Selenium

For people worried about colon cancer risk, brown rice packs a double punch by being a concentrated source of the fiber needed to minimize the amount of time cancer-causing substances spend in contact with colon cells, and being a very good source of selenium, a trace mineral that has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of colon cancer.

In addition to supplying 14.0% of the daily value for fiber, a cup of cooked brown rice provides 27.3% of the DV for selenium, an important benefit since many Americans do not get enough selenium in their diets, yet this trace mineral is of fundamental importance to human health. Selenium is an essential component of several major metabolic pathways, including thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, and immune function.

Accumulated evidence from prospective studies, intervention trials and studies on animal models of cancer has suggested a strong inverse correlation between selenium intake and cancer incidence. Several mechanisms have been suggested to explain the cancer-preventive activities of selenium. Selenium has been shown to induce DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells, to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, and to induce their apoptosis, the self-destruct sequence the body uses to eliminate worn out or abnormal cells.

In addition, selenium is incorporated at the active site of many proteins, including glutathione peroxidase, which is particularly important for cancer protection. One of the body’s most powerful antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidase is used in the liver to detoxify a wide range of potentially harmful molecules. When levels of glutathione peroxidaseare too low, these toxic molecules are not disarmed and wreak havoc on any cells with which they come in contact, damaging their cellular DNA and promoting the development of cancer cells.

Not only does selenium play a critical role in cancer prevention as a cofactor of glutathione peroxidase, selenium also works with vitamin E in numerous other vital antioxidant systems throughout the body. These powerful antioxidant actions make selenium helpful in the prevention not only of cancer, but also of heart disease, and for decreasing the symptoms of asthma and the pain and inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis.

Lower Cholesterol with Whole Brown Rice

Here’s yet another reason to rely on whole foods, such as brown rice, for your healthy way of eating. The oil in whole brown rice lowers cholesterol.

When Marlene Most and colleagues from Louisiana State University evaluated the effects of rice bran and rice bran oil on cholesterol levels in volunteers with moderately elevated cholesterol levels, they found that rice bran oil lowered their LDL (bad) cholesterol.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was divided into two parts. First, 26 subjects ate a diet including 13-22g of dietary fiber each day for three weeks, after which 13 switched to a diet that added defatted rice bran to double their fiber intake for five weeks. In the second part of the study, a randomized crossover trial, 14 subjects ate a diet with rice bran oil for 10 weeks.

While the diet including only defatted rice bran did not lower cholesterol, the one containing rice bran oil lowered LDL cholesterol by 7%. Since all the diets contained similar fatty acids, the researchers concluded that the reduction in cholesterol seen in those receiving rice bran oil must have been due to other constituents such as the unsaponifiable compounds found in rice bran oil. The scientists suggest that the unsaponifiables present in rice bran oil could become important functional foods for cardiovascular health.

But why extract just one beneficial compound from brown rice when you can reap all the cardioprotective benefits supplied by the matrix of nutrients naturally present in this delicious whole food? In addition to unsaponifiables, this whole grain also supplies hefty doses of heart-healthy fiber, magnesium, and B vitamins.

Significant Cardiovascular Benefits for Postmenopausal Women

Eating a serving of whole grains, such as brown rice, at least 6 times each week is an especially good idea for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

A 3-year prospective study of over 200 postmenopausal women with CVD, published in the American Heart Journal, shows that those eating at least 6 servings of whole grains each week experienced both:

  • Slowed progression of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque that narrows the vessels through which blood flows, and
  • Less progression in stenosis, the narrowing of the diameter of arterial passageways.

The women’s intake of fiber from fruits, vegetables and refined grains was not associated with a lessening in CVD progression.

Phytonutrients with Health-Promoting Activity Equal to or Even Higher than that of Vegetables and Fruits

Research reported at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) International Conference on Food, Nutrition and Cancer, by Rui Hai Liu, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues at Cornell University shows that whole grains, such as rice, contain many powerful phytonutrients whose activity has gone unrecognized because research methods have overlooked them.

Despite the fact that for years researchers have been measuring the antioxidant power of a wide array of phytonutrients, they have typically measured only the “free” forms of these substances, which dissolve quickly and are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. They have not looked at the “bound” forms, which are attached to the walls of plant cells and must be released by intestinal bacteria during digestion before they can be absorbed.

Phenolics, powerful antioxidants that work in multiple ways to prevent disease, are one major class of phytonutrients that have been widely studied. Included in this broad category are such compounds as quercetin, curcumin, ellagic acid, catechins, and many others that appear frequently in the health news.

When Dr. Liu and his colleagues measured the relative amounts of phenolics, and whether they were present in bound or free form, in common fruits and vegetables like apples, red grapes, broccoli and spinach, they found that phenolics in the “free” form averaged 76% of the total number of phenolics in these foods. In whole grains, however, “free” phenolics accounted for less than 1% of the total, while the remaining 99% were in “bound” form.

In his presentation, Dr. Liu explained that because researchers have examined whole grains with the same process used to measure antioxidants in vegetables and fruits—looking for their content of “free” phenolics”—the amount and activity of antioxidants in whole grains has been vastly underestimated.

Despite the differences in fruits’, vegetables’ and whole grains’ content of “free” and “bound” phenolics, the total antioxidant activity in all three types of whole foods is similar, according to Dr. Liu’s research. His team measured the antioxidant activity of various foods, assigning each a rating based on a formula (micromoles of vitamin C equivalent per gram). Broccoli and spinach measured 80 and 81, respectively; apple and banana measured 98 and 65; and of the whole grains tested, corn measured 181, whole wheat 77, oats 75, and brown rice 56.

Dr. Liu’s findings may help explain why studies have shown that populations eating diets high in fiber-rich whole grains consistently have lower risk for colon cancer, yet short-term clinical trials that have focused on fiber alone in lowering colon cancer risk, often to the point of giving subjects isolated fiber supplements, yield inconsistent results.

The explanation is most likely that these studies have not taken into account the interactive effects of all the nutrients in whole grains—not just their fiber, but also their many phytonutrients. As far as whole grains are concerned, Dr. Liu believes that the key to their powerful cancer-fighting potential is precisely their wholeness.

A grain of whole wheat consists of three parts—its endosperm (starch), bran and germ. When wheat—or any whole grain—is refined, its bran and germ are removed. Although these two parts make up only 15-17% of the grain’s weight, they contain 83% of its phenolics. Dr. Liu says his recent findings on the antioxidant content of whole grains reinforce the message that a variety of foods should be eaten good health.

 “Different plant foods have different phytochemicals,”he said. “These substances go to different organs, tissues and cells, where they perform different functions. What your body needs to ward off disease is this synergistic effect—this teamwork—that is produced by eating a wide variety of plant foods, including whole grains.”

Lignans Protect against Heart Disease

One type of phytonutrient especially abundant in whole grains including brown rice are plant lignans, which are converted by friendly flora in our intestines into mammalian lignans, including one called enterolactone that is thought to protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease.

In addition to whole grains, nuts, seeds and berries are rich sources of plant lignans, and vegetables, fruits, and beverages such as coffee, tea and wine also contain some.

When blood levels of enterolactone were measured in over 850 postmenopausal women in a Danish study published in the Journal of Nutrition, women eating the most whole grains were found to have significantly higher blood levels of this protective lignan. Women who ate more cabbage and leafy vegetables also had higher enterolactone levels.

Reduce Your Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

First we were told, “Don’t eat fat, and you’ll stay trim.” After following this advice only to see obesity expand to never before seen proportions, we’re told by the food gurus, “Eating fat is fine. Shun carbohydrates to stay slim.”

In our opinion, neither piece of dietary advice is complete, accurate or likely to help us stay slim or healthy. Just as different kinds of fats have different effects in our bodies (e.g., saturated and trans fats are linked to increased risk for cardiovascular disease while omega-3 fats decrease cardiovascular disease risk), some carbohydrates, such as whole grains, are healthful while others, such as refined grains and the foods made from them, are not.

The latest research is clearly supporting this vital distinction. Refined grains and the foods made from them (e.g., white breads, cookies, pastries, pasta and rice) are now being linked not only to weight gain but to increased risk of insulin resistance (the precursor of type 2 diabetes) and the metabolic syndrome (a strong predictor of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease), while eating more wholegrain foods is being shown to protect against all these ills.

Common features of the metabolic syndrome include visceral obesity (the “apple shaped” body), low levels of protective HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure.

In one of the most recent studies, which appeared in Diabetes Care, researchers who analyzed data on over 2,800 participants in the Framingham Offspring Study, found that the prevalence of both insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome was significantly lower among those eating the most cereal fiber from whole grains compared to those eating the least.

Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was 38% lower among those with the highest intake of fiber from whole grains. Conversely, study subjects whose diets had the highest glycemic index and glycemic load, both of which are typically low in whole foods and high in processed refined foods, were 141% more likely to have the metabolic syndrome compared to those whose diets had the lowest glycemic index and glycemic load.

In other words, compared to those whose diets were primarily composed of whole high fiber foods: whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.

The researchers concluded, “Given that both a high cereal fiber content and lower glycemic index are attributes of wholegrain foods, recommendation to increase wholegrain intake may reduce the risk of developing the metabolic syndrome.”

Our perspective at the World’s Healthiest Foods is that a way of eating that relies on the healthiest foods from all the food groups—the whole foods that contain the healthiest fats, carbohydrates and proteins—is the most effective, intelligent, and most enjoyable way to not only lower your risk of developing the metabolic syndrome, but to stay slim, vital and attractive throughout a long and healthy life.

Brown Rice and Other Whole Grains Substantially Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Brown rice and other whole grains are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion.

The FDA permits foods that contain at least 51% whole grains by weight (and are also low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol) to display a health claim stating consumption is linked to lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Now, research suggests regular consumption of whole grains also reduces risk of type 2 diabetes. (van Dam RM, Hu FB, Diabetes Care).

In this 8-year trial, involving 41,186 particpants of the Black Women’s Health Study, research data confirmed inverse associations between magnesium, calcium and major food sources in relation to type 2 diabetes that had already been reported in predominantly white populations.

Risk of type 2 diabetes was 31% lower in black women who frequently ate whole grains compared to those eating the least of these magnesium-rich foods. When the women’s dietary intake of magnesium intake was considered by itself, a beneficial, but lesser—19%— reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes was found, indicating that whole grains offer special benefits in promoting healthy blood sugar control.

Daily consumption of low-fat dairy foods was also helpful, lowering risk of type 2 diabetes by 13%.

Rice pudding—quickly made by simply adding low-fat milk, cinnamon, raisins, a little honey and 1/4 teaspoon of finely grated orange peel to a cup of cooked rice, then cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes—is a delicious way to enjoy both rice and dairy.

Tune Down and Bone Up on Brown Rice

Magnesium, another nutrient for which brown rice is a good source, has been shown in studies to be helpful for reducing the severity of asthma, lowering high blood pressure, reducing the frequency of migraine headaches, and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. How does magnesiumaccomplish all this?

Magnesium helps regulate nerve and muscle tone by balancing the action of calcium. In many nerve cells, magnesium serves as Nature’s own calcium channel blocker, preventing calcium from rushing into the nerve cell and activating the nerve. By blocking calcium’s entry, magnesium keeps our nerves (and the blood vessels and muscles they ennervate) relaxed.

If our diet provides us with too little magnesium, however, calcium can gain free entry, and nerve cells can become overactivated, sending too many messages and causing excessive contraction. Insufficient magnesium can thus contribute to high blood pressure, muscle spasms (including spasms of the heart muscle or the spasms of the airways symptomatic of asthma), and migraine headaches, as well as muscle cramps, tension, soreness and fatigue.

But that’s far from all magnesium does for you. Magnesium, as well as calcium, is necessary for healthy bones. About two-thirds of the magnesium in the human body is found in our bones. Some helps give bones their physical structure, while the rest is found on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to draw upon as needed.

Brown rice can help you keep those storage sites replenished and ready to meet your body’s needs. A cup of brown rice will give you 21.0% of the daily value for magnesium.

In addition to the niacin it supplies, brown rice may also help raise blood levels of nitric oxide, a small molecule known to improve blood vessel dilation and to inhibit oxidative (free radical) damage of cholesterol and the adhesion of white cells to the vascular wall (two important steps in the development of atherosclerotic plaques).

A study published in the British Journal of Nutritionsuggests that diets high in rice protein can help protect against atherosclerosis by increasing blood levels of nitric oxide.

In this study, when researchers gave mice bred to be apoliprotein-E deficient a purified diet containing either casein, the principal protein in dairy products, rice protein or soy protein, the mice given casein developed the largest atherosclerotic lesions. (In humans as well as animals, apolipoprotein E plays an important role in cholesterol transport, so a deficiency of this protein increases risk for the development of atherosclerosis.)

Mice given rice or soy protein fared much better. In trying to understand why, the researchers evaluated blood levels of nitric oxide. Mice fed either rice or soy protein diets were found to have increased blood levels of L-arginine (the amino acid that the body uses to produce nitric oxide) and nitric oxide metabolites when compared to those given casein-based feed.

However, the L-arginine content of the rice and soy diets was not high enough to explain the amount of protective benefit they conferred, so the researchers concluded that these foods must also contain other cardioprotective compounds.

A Good Source of Fiber

The health benefits of brown rice continue with its fiber; a cup of brown rice provides 14.0% of the daily value for fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels, one more way brown rice helps prevent atherosclerosis.

Fiber also helps out by keeping blood sugar levels under control, so brown rice is an excellent grain choice for people with diabetes. As we mentioned above, the fiber in brown rice can also help to protect you against colon cancer since fiber binds to cancer-causing chemicals, keeping them away from the cells lining the colon, plus it can help normalize bowel function, reducing constipation.

Fiber from Whole Grains and Fruit Protective against Breast Cancer

When researchers looked at how much fiber 35,972 participants in the UK Women’s Cohort Study ate, they found a diet rich in fiber from whole grains, such as brown rice, and fruit offered significant protection against breast cancer for pre-menopausal women. (Cade JE, Burley VJ, et al., International Journal of Epidemiology).

Pre-menopausal women eating the most fiber (>30 grams daily) more than halved their risk of developing breast cancer, enjoying a 52% lower risk of breast cancer compared to women whose diets supplied the least fiber (<20 grams/day).

Fiber supplied by whole grains offered the most protection. Pre-menopausal women eating the most whole grain fiber (at least 13 g/day) had a 41% reduced risk of breast cancer, compared to those with the lowest whole grain fiber intake (4 g or less per day).

Fiber from fruit was also protective. Pre-menopausal women whose diets supplied the most fiber from fruit (at least 6 g/day) had a 29% reduced risk of breast cancer, compared to those with the lowest fruit fiber intake (2 g or less per day).

Practical Tip: As the following table shows, it’s surprisingly easy to enjoy a healthy way of eating that delivers at least 13 grams of whole grain fiber and 6 grams of fiber from fruit each day.

Food Fiber Content in Grams
Oatmeal, 1 cup 3.98
Whole wheat bread, 1 slice 2
Whole wheat spaghetti, 1 cup 6.3 Brown rice, 1 cup 3.5 Barley, 1 cup 13.6 Buckwheat, 1 cup 4.54 Rye, 1/3 cup 8.22 Corn, 1 cup 4.6 Apple, 1 medium with skin 5.0 Banana, 1 medium 4.0 Blueberries, 1 cup 3.92 Orange, 1 large 4.42 Pear, 1 large 5.02 Prunes, 1/4 cup 3.02 Strawberries, 1 cup 3.82 Raspberries, 1 cup 8.36

*Fiber content can vary between brands. Source: esha Research, Food Processor for Windows, Version 7.8

Help Prevent Gallstones

Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as brown rice, can help women avoid gallstones, shows a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Studying the overall fiber intake and types of fiber consumed over a 16 year period by over 69,000 women in the Nurses Health Study, researchers found that those consuming the most fiber overall (both soluble and insoluble) had a 13% lower risk of developing gallstones compared to women consuming the fewest fiber-rich foods.

Those eating the most foods rich in insoluble fiber gained even more protection against gallstones: a 17% lower risk compared to women eating the least. And the protection was dose-related; a 5-gram increase in insoluble fiber intake dropped risk dropped 10%.

How do foods rich in insoluble fiber help prevent gallstones? Researchers think insoluble fiber not only speeds intestinal transit time (how quickly food moves through the intestines), but reduces the secretion of bile acids (excessive amounts contribute to gallstone formation), increases insulin sensitivity and lowers triglycerides (blood fats).

Abundant not just in brown rice but all whole grains, insoluble fiber is also found in nuts and the edible skin of fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers, many squash, apples, berries, and pears. In addition, beans provide insoluble as well as soluble fiber.

Whole Grains and Fish Highly Protective against Childhood Asthma

According to the American Lung Association, almost 20 million Americans suffer from asthma, which is reported to be responsible for over 14 million lost school days in children, and an annual economic cost of more than $16.1 billion.

Increasing consumption of whole grains and fish could reduce the risk of childhood asthma by about 50%, suggests the International Study on Allergy and Asthma in Childhood (Tabak C, Wijga AH, Thorax).

The researchers, from the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Utrecht University, University Medical Center Groningen, used food frequency questionnaires completed by the parents of 598 Dutch children aged 8-13 years.

They assessed the children’s consumption of a range of foods including fish, fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grain products. Data on asthma and wheezing were also assessed using medical tests as well as questionnaires.

While no association between asthma and intake of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products was found (a result at odds with other studies that have supported a link between antioxidant intake, particularly vitamins C and E, and asthma), the children’s intake of both whole grains and fish was significantly linked to incidence of wheezing and current asthma.

In children with a low intake of fish and whole grains, the prevalence of wheezing was almost 20%, but was only 4.2% in children with a high intake of both foods. Low intake of fish and whole grains also correlated with a much higher incidence of current asthma (16.7%). compared to only a 2.8% incidence of current asthma among children with a high intake of both foods.

After adjusting results for possible confounding factors, such as the educational level of the mother, and total energy intake, high intakes of whole grains and fish were found to be associated with a 54 and 66% reduction in the probability of being asthmatic, respectively.

The probability of having asthma with bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR), defined as having an increased sensitivity to factors that cause narrowing of the airways, was reduced by 72 and 88% when children had a high-intake of whole grains and fish, respectively.

Lead researcher, CoraTabak commented, “The rise in the prevalence of asthma in western societies may be related to changed dietary habits.” We agree. The Standard American Diet is sorely deficient in the numerous anti-inflammatory compounds found in fish and whole grains, notably, the omega-3 fats supplied by cold water fish and the magnesium and vitamin E provided by whole grains.

One caution: wheat may need to be avoided as it is a common food allergen associated with asthma.

Meta-analysis Explains Whole Grains’ Health Benefits

In many studies, eating whole grains, such as brown rice, has been linked to protection against atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and premature death.

A new study and accompanying editorial, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains the likely reasons behind these findings and recommends at least 3 servings of whole grains should be eaten daily.

Whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. In this meta-analysis of 7 studies including more than 150,000 persons, those whose diets provided the highest dietary fiber intake had a 29% lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those with the lowest fiber intake.

But it’s not just fiber’s ability to serve as a bulking agent that is responsible for its beneficial effects as a component of whole grains. Wheat bran, for example, which constitutes 15% of most whole-grain wheat kernels but is virtually non-existent in refined wheat flour, is rich in minerals, antioxidants, lignans, and other phytonutrients—as well as in fiber.

In addition to the matrix of nutrients in their dietary fibers, the whole-grain arsenal includes a wide variety of additional nutrients and phytochemicals that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Compounds in whole grains that have cholesterol-lowering effects include polyunsaturated fatty acids, oligosaccharides, plant sterols and stanols, and saponins.

Whole grains are also important dietary sources of water-soluble, fat-soluble, and insoluble antioxidants. The long list of cereal antioxidants includes vitamin E, tocotrieonols, selenium, phenolic acids, and phytic acid. These multifunctional antioxidants come in immediate-release to slow-release forms and thus are available throughout the gastrointestinal tract over a long period after being consumed.

The high antioxidant capacity of wheat bran, for example, is 20-fold that of refined wheat flour (endosperm). Although the role of antioxidant supplements in protecting against cardiovascular disease has been questioned, prospective population studies consistently suggest that when consumed in whole foods, antioxidants are associated with significant protection against cardiovascular disease.

Because free radical damage to cholesterol appears to contribute significantly to the development of atherosclerosis, the broad range of antioxidant activities from the phytonutrients abundant in whole grains is thought to play a strong role in their cardio-protective effects.

Like soybeans, whole grains are good sources of phytoestrogens, plant compounds that may affect blood cholesterol levels, blood vessel elasticity, bone metabolism, and many other cellular metabolic processes.

Whole grains are rich sources of lignans that are converted by the human gut to enterolactone and enterodiole. In studies of Finnish men, blood levels of enterolactone have been found to have an inverse relation not just to cardiovascular-related death, but to all causes of death, which suggests that the plant lignans in whole grains may play an important role in their protective effects.

Lower insulin levels may also contribute to the protective effects of whole grains. In many persons, the risks of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity are linked to insulin resistance.

Higher intakes of whole grains are associated with increased sensitivity to insulin in population studies and clinical trials. Why? Because whole grains improve insulin sensitivity by lowering the glycemic index of the diet while increasing its content of fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E.

The whole kernel of truth: as part of your healthy way of eating, whole grains can significantly lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Enjoy at least 3 servings a day.

No idea how to cook whole grains? Just look at the “How to Enjoy” section in our profiles of the whole grains, or for quick, easy, delicious recipes, click on this link to our Recipe Assistant and select brown rice or whichever whole grain you would like to prepare.

BROWN RICE HISTORY

Rice is one of the most important foods in the world, supplying as much as half of the daily calories for half of the world’s population. No wonder that in Asian countries, such as Thailand, rice is so highly valued that the translation of the word “to eat” literally means “to eat rice.”

Asked to name the types of rice they are familiar with, people may be able to recall one or two. Yet, in actuality there is an abundance of different types of rice—over 8,000 varieties. Oftentimes, rice is categorized by its size as being either short grain, medium grain or long grain. Short grain, which has the highest starch content, makes the stickiest rice, while long grain is lighter and tends to remain separate when cooked. The qualities of medium grain fall between the other two types.

The scientific name for rice is Oryza sativa.

Another way that rice is classified is according to the degree of milling that it undergoes. This is what makes a brown rice different than white rice. Brown rice, often referred to as whole rice or cargo rice, is the whole grain with only its inedible outer hull removed. Brown rice still retains its nutrient-rich bran and germ. White rice, on the other hand, is both milled and polished, which removes the bran and germ along with all the nutrients that reside within these important layers.

Some of the most popular varieties of rice in this country include:

  • Arborio: A round grain, starchy white rice, traditionally used to make the Italian dish risotto.
  • Basmati: An aromatic rice that has a nutlike fragrance, delicate flavor and light texture.
  • Sweet rice: Almost translucent when it is cooked, this very sticky rice is traditionally used to make sushi and mochi.
  • Jasmine: A soft-textured long grain aromatic rice that is available in both brown and white varieties.
  • Bhutanese red rice: Grown in the Himalayas, this red colored rice has a nutty, earthy taste.
  • Forbidden rice: A black colored rice that turns purple upon cooking and has a sweet taste and sticky texture.

MORE RICE HISTORY

Everyone knows that rice is an ancient food, but only recently have we discovered just how ancient it is. Rice was believed to have been first cultivated in China around 6,000 years ago, but recent archaeological discoveries have found primitive rice seeds and ancient farm tools dating back about 9,000 years.

For the majority of its long history, rice was a staple only in Asia. Not until Arab travelers introduced rice into ancient Greece, and Alexander the Great brought it to India, did rice find its way to other corners of the world. Subsequently, the Moors brought rice to Spain in the 8th century during their conquests, while the Crusaders were responsible for bringing rice to France. Rice was introduced into South America in the 17th century by the Spanish during their colonization of this continent.

The majority of the world’s rice is grown in Asia, where it plays an incredibly important role in their food culture. Thailand, Vietnam and China are the three largest exporters of rice.

How to Select and Store

Rice is available prepackaged as well as in bulk containers. If purchasing brown rice in a packaged container, check to see if there is a “use-by” date on the package since brown rice, owing to its natural oils, has the potential to become rancid if kept too long.

Research recently published suggests that some non-organic U.S. long grain rice may have 1.4 to 5 times more arsenic than rice from Europe, India or Bangladesh. For this reason, select organically grown rice whenever possible. (More detailed information on this study can be found below in the Individual Concerns section.)

Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the rice are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure its maximal freshness. Whether purchasing rice in bulk or in a packaged container, make sure that there is no evidence of moisture.

Since brown rice still features an oil-rich germ, it is more susceptible to becoming rancid than white rice and therefore should be stored in the refrigerator. Stored in an airtight container, brown rice will keep fresh for about six months.

While white rice varieties should also be stored in an airtight container, they can be kept in a cool, dry place rather than the refrigerator. Stored properly, they will keep fresh for about one year.

The storage of cooked rice is controversial. Most organizations recommend 4-7 days of storage in the refrigerator at most. From all of the available evidence, however, and to err on the safe side, we believe it’s best to cook only the amount of rice you can consume during the day it is cooked, or at most, the following day.

Several potential toxins can be produced in rice under certain conditions involving time, temperature, presence of moisture, bacterial spores, or fungi. It appears that some fungi can turn one of the amino acids (tryptophan) in rice into alpha-picolinic acid, and that this substance, when excessive, can cause hypersensitivity reactions to rice in some persons.

Another mycotoxin (fungus-triggered toxin) called T-2 can also be produced in rice by the fungus Fusarium. About 300 mycotoxins are commonly found in many grains, not only rice, when these grains are allowed to become moldy.

All of the research we’ve see on these potential toxins involves cultivation and harvesting of rice at the agricultural level rather than cooking and storage of rice at home. However, we still suggest erring on the safe side here. Be sure to keep your cooked rice in a tightly sealed container when stored in your refrigerator.

Tips for Preparing Rice

Like all grains, before cooking rice, especially that which is sold in bulk, rinse it thoroughly under running water and then remove any dirt or debris that you may find. After rinsing brown rice, add one part rice to two parts boiling water or broth. After the liquid has returned to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.

To prevent them from sticking, wash medium grain and round rice (like Arborio) under cool running water before cooking.

To cook basmati rice, which has a lighter, fluffier texture, soak it in a bowl of cool water before cooking, stirring frequently and replacing the water four or five times until the water no longer has a milky appearance.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Heat up cooked rice with milk or soymilk. Add in cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and honey for a delicious rice pudding.

Make homemade vegetable sushi rolls by wrapping brown rice and your favorite vegetables in sheets of well-moistened nori.

Use rice leftovers for cold rice salads that are great for on-the-go lunches. Be creative and add either chicken or tofu plus your favorite vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices.

For a simple yet delicious lunch or dinner entrée, serve beans and rice accompanied by the vegetables of your choice.

Rice as a side dish need not be served plain – spruce it up with the toppings of your choice. Some of our favorites include nuts, sesame seeds, healthy sautéed mushrooms, and scallions.

Place rice and chopped vegetables in a pita bread, top with your favorite dressing, and enjoy a quick and easy lunch meal.

INDIVIDUAL RICE CONCERNS

Brown rice is not a commonly allergenic food and is not known to contain measurable amounts of oxalates or purines. In fact, the hypoallergenic (low-allergy) nature of whole grain, organic brown rice makes it a grain alternative commonly recommended by healthcare practitioners.

Non-Organic Rice May Contain Traces of Arsenic

Research conducted by Andrew Mehanrg and colleagues from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland has found that rice grown in the U.S. contains from 1.4 to 5 times more arsenic than rice from Europe, India or Bangladesh. However, the U.S. rice contains less of the most toxic species of arsenic than the rice tested from other nations.

U.S. long grain rice had the highest mean arsenic levels at 0.26μg/g with the highest concentration at 0.4 μg/g.

Indian rice had the least arsenic at 0.05μg/g.

Rice from Bangladesh contained the same amount of arsenic as rice from Europe at 0.15 μg/g.

Low doses of arsenic, such as those found in Meharg’s survey, do not cause acute illness; however, long term exposure may increase cancer risk. Higher levels of exposure can affect various organs including the skin and the respiratory, cardiovascular, immune, genitourinary, reproductive, gastro-intestinal and nervous systems.

Despite U.S. rice containing the highest concentrations of arsenic, it is difficult to evaluate the possible toxicity of the rice that was tested because inorganic arsenic is five to ten times more toxic than organic arsenic. In the U.S. rice, only 42% of the arsenic was inorganic compared to 81% in the Indian rice, 80% in the Bangladeshi and 64% in European rice. But, as the authors point out, organic arsenic can still cause health problems.

The arsenic contamination of U.S. rice may be the result of earlier cotton farming, which relied on arsenic-based pesticides. Land previously used to grow cotton is now used to cultivate rice, particularly in Mississippi and Arkansas.

When rice was first grown in these states, the crops often failed due to straighthead, an arsenic-induced disease. Varieties of rice were developed that are resistant to straighthead, but this increased the risk of arsenic accumulation in apparently healthy grains. The U.S. is currently reviewing all arsenic-based pesticides.

The World’s Healthiest Foods recommends erring on the side of safety. Choose organically grown rice whenever possible. For any crop to be labeled as organic, including rice, stringent testing of soils for contaminants, including arsenic, must be passed.

Nutritional Profile

Rice is an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, and a good source of the minerals selenium and magnesium.

For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Rice.

In-Depth Nutritional Profile

In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Brown riceis also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Introduction to Food Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients.

The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications).

If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn’t contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria.

(To view this food’s in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients – not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good – please use the link below the chart.)

To read this chart accurately, you’ll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food’s nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart.

Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system.

For most of our nutrient ratings, they adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling.” Read more background information and details of our rating system.

Brown Rice
1.00 cup
195.00 grams
216.45 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
(%)
Nutrient
Density
World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating
manganese 1.76 mg 88.0 7.3 excellent
selenium 19.11 mcg 27.3 2.3 good
magnesium 83.85 mg 21.0 1.7 good
tryptophan 0.06 g 18.8 1.6 good
World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating
Rule
excellent DV>=75% OR
Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR
Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Brown rice

In some parts of the world, the word “to eat” literally means “to eat rice.” All varieties of rice are available throughout the year, supplying as much as half of the daily calories for half of the world’s population.

The process that produces brown rice removes only the outermost layer, the hull, of the rice kernel and is the least damaging to its nutritional value.

The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Fully milled and polished white rice is required to be “enriched” with vitamins B1, B3 and iron.

Nutrients in
Brown Rice
1.00 cup (195.00 grams)

Nutrient%Daily Value
manganese88%
selenium27.3%
magnesium20.9%
tryptophan18.7%
Calories (216)12%

This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Brown rice provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Brown rice can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Brown rice, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.

References

  • Anderson JW, Hanna TJ, Peng X, Kryscio RJ. Whole grain foods and heart disease risk. J Am Coll Nutr 2000 Jun;19(3 Suppl):291S-9S 2000. PMID:17670.
  • Cade JE, Burley VJ, Greenwood DC. Dietary fibre and risk of breast cancer in the UK Women’s Cohort Study. Int J Epidemiol. 2007 Jan 24; [Epub ahead of print] 2007. PMID:17251246.
  • Ensminger AH, Ensminger, ME, Kondale JE, Robson JRK. Foods & Nutriton Encyclopedia. Pegus Press, Clovis, California 1983.
  • Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986 1986. PMID:15210.
  • Erkkila AT, Herrington DM, Mozaffarian D, Lichtenstein AH. Cereal fiber and whole-grain intake are associated with reduced progression of coronary-artery atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women with coronary artery disease. Am Heart J. 2005 Jul;150(1):94-101. 2005. PMID:16084154.
  • Fortin, Francois, Editorial Director. The Visual Foods Encyclopedia. Macmillan, New York 1996.
  • Jensen MK, Koh-Banerjee P, Hu FB, Franz M, Sampson L, Gronbaek M, Rimm EB. Intakes of whole grains, bran, and germ and the risk of coronary heart disease in men. Am J Clin Nutr 2004 Dec;80(6):1492-9. 2004. PMID:15585760.
  • Johnsen NF, Hausner H, Olsen A, Tetens I, Christensen J, Knudsen KE, Overvad K, Tjonneland A. Intake of whole grains and vegetables determines the plasma enterolactone concentration of Danish women. J Nutr. 2004 Oct;134(10):2691-7. 2004. PMID:15465768.
  • Liu RH. New finding may be key to ending confusion over link between fiber, colon cancer. American Institute for Cancer Research Press Release, November 3, 2004. 2004.
  • Liu S, Willett WC, Manson JE, Hu FB, Rosner B, Colditz G. Relation between changes in intakes of dietary fiber and grain products and changes in weight and development of obesity among middle-aged women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Nov;78(5):920-7. 2003. PMID:14594777.
  • McKeown NM, Meigs JB, Liu S, Saltzman E, Wilson PW, Jacques PF. Carbohydrate Nutrition, Insulin Resistance, and the Prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. Diabetes Care. 2004 Feb;27(2):538-546. 2004. PMID:14747241.
  • Most MM, Tulley R, Morales S, Lefevre M. Rice bran oil, not fiber, lowers cholesterol in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jan;81(1):64-8. 2005. PMID:15640461.
  • Ni W, Tsuda Y, Takashima S, Sato H, Sato M, Imaizumi K. Anti-atherogenic effect of soya and rice-protein isolate, compared with casein, in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Br J Nutr Jul;90(1):13-20 2003.
  • PlanetRice.net. Chinese Archaeologists Find 9,000-Year-Old Rice Seeds. http://www.planetrice.net/newspub/story.cfm?id=1021 2001.
  • Tabak C, Wijga AH, de Meer G, Janssen NA, Brunekreef B, Smit HA. Diet and asthma in Dutch school children (ISAAC-2). Thorax. 2006 Dec;61(12):1048-53. Epub 2005 Oct 21. 2006. PMID:16244092.
  • Tsai CJ, Leitzmann MF, Willett WC, Giovannucci EL. Long-term intake of dietary fiber and decreased risk of cholecystectomy in women. Am J Gastroenterol. 2004 Jul;99(7):1364-70. 2004. PMID:15233680.
  • van Dam RM, Hu FB, Rosenberg L, Krishnan S, Palmer JR. Dietary calcium and magnesium, major food sources, and risk of type 2 diabetes in U.S. Black women. Diabetes Care. 2006 Oct;29(10):2238-43. 2006. PMID:17003299.
  • Vogt, T. M. Ziegler, R. G. Graubard, B. I et al. Serum selenium and risk of prostate cancer in U.S. blacks and whites. Int J Cancer. 2003 Feb 20; 103(5):664-70 2003.
  • Williams PN, Price AH, Raab A, Hossain A, Feldmann J, Meharg AA. Variation in arsenic speciation and concentration in paddy rice related to dietary exposure. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2005 July;39 (15):5531-5540. 2005. PMID:16124284.
  • Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988 1988. PMID:15220.

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Meanwhile, here’s a recipe for Vegetable Brown Sushi Rolls from Epicurious — followed by more health benefits of brown rice.

Veggie Brown Rice Sushi Roll Ingredients

  • Scant 2/3 cup short-grain brown rice*
  • 1 cup plus 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar**
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi powder**
  • 2 (8 1/4- by 7 1/4-inch) sheets roasted nori** (dried laver)
  • 1/2 Kirby cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks
  • 1/2 carrot, cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks
  • 1/2 firm-ripe small California avocado
  • 3/4 oz radish sprouts*, roots trimmed
  • Special equipment: a bamboo sushi mat**
  • Accompaniments: soy sauce for dipping; sliced gari ** (pickled ginger)
 

Preparation

Rinse rice well and bring to a boil with 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon soy sauce in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat to very low and simmer, tightly covered, until water is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let rice stand, covered, 10 minutes.

While rice is standing, stir together vinegar and remaining teaspoon soy sauce.

Transfer rice to a wide nonmetal bowl (preferably wood, ceramic, or glass) and sprinkle with vinegar mixture, tossing gently with a large spoon to combine. Cool rice, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Stir together wasabi and remaining teaspoon water to form a stiff paste. Let stand at least 15 minutes (to allow flavors to develop).

Place sushi mat on a work surface with slats running crosswise. Arrange 1 sheet nori, shiny side down, on mat, lining up a long edge of sheet with edge of mat nearest you. Using damp fingers, gently press half of rice (about 3/4 cup) onto nori in 1 layer, leaving a 1 3/4-inch border on side farthest from you.

Arrange half of cucumber in an even strip horizontally across rice, starting 1 inch from side nearest you. (You may need to cut pieces to fit from side to side.) Arrange half of carrot just above cucumber in same manner. Peel avocado half and cut lengthwise into thin slices, then arrange half of slices just above carrot in same manner. Repeat with radish sprouts, letting some sprout tops extend beyond edge.

Beginning with edge nearest you, lift mat up with your thumbs, holding filling in place with your fingers, and fold mat over filling so that upper and lower edges of rice meet, then squeeze gently but firmly along length of roll, tugging edge of mat farthest from you to tighten. (Nori border will still be flat on mat.) Open mat and roll log forward to seal with nori border. (Moisture from rice will seal roll.) Transfer roll, seam side down, to a cutting board. Make second log in same manner, then cut each log crosswise into 6 pieces with a wet thin-bladed knife. Serve with wasabi paste, soy sauce, and ginger.

Active time: 25 min Start to finish: 1 1/4 hr. Read More at: http://www.epicurious.com

Sugary Soda Ups Risky Fat Deposits

Sugary soda ups risky fat deposits

Published January 12, 2012
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Drinking a liter of regular cola every day increases the amount of fat in the liver and in the muscles and surrounding the organs in the belly, according to a new Danish study.

That kind of fat buildup has been linked in other studies to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

“This study suggests that the adverse effects of sugary beverages go beyond just weight gain or fat gain. It’s the gaining of the wrong fat in the wrong places,” said Dr. Frank Hu, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved in this study.

The researchers, led by Dr. Bj�rn Richelsen at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark asked people to drink either a liter of water, milk, diet cola or regular cola each day for six months.

The 47 people who participated in the study were all overweight or obese.

Richelsen said his team chose to study this group because they anticipated overweight or obese people would be more sensitive to dietary changes than people of normal weight.

At the end of the study the regular cola drinkers ended up with 25 percent more fat surrounding their organs, and just about doubled the amount of fat in the liver and muscle.

Such increases “are in most studies associated with an enhanced risk for developing the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes…cardiovascular diseases, and non-alcoholic liver diseases,” Richelsen told Reuters Health by email.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of health factors that is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The type of fat Richelsen’s group studied — called ectopic fat — is thought to be more dangerous to people’s metabolic health than “subcutaneous” fat, the kind that collects under the skin.

“It is well-established that ectopic fat is ‘unhealthy’ and induces dysfunction of the organs involved,” Richelsen said.

Hu said the results from Richelsen’s experiment complement those that have surveyed people about their soda drinking habits.

“This study provides another piece of evidence to support the recommendations for the reduction of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption,” Hu told Reuters Health.

DO SODA TAXES WORK?

The American Heart Association recommends drinking no more than about three cans of soda a week, while young men far exceed that, with about two cans a day on average (see Reuters Health report of August 31, 2011).

Some cities and states in the United States have batted around the idea of a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks to curb people’s consumption.

Denmark has instituted a tax on sugary items, but Richelsen said it’s not clear how it has impacted consumers.

One study at a hospital cafeteria found that raising the price of soda by 35 cents reduced sales by 26 percent (see Reuters Health report of June 18, 2010).

The current study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, did not find that the cola drinkers gained more weight than the other groups.

Richelsen said it’s possible that the people reduced the amount of calories they ate or drank to compensate for the extra calories in the pop.

The researchers point out in their study that the sugar in soda from Denmark is different from most sodas in the United States.

In Europe, the sweetener is sucrose, as opposed to the high fructose corn syrup used in the U.S.

“It is quite convincing from the scientific literature that it is the fructose part of the sugar molecule…that is the primary culprit in inducing fat synthesis in the liver,” Richelsen said.

Given that there is extra fructose in high fructose corn syrup, Richelsen said, soda from the U.S. could lead to more pronounced problems with fat gain.

SOURCEhttp://bit.ly/x5kwKU American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online December 28, 2011.