100g of uncooked brown rice contains 111 calories. Brown rice is a nutritious whole grain that provides carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has a mild, nutty flavor and chewy texture when cooked. Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice but retains more nutrients.
Calorie and Nutrient Breakdown of Brown Rice
Here is the calorie and macronutrient breakdown for 100g of uncooked brown rice (1):
As you can see, brown rice is primarily composed of carbohydrates, with smaller amounts of protein and fat. The fiber content is also notable at 1.8g per 100g serving.
Brown rice contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, including (1):
– Thiamin: 13% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
– Niacin: 15% of the RDI
– Vitamin B6: 11% of the RDI
– Manganese: 88% of the RDI
– Magnesium: 21% of the RDI
– Phosphorus: 20% of the RDI
– Selenium: 22% of the RDI
It also contains plant compounds called phytonutrients, such as ferulic acid, caffeic acid, and tricin (2). These function as antioxidants to help protect cells from damage and reduce inflammation.
Brown Rice vs. White Rice
Brown rice and white rice both come from the Oryza sativa plant but have some key differences (3):
– Brown rice: 1.8g fiber per 100g
– White rice: 0.4g fiber per 100g
Brown rice has nearly 5 times the amount of fiber as white rice. Fiber slows digestion, promotes fullness, and supports gut and heart health.
– Brown rice: Contains more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Has 13% of the RDI for thiamin vs. 3% in white rice.
– White rice: Lower in most vitamins and minerals. Thiamin, niacin, and phosphorus reduced by 85–90% compared to brown rice.
– Brown rice: Tends to be higher in arsenic than white rice. Arsenic is taken up from the soil.
– White rice: Milling and polishing processes remove arsenic and the bran.
– Brown rice: GI of 50, which is considered low.
– White rice: GI of 73, which is considered high.
The lower GI of brown rice means it does not spike blood sugar levels as quickly or severely as white rice. It’s more suitable for diabetes management.
Overall, brown rice is nutritionally superior to white rice, although arsenic content and longer cooking times are downsides.
How to Cook Brown Rice
Cooking brown rice is simple, though it takes longer than white rice due to the extra bran layers. Here is an easy method (4):
– 1 cup brown rice
– 2 cups water or broth
– Pinch of salt (optional)
1. Rinse the rice in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear. This removes excess starch.
2. Add the rice, liquid, and salt (if using) to a pot. Bring to a boil.
3. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25–45 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
4. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
Cooking time can vary based on the type of brown rice. Long grain varieties take longer compared to short grain. Let the rice rest before serving for perfectly cooked grains.
Tips for Cooking and Serving Brown Rice
Here are some tips and suggestions for cooking and serving delicious brown rice:
– Try broth or stock instead of water for more flavor. Vegetable, chicken, and beef broth all work well.
– Stir in herbs, garlic, or spices toward the end of cooking to further boost flavor.
– For a creamy texture, add 1-2 tbsp butter or oil after cooking.
– Mix in chopped veggies like onions, carrots, peas, or zucchini.
– Top with a protein source like beans, chicken, salmon, or tofu.
– Drizzle with sauces like teriyaki, pesto, curry, or stir fry sauce.
– Use brown rice instead of white rice in recipes like stuffed peppers, casseroles, soups, and salads.
– Store any leftover rice in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Added some veggies and protein to transform it into fried rice.
With a little creativity, brown rice can be used in a wide variety of cuisines and dishes. It pairs well with many flavors and ingredients.
The Benefits of Brown Rice
Here is an overview of the many health benefits associated with brown rice:
Rich in Nutrients and Fiber
Brown rice contains a wide array of vitamins and minerals that provide necessary nutrients and help reduce disease risk. The fiber content promotes digestion and heart health (5).
May Lower Cholesterol
A review of studies found substituting white rice with brown rice resulted in reductions of 13% and 16% in total and LDL “bad” cholesterol levels (6).
Helps Control Blood Sugar
The fiber and healthy carbs in brown rice help slow digestion, preventing unhealthy blood sugar spikes. It has a lower GI than refined grains (7).
Promotes Weight Loss
Thanks to being high in fiber and nutrients but low in calories, brown rice can aid weight control when paired with a balanced diet and active lifestyle (8).
May Reduce Inflammation
The antioxidants in brown rice, including phenolic acids, may help reduce inflammation involved in disease development (9).
Supports Gut Health
Fiber nourishes healthy gut bacteria. The resistant starch in brown rice acts as a prebiotic to promote the growth of good bacteria (10).
Reduces Risk of Disease
Population studies link brown rice intake to reduced risk of chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. However, more research is needed (11).
Potential Downsides of Brown Rice
Brown rice is very healthy overall but has a few potential downsides to consider:
Brown rice contains higher levels of arsenic than white rice, which may be concerning for frequent consumers (12). Rinsing and using plenty of water when cooking can reduce arsenic levels.
Phytic Acid Content
Brown rice contains phytic acid, an antinutrient that can bind to minerals like iron and zinc and reduce their absorption. This is usually only a concern for those at risk of mineral deficiencies.
Longer Cooking Time
The extra bran layers make brown rice take much longer to cook than refined white rice. This must be accounted for when meal planning.
Who Should Choose Brown Rice?
Here are some people who may benefit most from swapping white rice for wholesome brown rice:
Those Looking to Lose Weight
The fiber, nutrients, and ability to keep you full longer make brown rice a smart choice for weight control.
People with Diabetes
The lower GI of brown rice helps regulate blood sugar and insulin response compared to white rice.
Anyone Looking to Boost Fiber
Brown rice provides nearly 5 times as much blood sugar-regulating fiber as white rice.
Those Following a Whole Foods Diet
Brown rice fits nicely into a minimally processed, whole food eating pattern with protective health benefits.
Just about anyone can benefit from adding nutritious whole grain brown rice to their menu in place of refined grains like white rice. It’s especially helpful for those concerned with blood sugar regulation and weight management.
The Bottom Line
To answer the original question – 100g of uncooked brown rice contains approximately 111 calories. It also provides minerals, antioxidants, fiber and protein, making it far more nutritious than white rice.
Incorporating brown rice into your diet in place of processed grains like white rice can provide health benefits like improved cholesterol levels, reduced inflammation, better blood sugar control, and increased weight loss.
Aim to rinse, cook, and store brown rice properly to reduce unwanted arsenic levels. Mix in veggies, proteins, and healthy fats for balanced meals.
Brown rice is a tasty, filling grain that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet by most people. Give it a try for its great texture and flavor.