Most people may prefer white rice to brown rice. It is because white rice tends to look more clean and fresh. However, do you know that in brown rice actually contain more nutrients than white rice? Yes, brown rice contains more complex nutrients than the refined white rice. Brown rice is actually the unrefined white rice.
The refining process to make brown rice into white rice may decrease the nutrition in it. As we know, the complex nutrients are very beneficial for health, especially for pregnant mother. Curious about what does brown rice can do for pregnancy? Check this out.
Nutritional information of Brown rice
Brown rice is known to have more complex nutrients than white rice. So, what does it has in every cup? The nutritional value of brown rice depends on the types and how we cook the brown rice. This is the example of nutritional value of 1 cup or about 195 gr long grained brown rice.
- Calories 216
- Dietary fiber 3.6 gr
- Carbohydrate 44.77 gr
- Sugars 0.68 gr
- Total fat 1.8 gr
- Protein 5 gr
- Vitamin E 0.1 mg
- Vitamin K 1.2 mcg
- Thiamin 0.2 mg
- Niacin 3.0 mg
- Vitamin B6 0.3 mg
- Folate 7.8 mg
- Pantothenic acid 0.6 mg
- Choline 17.9 mg
- Betaine 1.0 mg
- Calcium 19.5 mg
- Iron 0.8 mg
- Magnesium 83.9 mg
- Phosphorus 162 mg
- Potassium 83.9 mg
- Sodium 10 mg
- Zinc 1.2 mg
- Copper 0.2 mg
- Manganese 1.8 mg
- Selenium 19.1 mcg
The data were retrieved from USDA SR-21 nutrient data. Indeed, here are health benefits of brown rice for pregnancy.
We know that pregnant women need more nutrients for themselves and their unborn baby. Besides rice, fruits are also good for pregnancy. You can read the benefits of those ingredients on Health Benefits of Pears During Pregnancy and Health Benefits of Cherries during Pregnancy
By looking at the nutrient data of brown rice, it seems that the rice is able to do many beneficial things for pregnant women.
- Lowers cholesterol
Although rice is known for its carbohydrate, it also contains fat. But don’t worry, the fat in brown rice included in the healthy fat. It is able to increase HDL, or the good cholesterol while lowering the LDL. This is how brown rice is able to lower the blood cholesterol
- Controls blood pressure
The HDL will also help to control blood pressure. High blood pressure may lead to many pregnancy complications.
- Keep healthy heart
Normal blood pressure will be beneficial for heart health. As we know, this brownie grains are able to control the blood pressure in pregnant ladies. In addition, it also contains antioxidant which is able to fight many diseases, including cardiovascular disease.
- Relieves stress
Stress is a common thing for pregnant ladies. Pregnancy also tends to increase hormone which interfere the mood swing of pregnant lady. On the other hand, brown rice contains minerals which are able to stabilize the mental health by controlling the nervous system.
- Relieves fatigue
The minerals in this unrefined rice are very good to relieve fatigue. It is because the magnesium, niacin, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium are able to boost immune system, provide energy and further release fatigue.
- Prevents insomnia
Stress and fatigue may be the contributor to the lower sleep quality of pregnant women. Nevertheless, during the pregnancy, women need more sleep to make sure they rest well. It will also very good for the fetus. Therefore, consuming brown rice may be the solution.
The ability of the melatonin in the rice to act as sleeping hormone enable mother to sleep well. The melatonin also helps in relaxing the nervous system.
- Boosts immunity
It is important for pregnant woman to stay healthy. In order to do so, expert recommends pregnant woman to eat nutritious food, including brown rice.
The complex nutrition in brown rice will fulfill the need of nutrients to boost immune system. In addition, it will protect mother from infections such as influenza. In addition, it will also give the faster recovery after illness.
- Promotes baby growth
We know that this unrefined rice has an ample nutrition values. Some researcher recommends pregnant lady to consume 350 -400 mg magnesium per day.
It will help the unborn baby to grow well and healthy. besides rice, chocolate is also able to promotes fetal growth. here is the article Health Benefits of Chocolate During Pregnancy For Fetal Growth
- Controls body weight
Although it is common for pregnant mother to gain weight, they still need to control the body weight. It is important to control both mother and unborn baby weight.
On the other hand, brown rice may be the perfect intake to supply the need of nutrients while reducing the unwanted fat. The normal body weight will enable mother to have normal birth and avoid some pregnancy complications.
- Good for nervous system
This rice contains a lot of vitamin B which is good for the brain. It improves the metabolism in the brain. As we know, brain is the center of the nervous system. In addition, the mineral such as magnesium will make sure the nerves keep the good work in relaxed mode. Indeed, there are health benefits of brown rice for pregnancy
- Maintains healthy digestion
Brown rice contains richer dietary fiber than white rice. The dietary fiber will maintain the good bowel movement and avoid digestive problem such as constipation.
- Prevents hemorrhoid
It is important for pregnant women to avoid constipation. It is because constipation may easily stimulate the hemorrhoid in pregnant women and worsen the inflammation. Therefore, high dietary fiber intake is strongly recommended.
- Reduces swelling
Swelling feet is also a common symptom in pregnancy. It is usually contributed by the activity of the mother. In addition to it, the excessive sodium intake will also cause swelling feet. To deal with it, brown rice has high potassium which is able to balance the sodium level.
Further, it will relieve thee swelling feet. Of course, pregnant women need to consider their activities are safe for her pregnancy. One of the suggested activity for pregnancy is yoga. Here is the Health Benefits of Yoga During Pregnancy
- Keeps the fair skin
Pregnant lady may suffer from the skin condition during the pregnancy. Some breakout may appear to the pregnant lady’s skin, such as dullness, freckles, and even acne. As we know, rice has beneficial vitamins for skin. This is the reason why rice had been included in ancient beauty treatment. here is the Amazing Benefits of Applying Rice Water on Face.
Therefore, besides consuming the rice, pregnant ladies can also use the rice for facial mask. We can simply grind the rice, mix it with water to form a paste, and apply it to our skin. Make sure to let it dry before wash it with lukewarm water.
- Reduces vomiting
Among all the vitamins in brown unrefined rice, vitamin B is the dominant value. One type of vitamin B, which is B6, is very good for pregnant mother. Vitamin B6 is able to relieve vomiting in pregnant women. Therefore, experts recommend consuming the rice in every 8 hours to relieve intense vomiting.
Recommended intake of brown rice for pregnancy
Since you have known the side effects of brown rice, it is important to maintain the correct intake of this food. A pregnant lady with 2000 calorie diet will need 6 oz brown rice per day. The recommended way to cook the rice is by steaming. Make sure to eat the rice with the other healthy dishes. Indeed, here are health benefits of brown rice for pregnancy.
Cautions about brown rice during pregnancy
We can say that there is no side effect of consuming brown rice in the recommended portion. However, pharmacological expert states that pregnant women should be careful with the rice bran. The rice bran in brown rice and the other kind of rice contains anti-nutritional compound called as phytate.
Phytate inhibits the absorption of iron. As we know, pregnant women need iron to relieve the teary and weary during pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to make sure the rice grain is clean from the bran before consuming it.