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I have the word-of-mouth idea that brown, or at least parboilt rice is nutritionally better for you than white rice. But then I read

Is there any downside in eating whole-grain rice instead of white rice?

and there's also the more exotic kinds of rice, like black or red. Now, since I appreciate essentially all kinds of rice (with just a weak preference for Basmati for its taste) - how should I decide which kind of rice to prefer?

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Rice can be primarily distinguished as:

A)polished termed as "white rice"

B)unpolished(whole)termed as "brown rice"

HOW ARE THEY PRODUCED:

When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced.

When the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm,white rice is produced.

WHY BROWN RICE IS NUTRITIONALLY BETTER THAN WHITE RICE:

Several vitamins ,dietary minerals and essential fatty acids are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process.Vitamins lost are-B1,B3 ,traces of vitamin A and E.Minerals lost are iron,magnesium etc.Essential fatty acids in the bran oil and fibres are also lost.

Germinated brown rice is nutritionally better because germination activates various enzymes in the rice, giving rise to a more complete amino acid profile, including GABA.

MEASURES TAKEN TO IMPROVE WHITE RICE:

Fortified rice has been produced with the help of biotechnology which is fortified with traces of the lost minerals,vitamins and other substances into the starchy grain matter itself.Such bio fortified white rice may be nutritious.One such is called golden rice which is fortified with added micronutrients.

Another measure is parboiling the rice before polishing.Parboiling helps the minerals and vitamins to be impregnated to some extent into the starchy grain.

CONCERNS ABOUT ARSENIC CONTENT OF RICE:

FIRSTLY,it depends on the type of soil,pesticide used during farming and varies from place to place. Indeed it possess more threat to people eating brown rice than those eating parboilt, fortified white rice.

SECONDLY several measures are being taken to prevent such casualties.(pls check the reference below)

THIRDLY,researchers have discovered a transporter protein in rice that sequesters arsenic in vacuoles, preventing the toxic element from traveling into grains.

REFERENCES:11. ^ Yandell, Kate (2014-10-04). "How Rice Overcomes Arsenic" . Retrieved 2015-03-27.[source]

WHY IS COLOURED RICE GRAIN MORE NUTRITIOUS THAN THE WHITE:

The genetic colouration of the grain is due to the higher iron,anthocyanin and other antioxidant concentration,absent in white rice.

REFERENCE:[link]

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  • 1. About the "THIRDLY" point: So where is the arsenic, if not in the grain? Or rather, where do the studies which find arsenic actually find it? You would think they only check grains... 2. So it doesn't matter what kind of rice it is originally, just whether it's polished, parboilt or only-husk-removed? 3. Is parboilt rice "good enough" or is it still better to have the brown kind? – einpoklum Jul 17 '17 at 16:03
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    1.its in the layers beneath the husk not exactly inside the grain...2.i hve editd the answer on grain color...Polishing,parboiling etc are only milling processes not to be confused with the natural proprties of the grain i mean the genetics...3.brown is more nutritious than parboiled white but with the arsenic issue I think the latter is better(strictly from the refrnes) – user 33690 Jul 17 '17 at 18:19
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Yes. Brown rice is more nutritious than polished rice as polishing process removes some vitamins and minerals in the process. However, it takes longer to cook, is brown in colour, so less attractive and has chewy mouth feel. Similarly it takes longer to digest too. Some people not used to eating a lot of fibre may initially have some gastric discomfort in the beginning. Parboiling rice does help retain some of the nutrients while milling and is easier on the stomach. It also requires less cooking time than brown rice.

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  • Welcome to Health.SE. Since health is an important topic, the site has a strict policy that all answers should be backed up with reliable references, in order to provide the community with the means to assess the merit of the answer, regardless of the reader's background. See this list of reliable sources. If you still have trouble with this, feel free to visit the help center. – Narusan Jul 29 '17 at 16:43

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