Is Rice Healthy?

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Today I am answering the question, “Is rice healthy?” and explaining the difference between white rice and brown rice.

My answer is that it really depends on you. I will show you the pros and cons of rice and go over what I believe is the healthiest rice today. There is a debate today about if you should consume rice or not:

⁃ The paleo diet community says to stay grain-free and therefore that rice is not healthy
⁃ Chinese medicine followers and vegans think rice can be an incredible superfood

I believe there is validity to both but it depends on the person and the preparation of the rice.

Rice to stay away from: Refined White Rice (This is not jasmine or basmati rice but the sticky white rice from fast food or Chinese restaurants.)

Rice Cons:
• Fiber, minerals and vitamins have been removed.
• Study shows that people are twice as likely to develop diabetes as opposed to those eating whole grain brown rice.
• Contains phytic acid (enzyme inhibitor) which keeps you from absorbing and digesting vitamins and minerals.
• Contains proteins that are difficult to digest

Rice Pros:
• Whole grain brown rice is high in B3 which is good for heart health.
• Whole grain brown rice is high in selenium which supports the thyroid and kidneys.
• Certain types of rice contain GABA, a neurotransmitter that can support the brain and help reduce anxiety as well as support metabolism.

So … is rice healthy? Is brown rice healthy? It depends on how it is prepared. I believe if rice is soaked and sprouted, it unlocks the vitamins and minerals versus most rices that aren’t sprouted.

I personally consume an organic rice from the company, True Roots. It is a germinated brown rice (soaked and sprouted) which kills off phytic acid and is easier to digest.

In Chinese medicine, look up “qi” or “chi.” They believe that short grain brown rice increase your body’s “qi” which is your body’s life source and energy. It is considered to be one of the #1 healing foods. I suggest my patients make a “congee” with chicken bone broth, brown rice and vegetables such as carrots and celery. This chicken vegetable rice soup is healing and nourishing to the body.

In conclusion, is rice healthy? Yes, it can be if you are doing sprouted rice that is traditionally prepared. Simply put, stay away from white refined rice that is void of vitamins and minerals and can cause a spike in your blood sugar and insulin levels.

*This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe, and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.