Many people love pasta and rice. However, most of us prefer the white versions of these foods over the brown because they look much tastier. However, where nutrition is concerned, brown bread, rice and pasta are much better for you. If you want to include more brown bread, rice and pasta in your diet, or if you are just curious about the nutritional benefits, then read on. Also, bear in mind that white rice and pasta, before they were processed looked just like their brown counterparts.
Processing Out the Nutrients
When brown rice and the wheat that later will be processed into white flour for pasta and bread are processed, the grains are damaged. Their hulls and outer shells are stripped away. With the stripping away of their outer coatings, the nutrients in those coatings are lost. This may not seem like a big deal, but it really is. Along with the nutrients from the coatings, the grains lose the protection their coatings provided. This means that the bleaching that makes wheat and rice white will leech more nutrients out of the grains than the loss of the coatings did. By the time brown rice and wheat have been processed fully, much of their nutrient value and flavor are gone. Some manufacturers go through the trouble of adding vitamins back in, but these products are not as good as eating whole-grain foods in the first place.
Losing the Fiber
One of the nutrients commonly lost due to processing is fiber. Fiber is a very important nutrient, one that all of us need. Fiber helps keep the digestive tract clear. It is very difficult for the body to digest, so when it travels through our bowels, it gathers up other waste products along the way, carrying them out of the body. It also tends to regulate the function of the digestive tract. Brown rice, as well as unprocessed wheat, still contain all the fiber present in the raw grains and are an excellent way to get your daily allowance.
Lower the Risk of Chronic Diseases
Whole grain foods, like brown rice, pasta and bread can lower the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes when eaten as part of a healthy diet. The benefits of whole grain consumption are not only for diabetics. Eating whole grain cuts your risk of strokes thirty to thirty-six per cent. It can also cut the risk of heart disease, the number one killer in the United States by twenty to twenty-five per cent. That is an amazing drop in numbers for one simple dietary choice.
Whole grains such as brown rice and the wheat used to make the darker breads like whole wheat lose most of their nutrients when processed, leaving them mainly starch with no fiber, and even though some bread manufacturers put back some of the lost nutrients, it is still not enough. Therefore, eating whole grain foods is an important health decision. Processed grains also have a lack of fiber, which our bodies use to balance the digestive tract. Whole grains have a number of amazing chronic disease-reducing benefits. That is why looks are not everything and brown really is better than white when it comes to your health.