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Facts on Brown Rice

Brown rice is unmilled or partly milled rice, a kind of whole grain. It has a mild nutty flavor, is chewier than white rice, and becomes rancid more quickly. Any rice, including sticky rice, long-grain rice, or short-grain rice, may be eaten as brown rice.

In much of Asia, brown rice (Chinese:  Hanyu Pinyin: caomi; Japanese: genmai) is associated with poverty and wartime shortages, and in the past was rarely eaten except by the sick, the elderly and as a cure for constipation. This traditionally looked-down-upon kind of rice is now more expensive than common white rice, partly due to its low consumption, difficulty of storage and transport, and higher nutritional value.

Role in traditional Chinese medicine
In the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, the oldest-known book of traditional Chinese medicine and the foundation of the macrobiotic diet, the first remedy for disease is a ten-day period during which the patient eats only rice. Traditional medicine workers treated illness first by diet, usually prescribing a regime of rice gruel (short-grain brown rice) for ten days. If this treatment was not successful, then the healer used the roots and leaves of medicinal plants to, in their view, harmonize the person's energies. Acupuncture and moxibustion were employed only as a last resort. The Classic says that if the emotions and the will of the patient are stable, then cereals alone can effect a cure. In particular, rice is mentioned as a vital and harmonious food.

Brown rice and white rice
Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein. The difference between the two lies in processing and nutritional content. If the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, the result is brown rice. If the husk and the bran layer underneath are removed, the result is white rice. Several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process. Several of these missing nutrients, such as B1, B3, and iron are then added back into the white rice making it "enriched." One mineral that is not added back into white rice is magnesium; one cup of cooked long grain brown rice contains 84 mg of magnesium while one cup of white rice contains 19 mg.
When the bran layer is removed to make white rice, the oil in the bran is also removed. A recent study has shown that rice bran oil may help lower LDL cholesterol.

To prepare brown rice, use 1.5 cups of water for each cup of brown rice, and salt to taste. Bring salted water to a boil, and stir in rice. Reduce heat to a minimal simmer, and cook tightly covered for 35 minutes or until all water has been absorbed into rice.

Use slightly more water for sticky rice. Use slightly less water for fluffy, separate rice in the American preferred style. It is possible to substitute a salted broth for the salted water for a different flavor.

A nutritionally superior method of preparation known as GABA Rice or GBR, developed during the United Nations Year of Rice, may be used. This involves soaking washed brown rice for 20 hours in warm water (38 ?C or 100 ?F) prior to cooking it. This process stimulates germination, which activates various enzymes in the rice. By this method, it is possible to obtain a more complete amino acid profile, including GABA.


  Copyright © 2006 Andy's Market. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Brown Rice".

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