12 November, 2013
brown rice for everyday meals- updateComments : 8 Posted in : Main course, Tips to make daily food healthy on by : apsara Tags: arsenic content, basmati rice, brown rice, brown rice soaking, jasmine rice, masoori brown rice, phytic acid in whole grain
There have been 2 concerns about using brown rice on a daily basis.
1) One is that recent studies have shown arsenic content (in the inorganic form) is inherently high in rice grains and it is found in the outer bran. So maybe we are taking in too much arsenic if we consume whole rice everyday. I did some digging on the internet and found some information. Apparently, rice grown in the U.S, especially in the south-central parts have high arsenic content, stemming from the fertilizers used many decades ago that leached into the soil. Rice grown in India/Pakistan and aromatic varieties such as basmati and jasmine rice were found to have the least amount of arsenic.
I was somewhat relieved to find this since my family has been regularly eating brown rice for more than a year. I also found that Sona masoori brown rice that we get in Indian stores here is made in India. So, I suppose that is also clear. Anyway, our body would need a certain amount of arsenic as a trace element and since it from a whole plant food source, there should be a good metabolizing process already in the human body. I am not a toxicology expert, but at least the guidelines given in the above web sources seem to be reliable.
2) In a Food Matters webpage I found that whole grains are best consumed after soaking and discarding the water that was used for the soaking process. This will remove harmful “phytates and tannins” which are enzyme inhibitors. In the long-term, they can lead to some digestion problems.
In a diet that relies heavily on whole rice, I think it makes a lot of sense to make soaking a regular habit.