Sprouting Brown Rice Improves Eating Quality & Cooking Properties

Sprouting grains, by soaking them and allowing them to germinate, is a popular practice among health conscious consumers and a growing number of food manufacturers. In this review, scientists summarized what we know about how the sprouting process affects brown rice (increases GABA, decreases amylose, slightly increases protein, and other bioactive changes), as well as common practices (time/temperature) for producing these results. Most interestingly, the researchers found that sprouting brown rice “increases the rate of water absorption and softens the cooked [brown rice] kernels, improving eating quality,” and that “stickiness and blandness decreased.” They also report that sprouted brown rice is “easier to cook and required less cooking time” than regular brown rice.
Food Chemistry. 2016 Apr 1;196:259-71. (Cho DH et al.)

Diet Quality / Nutrients
Taste / Palatability
Traditional Diets, General

Sprouting Brown Rice Can Increase Fiber

Brown rice is a reliable healthy option, but by sprouting it, you might get even more health benefits. In a study in Ecuador, researchers compared different levels of nutrients in six varieties of brown rice when it was raw, soaked, and sprouted. The researchers found that dietary fiber content increased (6.1-13.6%) with sprouting time and temperature in all varieties of brown rice, and that phytic acid content decreased noticeably. The effect of sprouting on other nutrients, such as peptide content and protein hydrolysis, varied across the different varieties of brown rice.
Plant Foods For Human Nutrition. 2014 Sep;69(3):261-7. (Caceres PJ et al.)

Diet Quality / Nutrients
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While fruits and vegetables are known as sources of healthy antioxidants and phenolic compounds, research increasingly shows that whole grains contain them too. In this review, researchers analyzed the total phenolic contents, phenolic acid profile and antioxidant activity of several whole grains, including wheat, corn, rice, barley, sorghum, rye, oat and millet. The review shows that whole grains contain a number of phytochemicals (including antioxidants) and significantly exhibit antioxidant activity. Researchers conclude that the consumption of whole grains is considered to have significant health benefits including prevention of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer because of the contribution of phenolic compounds. 
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2014 July 30. [epub ahead of print] (Van Hung P et al.)

Diabetes / Insulin / Glucose
Diet Quality / Nutrients
Heart / Cardiovascular Disease
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Brown Rice Reduces Diabetes Risk

At the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in India, researchers carried out a randomized crossover trial in which they studied the effects of three diets on fifteen overweight Asian Indians. Test meals were identical for the three groups except for the type of rice (brown or white) and the addition of legumes. Fasting serum insulin was measured at the beginning and end of each 5-day test period, during which the subjects underwent continuous glucose monitoring. The scientists found that IAUC (incremental area under the curve, a measure of blood sugar management) was 19.8% lower with brown rice and 22.9% lower with brown rice and legumes, as compared to white rice. Fasting insulin was also markedly lower in the two brown rice phases of the study.
Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics. 2014 May; 16(5);317-25. (Mohan et al.)

Diabetes / Insulin / Glucose
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Brown Rice Lowers Inflammation, Health Markers

Scientists at Isfahan University in Iran carried out a randomized crossover study of 40 overweight or obese women, which consisted of two 6-week interventions separated by a 2-week washout period. During the interventions, women were asked to consumer either 150g or brown rice or the same amount of white rice daily, as part of a prescribed weight-loss diet including 50-60% carbohydrates, 15-20% protein and ≤30% fat. Eating brown rice had beneficial impact on both inflammation and cardiovascular risk markers, including decreases in weight, waist and hip circumference, BMI, diastolic blood pressure and hs-CRP.
International Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2014 Apr;5(4):478-88. (Kazemzadeh et al.)

Blood Pressure / Hypertension
Metabolic Syndrome
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Darker Rice Richer in Antioxidants

Scientists in Portugal studied different varieties of rice to determine which components might be linked to lower incidence of some chronic diseases in rice-consuming regions of the world. After building a database compiling information from 316 papers, they determined that black rice had the highest level of antioxidants, followed in descending order by purple, red and brown rice. Based on their findings, they advised that “rice should be preferentially consumed in the form of bran or as whole grain.” They also found, however, that many other cereal grains had higher levels of most antioxidants than rice.
Food Science & Nutrition. 2014 Mar;2(2):75-104.  (Goufo et al.)

Diet Quality / Nutrients
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