Brown Rice can be defined those grains with an intact kernel that is surrounded by layers of cellulose. Not just in colour, but in all its features brown rice differs from its white cousin. However, the only similarity is that both of them belong to the same Indica (long-grain) family. Brown rice is rich in its nutritional value because only the outer layer or the hull of the rice seed gets removed. The nutritional loss suffered by brown rice when it gets transformed into white rice is manifold. This transformation process takes away sixty seven per cent of Vitamin B3, eighty per cent of Vitamin B1, ninety per cent of Vitamin B6 and fifty per cent each of manganese and phosphorous. Apart from this huge loss, white rice also lacks dietary fibre and other essential fatty acids. After the milling and polishing works get completed, the white rice is “re-enriched” with vitamins B1, B3 and iron. However, these vitamins and minerals are not re-induced into the grains in their original proportions. Around eleven nutrients other than these three get completely neglected as no sort of “enrichment” is done to restore them.
It is during the stage of polishing that rice grains loose their aleurone layer, which contains essential fats. This layer is removed in order to increase the shelf life of the final product. The bran layer of rice grains, which is rich in digestible fibre, is taken out when it is milled. As a result, the white rice that we buy from market is nothing but a refined starch that is devoid of all its nutrients. The fibre content in brown rice together with selenium present in it is found to be effective against cancer. Women who eat the whole grains are found to weigh less. Brown rice also offers significant cardiovascular benefits to postmenopausal women by avoiding gallstones.