What Is Whole Grain Rice?

B. Koch

Whole grain rice differs from other types of rice because it is unprocessed and contains all parts of the grain. As a result, it is usually brown and contains high levels of fiber and nutrients. Eating whole grain rice along with other whole grain foods is considered to be very healthy.

Rice plants.
Rice plants.

The majority of whole grains contain three parts, the bran, the kernel, and the germ. The bran is the outside, or shell, of the grain and protects the innermost parts. The kernel is the largest part of the grain, and is located under the bran. The innermost part of the grain is the germ, which is a very small part of the whole and is the part of the grain that sprouts when it is planted as a seed.

Black rice is a whole grain variety.
Black rice is a whole grain variety.

Grains, including rice, may be found in three different forms, including whole, refined, or enriched. Whole grain rice has not been processed and still has its bran, germ, and kernel. Refined rice has been processed so that both the bran and the germ are removed from the grain, leaving only the kernel. Enriched grains are refined grains that have had some of their nutrients restored.

Different types of rice.
Different types of rice.

It is not unusual for whole grain rice to be known as brown rice, as it is naturally a light brown color. Refined and enriched rice are typically white, as the aspects of the grain that make it brown have been removed. Processed white rice usually lasts longer than brown rice, cooks faster, and creates a softer food. Whole grain rice, on the other hand, takes more time to cook but is considered much more flavorful and is much more nutritious than white rice.

Whole grain rise is the most nutritious rice. It contains a great amount of fiber, found mostly in the grain's bran layer. It also contains high levels of vitamins and minerals that are found in the germ of the grain. The kernel, which is the only original part of the rice left in refined and enriched rice, contains very little nutrients. Enriched rice has had some of the nutrients lost in the refining process replaced, but no fiber can be replaced, and it is still not as nutritious as whole grain rice.

Eating whole grain foods, including whole grain rice, can be beneficial for health. These foods have been linked to a reduction in the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even some kinds of cancer. This is thought to be because whole grain rice is low in fat but very high in fiber and nutrients.

Whole grain rice is often called brown rice.
Whole grain rice is often called brown rice.

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Discussion Comments


I have never been able to get used to the taste and texture of brown rice. It is not bad, but it is not a perfect substitution for white rice. There are certain things that I can eat brown rice with and others where I would really prefer to have some fluffy, sticky white rice.

Chinese food is a big one. My girlfriend always orders from this place that gives you the option of brown or white rice. She is really health conscious so she always orders brown. Sweet and sour chicken with brown rice just does not taste the same.


Brown rice is one of the true super foods. It is packed with vitamins, minerals and super healthy fibers. I eat some almost every day because it is hard to find a tasty grain that is also healthy.

I am a stir fry lover. Most nights for dinner I will saute up some veggies and a little bit of chicken and eat this over brown rice. It is simple, good for you and delicious, what more could you want in a meal?

I always eat brown rice. At first I did it for health reasons and now I do it mostly because I prefer the taste. It is kind of like once you start eating wheat bread it is hard to go back to eating white bread. The processed stuff just tastes so bland and flavorless.
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