10. Brown rice and insomnia
According to a study involving 2,000 Japanese men and women, a higher rice intake is associated with better sleep. The researchers used white rice, brown rice, white rice mixed with wheat germ, and white rice mixed with barley.
Nutrients in brown rice
Whole grain brown rice contains all three layers of the kernel-the bran, germ, and endosperm-which provides superior nutrition value over white rice. Brown rice has vital nutrients such as niacin, thiamine, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, iron, and 5 times the fiber of white rice. Brown rice also provides a good supply of protein as well as gamma-oryzanol, a component of rice bran oil which has been made use of for treating menopausal and digestive problems, as well as reducing LDL cholesterol. Brown rice has superior protein compared to wheat as far as essential amino acid quantity is concerned.
History of brown rice
Rice is the most consumed grain in the world and is grown on every continent except for Antarctica. It has been part of the staple diet in Eastern countries for thousands of years. Recordings of rice consumption date back some 5,000 years ago in China. Rice arrived in Egypt in the fourth century b.c. and around that time India was exporting it to Greece and throughout Europe and eventually to the United States. Rice production has been part of U.S. agriculture since the late seventeenth century. China, India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh make up two-thirds of the world’s rice production. The United States ranks eleventh in production but is a major exporter. In the U.S., the top rice producers include Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Arsenic in brown rice
Rice and especially brown rice can be high in arsenic, a toxic heavy metal found naturally in the environment. Long-term consumption of arsenic can increase risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cancer. Moderate consumption of brown rice once or twice a week is however unlikely to be a problem, but if brown rice is a regular part of your diet then you should ensure that the arsenic content in your rice is minimized.