Whole Grain Rice

By Alyssa Morlacci
Updated on 14. Sep. 2020

Not only does whole grain rice have a great taste, it also offers dietary fibers that keep you satiated throughout the day.

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Whole grain rice...

  • ..offers many B vitamins.
    Unlike white rice, whole grain rice contains valuable nutrients, especially from the B group, which strengthen nerves and are good for the whole body.
  • ...soothes the stomach.
    Brown rice is one of the best remedies for diarrhea, nausea, irritable bowel and an upset stomach. Used in this way, it should be cooked soft (this makes it more digestible) and eaten without any other side dishes.
  • ...aids digestion.
    The outer layer provide fibers, which have a positive effect on sluggish digestion.
  • ...can help you lose weight.
    Despite its relatively high calorie content, brown rice can be suitable for those on a diet as it provides a lot of fiber and makes you feel full.
  • ...can help prevent diabetes.
    A study from the American Harvard Medical School found that natural rice protects against diabetes. Just two portions of brown rice per week reduce the risk by 11 percent.
  • ...contains important nutrients.
    Whole grain rice is significantly richer in minerals than polished rice, and its calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus content is also impressive.
  • ...is gluten-free.
    Anyone with gluten problems can enjoy brown rice without any problems.

What You Should Know About Whole Grain Rice

Whole grain rice (also known as brown rice) dates back to 7,000 B.C. The Chinese cultivated the first rice plants on plantations around 5,000 years ago, and it can be assumed they ate what we call whole grain rice today  because the peeling and polishing of the rice grains was not invented until much later.

It became a trend to remove the brown skin from whole grain rice for several centuries until the western world began leaving it on for its health benefits. Most of the nutrients are in the husk of the rice grain and almost all of them are lost during the husking and polishing process. Many people also find it tastes better than white, polished rice.


The first cultivation of whole grain rice was in China. Today, it thrives wherever it's warm and, above all, humid: In Asia and Latin America, but also in parts of Africa, in Australia and here in the south.


There is no special season for whole grain rice.


Whole grain rice tastes stronger than white rice and has a nutty note.


Apart from the color and taste, whole grain rice is no different from white rice. There are two main varieties: One is brown long grain rice with narrow grains of 6 to 8 millimeters in length. When cooked, it is dry, grainy and loose. Specialities such as basmati, fragrant and jasmine rice are also among the long grain rice varieties. The brown round-grain rice has round grains that are 4 to 5 millimeters in size and become soft and sticky when cooked.

Here you will find all whole grain rice recipes.

How Healthy Is Whole Grain Rice?

Whole grain rice is considered particularly valuable because the unhulled grains still contain their skins. The vegetable protein content is almost the same as in polished white rice, and there is no significant difference in carbohydrates. On the other hand, natural rice has 2.2 percent fat.

However, whole grain rice is much richer in some minerals than polished rice, especially with its calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus content as well as B vitamins, which are important for nerves and the brain. The grains are rich in satiating carbohydrates, contain some protein and fiber, and a good portion of B vitamins. 

Because whole grain rice contains no gluten, it is suitable as a basic food for coeliac disease and gluten intolerance. Even extremely allergic people can often tolerate whole grain rice.

Unfortunately, whole grain rice can also be contaminated with arsenic. Since the toxin is mainly deposited and stored in the outer layers of the rice grain, whole grain rice is generally more contaminated than white rice. Other harmful substances are also deposited in the outer layers of whole grain rice.

Nutritional values of wholemeal rice per 100 grams  
Calories 356
Protein 7.8 grams
Fat 2.2 grams
Carbohydrates 74 grams
Fiber 2.2 grams

Shopping and Cooking Tips


If you want to buy whole grain rice with the lowest possible content of undesirable substances, it is best to prefer the varieties assessed as "good" and "satisfactory."


Because the outer layers of whole grain rice contain most of the fat in addition to other nutrients, it can become rancid if stored for a long time. Therefore, do not buy too much whole grain rice in bulk and store it in a cool place, away from air and light.


In order to get any harmful substances out of whole grain rice as much as possible, wash whole grain rice thoroughly before cooking.

What To Make With Whole Grain Rice

Whole grain rice should be boiled in plenty of sparkling water. This dissolves some of the harmful substances and can then be poured away with the cooking water. Speaking of cooking, because it still contains skins, whole grain rice needs much longer cooking times than white rice — about 25 to 30 minutes.

You can do basically everything with whole grain rice that you would with white rice! The brown grains taste great as a side dish, mixed in with vegetables, wok dishes, soups, as fried rice and rice salad.

The consistency and taste of whole grain rice can take some getting used to; make it easier by mixing whole grain rice with white at first.

Knowledge To Go

Is whole grain rice healthier than white rice? In some respects, yes, because it contains more nutrients since the husks of the rice grain is left on. It's also true that whole grain rice often contains a lot of unwanted pollutants. With the right cooking method, this can be mitigated.

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