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When we talk about natural foods, we always have the brown alternative, as in bread there’s white and brown bread, there’s white and brown rice. It’s only logical to always choose brown which seems much healthy, but … is brown always healthier?
Rice; an often demonized but oh-so-delicious Dominican staple. When trying to lose weight or get healthy, many people think of rice as one of the first things to cut out of their diets. As long as you’re eating it in moderation, you can actually keep it as part of your diet and still be healthy! In fact, if you have trouble sleeping, having a little bit of starch with your dinner can help you sleep better.
But should you eat brown or white rice? Brown rice seems to be king at healthy food restaurants because of its added fiber. The fact is that if you eat too much fiber it can lead to gas, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome. Not to say that you don’t need any fiber – fruits and veggies should make up the bulk of your food throughout the day and those should provide you with plenty of healthy fiber.
The bigger issue with rice is phytic acid. Phytic acid, a very powerful anti-nutrient (meaning it can block the absorption of minerals in the gut). Is found in all grains but it is found in much higher levels in brown rice versus white. Luckily you can decrease phytic acid by soaking your rice in water overnight or at the very least a few hours, to help make it easier to digest and reduce the amount of phytic acid. The trouble is that even if you soak brown rice, since it does contain more phytic acid, it will likely still contain high levels of the anti-nutrient.
Many people also believe that brown rice attracts mold spores, which can cause a variety of health problems. White rice is also known to be hypo-allergenic – safe for practically anyone to eat- while brown rice may be creating an allergic reaction that you may never have thought to be linked to your healthy brown rice.
So go ahead- have some white rice, just remember to soak it!
Jacqueline Banks, who grew up in Casa de Campo, is a certified holistic health counselor and busy mother.
Her focus is on helping other busy moms in all stages of motherhood keep themselves and families healthy and happy. She uses natural and organic solutions to solve individual health problems and promote clean living.
Check out her website at: www.jacquelinebanks.com