Rice is not rice.
There are many forms of rice, many species, and various climates they are grown. From America-produced wild rice to long-grain rice grown on century-old rice paddies to basmati grown in India, there's a plethora of options when it comes to rice.
Today let's address the primary classification of rice: brown or white.
This distinction matters for your health.
Brown rice consists of the entire grain (the bran, the germ, and the endosperm).
The bran is the outermost layer of the grain, the germ is the embryo of the kernel, and the endosperm is the carbohydrate-rich tissue surrounding the seed.
Brown rice is the most unprocessed form, which retains the vitamins, minerals, and fiber typically lost during refining.
It is an excellent source of selenium, zinc, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, manganese, and other essential nutrients. Some varieties of brown rice include long-, short- and medium-grain, black rice, red rice, and brown basmati.
Like white rice, brown rice can make many dishes, including pilafs, soups, salads, and side dishes.
All that said, brown rice contains parts of the grain that may attack your gut from its lectin-like properties. If you are sensitive gut-wise, opt for white rice over brown.
White rice is rice with the bran and the kernel's outer layer removed during processing. White rice has a mild flavor and a lighter color.
The difference between brown and white rice is that brown rice has removed the hull, but all the nutrients in the kernel remain intact.
Since white rice has been polished, some nutrients found in brown rice are lost. Of course, this also removes the gut-attacking parts of the grain, making it a clean carb option for those who want gluten- and lectin-free.
White rice is digested quickly, which may cause blood sugar levels to spike.
Cooking Tips for Brown and White Rice
Both rice varieties can be used in various dishes, but they should be prepared and cooked differently.
For long-grain and medium-grain brown rice: Rinse the rice thoroughly and soak it in water at room temperature for at least 2 hours, preferably 4 hours. Drain the water and use a 1:2 ratio of water to rice.
For short-grain brown rice: For short-grain brown rice, it is best to use a different water ratio to rice: 1:1.5.
For white rice: For white rice, use a 1:2 ratio of water to rice and rinse thoroughly before cooking. Opt for a smaller grain of white rice for a more delicate texture.
For white and brown rice: Cover the pot during cooking and avoid opening the lid to prevent the rice from becoming sticky.
We prefer white rice over brown due to its better digestibility. Of course, that's up to you and your health situation.
We've found that most people struggle with gut issues due to being assaulted with toxicity daily. For that reason, white rice may be the safer option.