Many natural health experts and nutritionists recommend to choose brown rice over white rice for psoriasis healing because it is naturally gluten free, free from trans fats and cholesterol and contains dietary fibers, vital minerals, vitamins and folates in good amounts. A perfect wholesome staple food for everyday consumption.
Wheat gluten, dairy and nightshades are the three most common food allergens which can affect the already compromised gut health to worsen the leaky gut syndrome and trigger an autoimmune disease including psoriasis. Among these 3 allergens, wheat gluten is the most damaging. Gluten, a type of complex protein, is found in excess in commonly used grains- wheat, rye and barley. It is hard to digest for the human gut. It irritates the gut linings and increases the intestinal permeability to seep through into the bloodstream undigested. Your immune system would consider these undigested protein as a foreign invader and would trigger an autoimmune reaction to worsen the psoriasis symptoms. That’s why, it is always suggested to avoid gluten in your diet till you significantly heal your gut and improve the skin condition. Then, you can slowly re-introduce gluten containing foods while observing the body’s reaction to these foods.
Anyways, wheat is a staple food- bread, muffins, pasta, crackers, Indian bread (chapati)- we consume all these foods everyday having wheat as the chief ingredient. So, avoiding wheat can prove a nightmare if we can’t find a proper gluten free wholesome food substitute which can provide all the nutrients without the culprit gluten.
After wheat, the most common staple is rice, I guess. So, it is obvious for people to turn to rice in their quest to go gluten free and luckily, all types of rice- white, brown and wild- are gluten free.
Rice is a wonderful staple- a light food that suppresses the appetite and makes you feel fuller quite easily. Hence, chances of over-eating reduce significantly. Also, it is fairly cheap, fits in everyone’s budget and easily available. But, choosing rice as the staple means we have to assure that the variety of rice chosen by us should be nutritious enough so that we doesn’t face the risk of nutritional deficiency which is not desired at all. In that case, brown rice is definitely a better choice than white rice for so many reasons which you would find out in this article.
Rice is a popular food
Rice is one of the most widely consumed cereal grains across the world. Rice goes well with a variety of foods like various vegetable curries, chicken and seafood. For most of the rice eating people, rice means white rice only. They are not much aware of the brown rice. Recently, health conscious people have started to replace white rice with brown rice which is labelled as a far healthier option than white rice. The web world is just filled up with piles of information how brown rice is better than white one.
- Just like wheat, brown rice is a whole grain. Hence, if you are looking for a gluten free whole grain alternative, then brown rice can be a perfect choice for you.
- According to the USA Rice Federation, brown rice is a naturally gluten free food, low in trans fats and cholesterol.
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has rated brown rice as a top food in terms of nutrition and other intrinsic health benefits.
- Brown rice can help in stabilizing blood sugar levels. As per studies, people who consume one half bowl of brown rice every day reduce their risks of getting attacked by diabetes by more than 50%. In contrast, people who consume white rice on a routine basis increase their chances of developing diabetes by 100%.
In short, brown rice is a wholesome grain food- rich in dietary fibers and nutrients and quite filling- suppresses the appetite and you seldom eat too much of it. It has a more stabilizing action on the blood sugar and can prove a good alternative to the wheat and other gluten based grains.
Difference between Brown rice and white rice
Below flow chart explains the process of manufacturing brown and white rice respectively from raw rice grain.
- Lesser the processing, more will be the nutritional content. Hence, the nutritional content of brown rice is better than white rice.
- Just as refined white flour is the highly processed form of whole wheat flour, similarly white rice is the highly processed form of brown rice.
Choosing brown rice over wheat and white rice
Being a whole grain food, brown rice has the good properties of wheat, but, without the culprit- gluten. As we have discussed numerous times in our blog that a healthy, restricted diet is the most important aspect of holistic healing of psoriasis and it involves avoiding the troublemaker foods- gluten, nightshades and dairy. Everytime, we consume gluten, this largely undigested protein wreck a havoc on the gut to create inflammation and autoimmune response. Hence, it is certainly the most important step to avoid gluten altogether for a few months till you improve your gut health and intestinal integrity. Replacing wheat with brown rice as an everyday food is definitely the way to go here.
In comparison to white rice, brown rice is more natural because it is less refined (as explained earlier). Hence, the nutritional content in brown rice is significantly better than white rice. White rice, being a refined carbohydrate, doesn’t offer much when it comes to the nutrients.
Click here to read: Going gluten free helped a mother-daughter duo
Nutritional content: Brown rice vs. White rice
|Nutrients per 100 gms of Rice||Brown Rice (uncooked)||White Rice (uncooked)|
|Total fat (grams)||2.7||0.6|
|Vitamin B1 (mg)||0.40||0.06|
|Vitamin B3 (mg)||4.7||1.5|
From the above table, what we can conclude is:
- Brown rice contains almost three times more dietary fibers than white rice
- Iron and Zinc content in brown rice is almost double than white rice
- Magnesium content is almost six times than white rice.
- Selenium and Manganese content in brown rice is also much higher than white rice.
Choose brown rice over white rice for Psoriasis healing
I have tried to compile various health benefits of Brown rice in relation to psoriasis (and related issues) over White rice.
- Brown rice is a wholesome food; rich in dietary fiber and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and selenium. Choose brown rice over white rice for Psoriasis healing
- Higher content of dietary fiber will improve bowel movement, reduces chances of constipation and promotes weight loss. Due to high content of dietary fiber, it makes you feel fuller easily and hence, restrict you from over eating. Also, brown rice contains a good amount of insoluble fiber which stays in the stomach for longer duration and can promote improved digestion of food and better elimination of body toxins. In short, brown rice promotes smooth bowel movement and assists in the cleansing of the whole intestinal tract.
Click here to read: Avoid constipation at any cost
- Higher content of zinc in brown rice is really attractive because zinc deficiency is often related to psoriasis. Dr Pagano, in his book- Healing Psoriasis: The Natural Alternative– has also recommended taking zinc supplements to make up for its deficiency. Many dermatologists also recommend zinc supplements to treat psoriasis, vitiligo and hair loss.
- Higher content of magnesium is also a highly appreciable benefit of brown rice. Magnesium relaxes the nervous system, reduces stress, improves bowel movement and maintains body pH balance. Also, magnesium is an important mineral for regulating blood pressure as well. One cup of brown rice provides almost 20% of the daily recommended value of magnesium.
- Brown rice is a good diet choice if you are dealing Candida yeast infection. The natural wholesomeness of brown rice coupled with high dietary fiber content and digestive enzymes will help sensitive digestive systems to get rid of overgrowth of Candida organisms.
- Iron content is twice in brown rice (than white rice). Iron is an oxygen carrier from one part of the body to another and helps them function properly. Other functions of iron like hemoglobin formation are very well known.
- Brown rice is higher in manganese which can help synthesize the body fats. A cup of brown rice can fulfill almost 80% of the daily requirement of manganese in the body. Manganese also helps in the formation of healthy cholesterol and fighting free radicals. Regular consumption of brown rice can help you maintain your BMI (body mass index) and body fat to get rid of obesity.
- Rich in anti-oxidants. This amazing health benefit of brown rice is often underrated. But, anti-oxidant capacity of brown rice is at par with fruits and vegetables like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.
- Higher content of selenium in brown rice can boost your body immunity to help you fight against various diseases. One cup of brown rice provides more than 25% of the daily recommended value of selenium.
Brown rice for better health- Research studies
- Helps in weight management– In comparison to white rice, brown rice is a rich source of dietary fibers and has a low glycemic index. Unlike white rice, it doesn’t cause a sudden spike in the blood sugar. Rather, it causes a more stable and long lasting rise in blood sugar. Hence, the benefits of brown rice for weight management should not be taken as a surprise. Researchers at the Department of Food and Nutrition, Hanyang University, South Korea observed that obese women who consumed brown rice as one of the meals of the day observed better weight management and antioxidantdiant enzyme activity than those who consume white rice.
Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Nov 2003 involved 74000 healthy female nurses. They were followed for a period of 12 years and it was concluded that those who consumed more of whole grains and cereals enjoyed better Body Mass Index than those who consumed more of refined grains like white rice.
- Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes– High intake of white rice is associated with the high risk of type 2 diabetes. According to a report published by the department of nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health- replacing 50 grams per day of white rice with brown rice can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 16%. This report further recommen that most of the dietary carbohydrate should come from whole grains lik brown rice instead of refined grains like white rice.
- Reduces body inflammation due to polyphenolic antioxidants– Most of the whole grains have potent antioxidant activity- thanks to the polyphenols they contain. A case study performed by the Iranian researchers observed that brown rice diet can help reduce inflammatory responses in the body to improve cardiovascular health.
- Cancer prevention– A study performed by the researchers at the University of Leicester, UK suggested that brown rice can help reduce the risk of colon cancer and breast cancer in comparison to white rice. The antioxidant phenolics play a vital role in this anti-cancer activity of brown rice.
Why Brown rice is somewhat less popular
In spite of all these positive attributes, brown rice is still less popular in comparison to white rice mainly because:
- Soaking time (before cooking) is high
- It takes more time to cook
- Nutty in flavor (less tasty than white rice)
- More chewy due to high fiber content
- Availability in the market is not as easy as in the case of white rice
But as we have discussed in earlier posts as well, to tackle a stubborn problem like psoriasis, we need to display a very high level of discipline and dedication and hence, eating brown rice instead of white rice is undoubtedly a good idea considering all these health benefits.
While cooking brown rice, read the cooking instructions properly because brown rice needs more water, more cooking time and more soaking time than white rice.
The Arsenic factor
A lot of people have reservations about brown rice that the arsenic content in brown rice is higher than white rice and other grains. Arsenic is a chemical substance which is found in low levels in the water, soil and air. Various plants and grains absorb this somewhat toxic chemical and when we consume those grains and plant foods, this arsenic makes a way into our body. Consumption of arsenic in trace amounts is not a big deal. It is the long term exposure to arsenic which can cause serious health hazards to your body.
Brown rice is likely to have higher amounts of arsenic than white rice because brown rice absorbs a lot of water while growing. According to an article published by the Consumer Reports, brown rice contains more arsenic than the white rice; mainly concentrated in the outer layer (bran) of the rice.
However, a research study conducted by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014 included 1000 samples of brown rice. The analysis of these samples revealed that the arsenic content was too less to cause any serious health concerns. To be on the safer side, the FDA recommended thorough rinsing, soaking and using extra water while cooking to further reduce the arsenic level significantly.
Some easy tips to reduce arsenic levels in Brown rice–
- Wash the rice with ample amount of water- repeated washing by changing water until the water becomes clear.
- Then soak the rice for an overnight before cooking. Add a pinch of baking soda to the soaking water.
- After soaking, cook them adequately. Cooking/ boiling brown rice takes more water than white rice- almost double. For example, if you are taking 2 cups of water for boiling 1 cup white rice, then take 4 cups of water for the same amount of brown rice.
This rinsing, soaking and adequately cooking with enough water would not only reduce the arsenic content, but, lower down the other anti-nutrients (lectins and phytic acid) found in a natural grain like brown rice. Hence, do follow this method everytime you prepare brown rice and enjoy those nutritious food for the best of health benefits
From where to buy
Opt for Organic brown rice; free from chemicals based insecticides and grown in an eco-friendly manner. You can easily get organic brown rice from a departmental store near to you.
You can buy them online also: –
|USA readers||India readers||UK readers|
|Organic Brown Rice||Click here||Click here||Click here|
Brown rice is a wholesome food than white rice, rich in essential nutrients like dietary fiber, protein and essential minerals like magnesium, manganese, iron, potassium, selenium. It can play a role in healing problems like obesity, diabetes, Candida yeast infection, indigestion, constipation and hence psoriasis. Choose brown rice over white rice for psoriasis healing which is fortified with all natural nutrients to enjoy a healthy healing ride.
Although brown rice takes more time to cook and its taste is not as delicious as white rice, but, the nutritional benefits of brown rice are worth the extra time and somewhat compromising taste.
Also read: Cucumber is a SUPER food for Psoriasis