The Bad Impact of Eating Brown Rice for Health and How to Overcome It

Bisnis.com, JAKARTA – Nowadays, many people choose to eat brown rice over white rice for the sake of their health.

But is it true that brown rice is actually healthier than white rice?

Brown rice is derived from brown rice which is whole grain, and white rice is the result of simply removing the outer bran layer. The removed bran layer for white rice contains many different types of nutrients, which is why some people choose to eat brown rice over white rice.

And while there are some amazing health benefits of brown rice, such as potentially lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of diabetes and certain cancers, you may be curious about the downsides. One of the main negative side effects of eating brown rice is that it contains higher levels of an anti-nutrient called phytic acid.

Anti-nutrients are compounds that can be found in many different plant products and can actually prevent our bodies from absorbing certain nutrients. Phytate, or phytic acid, is a common anti-nutrient that can be found in legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains such as brown rice.

How does it affect your health?

According to a report published in The International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, phytic acid in food is known to limit the body’s absorption of minerals, particularly iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium. In other words, even if you eat foods with these minerals, phytic acid may rob your body of the benefits of the nutrients you consume.

Many scientists use the term digestibility to calculate how much of a nutrient a consumer absorbs. This figure was found by comparing the level of nutrients consumed with the levels of the same nutrients found in the person’s stool.

A report from the Comprehensive Review of Food Science and Safety states that although brown rice has a lower overall digestibility than white rice, there are certain ways to reduce the effects of its phytic acid content.

The Harvard School of Public Health believes that although the phytates found in rice may cause some negative effects on your mineral absorption, the advantages of eating brown rice still outweigh the disadvantages.

And to keep eating brown rice and avoid higher levels of phytic acid, the Foods Journal suggests soaking brown rice at a higher temperature before cooking to remove some of the natural phytate.

Harvard Health also suggests that brown rice soaked or sprouted before cooking will contain lower levels of phytic acid.

One last thing Harvard Health mentions is that phytic acid blocks most of its mineral absorption with foods eaten at the same time.

So if you eat something high in iron with brown rice for lunch, your brown rice will limit the minerals from that particular food.

This is why Harvard advises against eating a ton of the same phytate-weight foods in one meal.

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