Brown Rice

Now I kick start the habit of having brown rice at home.  I had that at my guy's hse wheneva I'm there.

Let's explore more on brown rice which can be found in Health Promotion Board website and start adapting to the habit of having brown rice in your diet. Do mix brown and white rice together for a start especially when we are too used to having white rice. Gradually, u can increase the intake accordingly to your preference.

Brown rice varieties

There is a variety of brown rice available in the market. The type and amount of colour pigments (anthocyanins) in the rice bran determines the colour of the rice. Similarly, the amount and type of aromatic compounds and fatty acids in different varieties of brown rice determines its unique flavour and aroma. Generally, brown rice has a nutty flavour and a chewy texture when cooked.
Brown Rice refers to rice that is unpolished – where only the hull is removed but the germ and bran are retained. It contains almost five times the fibre and 2 times the iron of white rice.

Red Rice contains a variety of anthocyanins that give its bran a red/maroon colour. Compared to brown rice, it contains similar amount of fibre but twice the amount of iron and 6 times the amount of zinc. It requires less soaking and cooking time as compared to brown rice.

Black Rice has a black coloured bran layer due to its unique anthocyanin combination and these anthocyanins cause black rice to turn into a deep purple colour when cooked. Compared to brown rice, it contains about three times the amount of fibre and requires less cooking time (Table 1). Its variants include purple rice (forbidden rice) and Indonesian black rice.

Purple Rice (Forbidden Rice) is a short grain variant of black rice. It is purple in its uncooked state and deep purple when cooked. It contains similar amount of fibre but almost twice the iron and four times the zinc content of brown rice.

Wild Rice is not a ‘true’ rice, but the grain from a wild-growing and grain-producing grass that is native to North America. Compared to brown rice, it contains similar amount of fibre but twice the amount of zinc and eight times the amount of vitamin E. Wild rice requires the most water, soaking and cooking time among other rice type.
Why consume a variety of brown rice?

Both white and brown rice contain similar amounts of energy, carbohydrates and protein. However, brown rice contains higher amount of vitamins and minerals. The bran of brown rice not only increases the fibre content but also contains a variety of colour pigments that may be beneficial for health. Given that different variety of brown rice contains different amount of nutrients and colour pigments, it may be a good idea to include a variety of them in your diet. This way, you can also enjoy a variety of flavour and texture too!
Consuming a diet rich in whole-grains, such as brown rice, is beneficial to health as it may lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancer. It can also help in weight management. Other than brown rice, whole-grain food also include brown rice beehoon, wholemeal crackers and wholemeal bread.

How to select and store brown rice


As with white rice, brown rice comes in short, medium and long grain. Long grain tends to be more light and fluffy as well as separate when cooked. On the other hand, medium and short grains tend to cling together and are more chewy and tender when cooked. Chose the type that best suits your preference.



Store all uncooked brown rice in pest proof containers with lids. Uncooked brown rice can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 months. To prolong the shelf-life of brown rice, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. In all circumstances, make use the “first-in-first-out” rule to ensure good turnover and maximum freshness.


Cooked rice stored incorrectly can harbour a bacteria called Bacillus cereus, which produces toxins that will cause food poisoning even after reheating. There are a few points you need to remember when storing and reheating cooked rice:

1.Never store cooked rice at room temperature as toxins can be easily formed in such condition

2.If you plan to store cooked rice for later use, cool freshly cooked rice within an hour after cooking. You can divide large quantity of rice into smaller portions to reduce the cooling time. Once cooled, rice should be stored in a covered container in the fridge below 8°C.

3.Do not keep cooked rice for longer than two days and do not reheat it more than once.

4.Refrigerated rice must be reheated until it is piping hot.

Although brown rice requires pre-soaking, more water and longer cooking time as compared to polished rice, it is higher in vitamins, minerals and fibre due to its intact bran and germ. .

Brown rice is a type of whole-grain. Consuming a diet rich in whole-grains is beneficial to health as it may lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancer. It can also help in weight management..

Include different types of brown rice in your diet to enjoy a variety of flavour and texture as well as benefit from its varied nutrient profile.

Courtesy of Health Promotion Board