Brown rice is a highly nutritious, gluten-free grain that contains an impressive amount of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial compounds. Consuming whole grains like brown rice can help prevent or improve several health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.

Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories, carbohydrates, and protein, although many types of brown rice contain more fat than white rice. The main differences between the two forms of rice lie in processing and nutritional content. Only the outermost layer (the husk) of a grain of rice is removed to produce brown rice. To produce white rice, the next two layers beneath the husk (the bran layer and the endosperm) are removed. Several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process. A part of these missing nutrients, such as Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, and iron are sometimes added back into the white rice making it “enriched”, as food suppliers in the US are required to do by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) One mineral not added back into white rice is magnesium. When the bran layer is removed to make white rice, the oil in the bran is also removed. Rice bran oil may help lower LDL cholesterol.