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White Rice Pales in Comparison to These Antioxidant-Rich Grains

Why does switching from white rice to brown rice enable overweight individuals to significantly reduce their weight, their waist size, their blood pressure, and the level of inflammation within their bodies?

We think it might be the fiber. Brown rice has four times as much dietary fiber as white rice, including prebiotic types of fiber that foster the growth of our good bacteria, which may help account for the anti-obesity effects of brown rice.

Besides the prebiotic fiber, when brown rice is milled into white, there are all sorts of vitamins and minerals that also are lost, as well as phytonutrients such as gamma oryzanol, which may help shift one’s preferences to healthier foods. Petri dish studies suggest gamma oryzanol may help lower cholesterol. And, along with other compounds found in the rice bran, which is what makes brown rice brown, gamma oryzanol may inhibit human cancer cell growth through antioxidant means, anti‑proliferative and pro-cancer cell suicide mechanisms, immune system modulation, and increasing barrier protection. However, this was all seen in test tubes, not people.

There are two human studies, though. The Adventist Health Study found that brown rice was one of four foods associated with significantly decreased risk of colorectal polyps, which can turn into colorectal cancer. Eating cooked green vegetables every day was associated with 24 percent lower risk, which was as much as eating dried fruit just three times a week. Eating beans, chickpeas, split peas, or lentils at least three times a week was associated with 33 percent lower risk, but brown rice seemed to garner 40 percent lower risk, and that was just a single serving or more a week.

The other human study reported increased muscle strength after supplementation with a brown rice compound in hopes that it could provide a side effect-free alternative to anabolic steroids. The dose the researchers were giving, however, is equivalent to approximately 17 cups of brown rice a day, so it’s not clear if it works at practical doses.

Naturally pigmented rice, such as black rice and red rice, may be even more nutritious than brown rice. During the last decade, research has shown that these natural anthocyanin plant pigments may have a variety of beneficial effects. Anthocyanins are what make blueberries blue and red cabbage red. “Recent recognition of the fact that taking diet rich in plant foods lowers the risks of cancer promotes the enthusiasms in isolating…[these components as] pharmaceutical agents”—but why not just eat the blueberries or add some red cabbage to your stir fry atop some colorful rice?

Black, purple, and red rice—and their pigment compounds—have been found to be involved in a variety of antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-heart disease, anti-diabetes, and anti-allergy activities, but these were all studies done in a lab. We don’t yet have clinical studies, but these pigmented rice varieties have everything that brown rice has, plus five times more antioxidants and a variety of extra benefits. That’s why I, or rather my rice cooker, has always cooked red, black, or purple rice with a handful of lentils or split peas thrown in for good measure, since they cook in the same time frame.

But why don’t most people even choose brown over white? Well, brown rice does not last as long on the shelves, so it can actually be more expensive even though it’s less processed. White rice, on the other hand, is like food for the apocalypse, even putting Twinkies to shame. White rice was still edible after 30 years—though, by then, it may have a “slight playdough” odor.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

By: Dr. Michael Greger   December 1, 2017
About Michael      Follow Michael at @nutrition_facts
source: www.care2.com
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Yes, There Is Arsenic In Your Rice. Here’s What You Need To Know

Yes, there is arsenic in your rice. 

Yes, arsenic is toxic. And it has been associated with lung, skin and bladder cancer, among other health concerns.

And yes, even though it contains arsenic, you can still eat rice.

But before you freak out about what this means, you need to know what arsenic is.

Arsenic is an element in the earth’s crust that’s naturally found in the air, water and soil, so the fact that it is in rice isn’t entirely alarming. Arsenic can however also be a result of human activity, such as mining or the use of certain pesticides.

There are two types of arsenic: organic (in the biological sense) and inorganic. Inorganic arsenic is the kind that’s dangerous and is associated with adverse health effects ― and it’s the kind that’s present in rice, which is why you might want to moderate your rice intake.

Arsenic finds its way into food because it’s absorbed by the plant as it grows. Some plants absorb more than others, and rice seems to absorb the most among commonly eaten foods. The FDA has even set a limit on the amount of inorganic arsenic allowed in infant rice cereal. But the FDA has not set a limit on the amount of plain rice adults should eat. Instead, they recommend adults “eat a well-balanced diet for good nutrition and to minimize potential adverse consequences from consuming an excess of any one food.”

 So how do you continue eating rice in good conscience? Educate yourself.

Consumer Reports suggests mixing up your grain consumption with other grains that are naturally lower in arsenic. Amaranth, buckwheat, millet and polenta have almost no levels of arsenic. Bulgur, barley, and farro have very low levels. And quinoa has less than rice.

According to the study on arsenic in rice by Consumer Reports, brown rice has higher levels of arsenic than white because the highest levels of the arsenic are found in the husk. The husk is removed to make white rice, so if you eat a lot of brown rice you might want to switch it up with white (despite the fact that brown rice is typically thought to be the better choice, nutritionally).

You can also cook rice in a way that will remove some of the arsenic. While the modern technique of cooking rice in a limited amount water helps retain the most nutrition from the grain, it also retains the arsenic. Boiling the rice in a 6:1 water-to-rice ratio (sort of how you’d cook pasta), draining the excess water once cooked, has been shown to remove up to 60 percent of arsenic levels in rice. Rinsing before you cook can also reduce arsenic levels. In other words, flush the rice with lots of water.

Feel free to still enjoy your lunch rice bowl or get down with fried rice. Just make sure you eat rice in moderation, and/or cook it with lots of water, and your arsenic intake should be in check. But when it comes to infants, regulate their consumption. Because remember, their body weight versus intake is very different than it is for an adult.

14/02/2017      Julie R. Thomson Senior Editor, Taste, HuffPost


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Cooking tips to possibly lessen risk of arsenic in rice

By Monica Eng, Tribune Newspapers      October 03, 2012

Last month rice lovers got some bitter news.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Reports released studies showing “worrisome” levels of cancer-causing arsenic in many popular rices and rice products.

Within days some doctors called for limiting rice consumption, especially in children. Consumer Reports suggested capping weekly servings to less than a cup of cooked rice for kids and about 11/2 cups of cooked rice for adults. And the Illinois Attorney General’s office, which conducted its own tests on infant rice cereal, suggested watching how much rice cereal parents feed to babies.

The FDA, however, stopped short of advising a cap on rice consumption or even a limit on arsenic residues in rice. But it did say that the levels found have prompted the agency to prioritize further testing of about 1,000 more samples by the end of the year in order to come up with “science based” recommendations.

Critics of the Consumer Reports recommendations are quick to point out that no large-scale epidemiological study has yet isolated rice in arsenic as a source of cancer in humans. But no such study has ruled it out either. And all acknowledge that inorganic arsenic is classified as a Class A carcinogen, making high consumption levels a bad idea.

For those who don’t eat much rice, this issue may be small potatoes. But Asian and Latino foods lovers and the nation’s growing legions of gluten-free eaters depend on rice for a large part of their diet. So what are those groups supposed to do, especially those who feed kids, until the FDA comes out with official rice recommendations?


We talked to experts for some advice.

Rinse your rice thoroughly. The FDA cites several studies indicating that “thoroughly rinsing rice until the water is clear (four to six changes of water) reduced the total arsenic content by up to approximately 25-30 percent.”

Check your municipal water report. “Make sure your local water supply does not have high levels of arsenic,” says John Duxbury of Cornell University, who studies arsenic and rice. “If you do have high levels, washing can make it worse. But if you are under 10 parts per billion, it should help.”

Cook and drain your rice sort of like pasta. “We say to use about 6 parts water to 1 part rice,” says Michael Hansen, a senior staff scientist at Consumer Reports. “And then drain off the water after it’s done.” The FDA says that studies show rinsing and cooking in excess water can reduce total arsenic levels by 50 to 60 percent. “However, it should be noted that for enriched rice, rinsing will also likely reduce the amount of added nutrients,” the agency said.

Choose aromatic rices. For those who are already fans of Indian basmati or Thai jasmine rices, the news is not so bad. According to the hundreds of recently released test results, aromatic rice varieties show the lowest levels of inorganic arsenic. Imported basmati and jasmine rices showed about half to one-eighth the level of arsenic as regular rices grown in the Southern U.S.

Consider limiting brown rice consumption. From a nutritional and fiber standpoint, brown rice is tops, but because its bran remains intact it can also hold on to higher levels of arsenic, according to test results. Are the nutritional benefits worth the arsenic load? Hard to say at this point. But some test results indicate that brown rice from California and India have much lower levels of arsenic than brown rice from Southern U.S. states. For now, they may be the best choice.

Choose California. Of the domestic rices tested by Consumer Reports, California rices had lower levels of arsenic than those in other states. FDA rice results also indicated that some U.S. rice had lower levels of arsenic, but the data it released to the public did not specify states of origin.

Be careful when feeding babies rice cereal and rice milk. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office conducted tests of rice cereals for babies that she announced all contained inorganic arsenic. Gerber recently released a statement announcing it now sources its baby cereal rice only from California. Still Consumer Reports advises that children do not drink rice milk and that infant rice cereal (1/4 cup) be served no more than once a day.

meng@tribune.com


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8 Reasons Why Brown Rice Is Healthier Than White Rice

Published on October 13, 2010   by Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND

The next time you reach for the white rice, you may want to reconsider. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently conducted a study that confirms brown rice as the hands-down healthier choice for your dinner grain.

The Health Differences
Brown rice is essentially what almost all forms of white rice looks like before it has been put through a refining process. To process rice into the sparkling white pieces we buy in stores, first the out-side hull and bran is removed. This makes rice lighter and faster to cook.

Rice that has been stripped of its natural wholeness has been stripped of its fiber, proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium and potassium. It is commonly known how important fiber is for digestive health and maintaining a healthy weight.

Have you noticed white rice is usually labeled as “enriched?” White rice is usually full of unnatural fortifications and additives. These fortifications are used because the stripping process removes most of the iron, vitamins, zinc and magnesium from the rice. In fact, white rice is so devoid of nutrients that it does not offer the minimum nutritional requirements of the FDA. For this reason, white rice must be chemically altered with vitamins and iron just so that it can be sold in supermarkets.

This is one of the main reasons why brown rice is much higher in minerals and vitamins. Nutritionally, there is no comparison between these two forms of rice.


1. Brown Rice is Rich in Selenium
Extremely high in selenium, an important trace mineral known to drastically reduce our chances of developing certain forms of cancer, as well as heart disease, inflammatory conditions and rheumatoid arthritis.

2. Brown Rice is Very High in Manganese
One cup of brown rice provides over 80% of our daily manganese requirements. This mineral helps the human body create the important fatty acids that make healthy forms of cholesterol. It is also beneficial to the health of our nervous and reproductive systems.

3. Brown Rice Holds Naturally Occurring Oils
These heart-healthy oils are naturally found in brown rice and can help the body reduce LDL forms of cholesterol.

4. Brown Rice Promotes Weight Loss
Because of its fiber-richness and ability to keep healthy bowel function, brown rice “keeps things moving” in a way that promotes weight-loss and metabolic function. After one bowl of brown rice, you’ll feel more full despite eating a smaller amount of food.

5. Brown Rice is a Whole Grain
Unlike white rice, brown rice has not lost its wholeness. Studies show that six servings of whole grains weekly can lower the creation of arterial plaque build-up and reduce chances of developing heart disease and high cholesterol.

6. Brown Rice is an Antioxidant
Most people associate antioxidants with blueberries and green tea, but many are unaware that brown rice is also a source of antioxidants.

7. Brown Rice is Very High in Fiber
Studies have correlated the high use of whole grains like brown rice with lowered levels of colon cancer. This may be related to its high fiber content. Studies show that fiber actually attaches to cancer-causing substances and toxins, helping to eliminate them from the body, and keeping them from attaching to the cells in our colon. Brown rice also contains the necessary components to stabilize digestion, prevent/relieve constipation and promote proper elimination/bowel function.

8. Brown Rice is a Slow-Release Sugar
Unlike stripped rice, brown rice can help keep blood sugar stabilized as it releases sugars slowly and in a sustained fashion. This makes it a better option for diabetics, as compared to white rice. While studies in Asia have shown a link between the consumption of white rice and risk of type 2 diabetes, new research shows that individuals who eat at least two servings of brown rice weekly can reduce their chances of developing diabetes 2 by up to 11 percent.

I personally recommend using organic wild brown rice as the best option. But, even if you don’t buy organic, just making the switch from white rice to brown rice is a great first step to a healthy diet.

-Dr. G.


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Arsenic Found in Rice at High Levels

By Brenda Goodman, MA
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Sept. 19, 2012 – Arsenic is found in a wide variety of rice and rice products, sometimes at levels that are higher than safe limits set for drinking water, new tests confirm.
Separate test results were released on Wednesday by Consumer Reports, the FDA, and by Lisa Madigan, the attorney general for the state of Illinois. Madigan has been testing rice products as part of a state investigation into arsenic in food.
Based on its tests of 60 products, Consumer Reports says kids and adults should watch how much rice they eat from various sources (like rice milk and rice cereal) to lower their exposure to arsenic, which has been linked to cancer, heart disease, and poor brain function in young children.
“First and foremost, I want to warn parents that every rice cereal product we tested contained arsenic. These results are shocking because rice cereal is often a baby’s first solid food,” Madigan says. “Parents and caregivers should moderate the amount of rice products they feed their children.”
The FDA’s tests of 200 different rice products show levels of harmful inorganic arsenic that are in line with tests performed by Consumer Reports. The magazine analyzed rice products including infant cereals, regular boxed cereals, rice cakes, rice milk, and brown and white rice. Both organic and nonorganic rice products were found to have arsenic.
Eating one serving of rice at the highest levels found in the studies could expose a person to more arsenic than the EPA allows in drinking water.
Based on their findings, Consumer Reports and Madigan have called on the FDA to set limits on arsenic in rice and rice products.
The agency says the issue needs more study. They are continuing to check rice products, with a goal of testing 1,200 by the end of this year. For the time being, regulators say there’s not enough evidence to tell people to limit rice in their diets.
“Our advice right now is that consumers should continue to eat a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of grains — not only for good nutrition but also to minimize any potential consequences from consuming any one particular food,” says FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, MD.

Rice Growers Respond

Rice producers fired back at Consumer Reports. In a lengthy rebuttal posted on the USA Rice Federation web site, they called the magazine’s investigation “incomplete and inaccurate.”
“We believe rice is safe and it’s premature for CR to call on consumers to limit their intake of rice. FDA agrees,” says Stacy Fitzgerald-Redd, a spokeswoman for USA Rice.
The statement points out that there are no established studies directly connecting eating rice with bad health effects.
That’s true, but only because those studies “simply haven’t been conducted,” says Andrew Meharg, PhD, chair of plant and soil science at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Heath Effects at Lower Levels Uncertain

At high levels, arsenic causes discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, numbness, paralysis, and blindness.
But at the low levels most people are exposed to through food and drinking water, the dangers are less clear. People who drink water with moderate levels of arsenic — higher than levels typically seen in the U.S. supply — over a long period of time have higher rates of bladder, lung, and skin cancers. Long-term exposure has also been linked to heart disease, and in children, to problems with learning and IQ.
Because arsenic is naturally found in the soil, water, and air, it’s also found in many fruits and vegetables. Rice is uniquely vulnerable to contamination with arsenic, however, because it’s grown in flooded fields. Rice plants soak it up through their roots and store it in the grains.
“The arsenic levels measured in rice are relatively high. They are higher than levels measured in other grains such as flour products or than those measured in fruit juice,” says Ana Navas-Acien, MD, PhD, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Md.
Her analysis of government nutrition data found that people who eat one rice food item have arsenic levels that were about 44% higher than those who didn’t. People who reported eating two or more items had 70% higher arsenic levels than those who had none.
“I believe it is time to set standards in food, as well as to monitor arsenic levels in food, and to find methods to minimize arsenic exposure through dietary intake, especially rice,” she tells WebMD.

Advice for Consumers

To lower your exposure to arsenic, Consumer Reports offers these tips:
  • Test your water. If your home is not on a public water system, have your water tested for arsenic and lead.
  • Change the way you cook rice. Boiling rice with more water than you need and draining it afterward removes about 30% of the inorganic arsenic. Try using a ratio of 1 cup of rice to 6 cups of water.
  • Eat a varied diet. Some vegetables accumulate arsenic when grown in contaminated soil. To help, clean vegetables thoroughly, especially potato skins.
  • Eat other grains. Wheat and oats have lower levels of arsenic than rice. For those who need to eat gluten-free, quinoa, millet, and amaranth may be better options.
SOURCES: Consumer Reports: “Arsenic in Your Food.” News release, Consumer Reports. FDA: “Arsenic Data Analysis.” News release, FDA. News release, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Stacy Fitzgerald-Redd, spokeswoman, USA Rice Federation, Arlington, Va. Andrew Meharg, PhD, chair of plant and soil science, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland. Ana Navas-Acien, MD, PhD, associate professor of environmental health sciences, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
source:  WebMD  emedicinehealth.com


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8 Reasons Why brown rice is better for you than white rice

1. Selenium

An important trace mineral known to drastically reduce our chances of developing certain forms of cancer, as well as heart disease, inflammatory conditions and rheumatoid arthritis.

2. Manganese

One cup of brown rice gives us over 80% of our daily manganese requirements. This is very beneficial to the health of our nervous and reproductive systems.

3. Natural Oils

These heart-healthy oils are naturally found in brown rice and can help the body reduce LDL forms of cholesterol.

4. Weight Loss

Its fiber-richness keeps a healthy bowel function. And after one bowl of brown rice, you’ll feel fuller but overall ate a smaller amount of food.

5. Whole Grain

Unlike white rice, brown rice has not lost its wholeness. Studies show that six servings of whole grains weekly can lower the creation of arterial plaque build-up and reduce chances of developing heart disease and high cholesterol.

6. Antioxidant

Most people associate antioxidants with blueberries and green tea, but brown rice is also a source of antioxidants.

7. Fiber

Studies have correlated the high use of whole grains like brown rice with lowered levels of colon cancer. Brown rice also contains the necessary components to stabilize digestion, prevent/relieve constipation and promote proper elimination/bowel function.

8. Slow-Release Sugar

Unlike stripped white rice, brown rice can help keep blood sugar stabilized, as it releases sugars slowly and in a sustained fashion. This makes it a better option for diabetics, as compared to white rice. 

Organic wild brown rice is the healthiest choice. But, even just making the switch from white rice to brown rice is a great step to a better diet. You’ll enjoy its rich nutty flavor and your body will love it for its health benefits. ♥



source: Happyou