I love Brown rice,
but when I'm ordering out,
I'll order white rice. I'm sorry, but I just can't see eating sushi with brown rice. When I'm at home, cooking for my family, I'll make brown rice. Brown rice is full of fiber, and fiber makes you feel full, helps drag cholesterol out of your body, and bulks up your poop so you don't get constipated. Plus, brown rice is full of B vitamins - like B1 for muscle function, B3 for sex and stress hormones, and B2 (Riboflavin) for energy production. Don't forget all the great minerals in brown rice - magnesium, phosphorus, and iron - much needed for my overtrained marathon muscles! Wait, though, I'm missing something. Hmmm... oh yeah, I remember! Brown rice can also be high in arsenic!
High in Arsenic?
That's not cool! Yeah, not cool - but true. Just like how all those great vitamins and minerals are found in the grain's outer layers, so is arsenic. Unfortunately, it's not all organic arsenic. Organic arsenic is found naturally in the earth's crust/soil. The kind lurking in your brown rice is inorganic arsenic. Inorganic arsenic comes from pesticides, and poultry fertilizers (I know, sickening that it's in chicken feed). Unlike other grains, rice needs a lot of water to grow, and it can soak up arsenic like a little sponge. On average, brown rice has 80% more inorganic arsenic than white rice.
there are some things you can do, so you don't have to give up brown rice. After all, brown rice is way more nutrient dense than white rice, and it's linked to lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.
So here's how to reduce your exposure to arsenic,
while still enjoying all of the great health benefits of brown rice:
- Choose brown rices that are lower in arsenic: Brown basmati rice from California, India, and Pakistan have about 1/3 less arsenic than other brown rices. Plus brown basmati rice has a delicious nutty flavor you will fall in love with!
- Rinse your raw brown rice before you cook it: Use 6 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. This can remove 15% or more inorganic arsenic
- Cook your brown rice like pasta: Boil a large pot of water. Measure desired amount of rice needed (For example 1 cup). Rinse, as in step #2. Toss your rinsed raw rice into a pot of boiling water. You may want to salt the water with a little vegetable or chicken bullion. Boil for 30-40 minutes depending on how "al dente" you want your rice. When done to desired texture, drain rice in a sieve. Toss with some olive oil, fried onions, garlic, and peppers, and/or spices and serve. Cooking rice like this can remove another 15% or more inorganic arsenic!
You do lose some nutrients when you cook the rice in a large pot of water,
but it sure does make "Perfect Rice".
Try cooking your brown rice like this, and let me know how you make out.
I bet you will never, ever go back to the "Golden Grain Rule" of cooking
1 cup rice to 2 cups water!