Does Brown Rice Have Gluten?

Brown or unmilled rice is basically the whole grain rice. All white rice is derived originally from brown rice. Brown rice has long been believed to be nutritionally more valuable than the white rice. More recent studies have sometimes disputed this due to the potentially high levels of arsenic present in brown rice, but the fact remains that in most common nutritional aspects brown rice is superior to white rice.

For much of the world, rice is the main source of carbohydrates and calories, providing over half of the daily calorie intake. The verb to eat in some languages literally means to eat rice, which goes far to show you how important of a grain rice actually is. The process of converting brown rice into white rice (milling) destroys much of its nutrients which is why brown rice is much more sought after by the nutrition experts of the western world. The main reason rice is eaten in the eastern world, much like bread or potatoes in the western world, is the fact it is extremely rich in carbohydrates and thus an excellent source of daily calories. A single portion of 100 grams contains about 77 grams of Carbohydrates. 

Nutritions In Brown Rice

Other than that, brown rice is also a good source of protein, containing nearly 8 grams of protein per 100 grams of rice, which is pretty high for a grain. The rest of the grain consists of 10 grams of water, bit of fat and milligrams of various vitamins and minerals. A single portion of 200 grams of brown rice will, for instance, be sufficient to almost fill your daily need for manganese intake. So, does brown rice have gluten?

Does Brown Rice Have Gluten? Close up of brown rice grains

Why Brown Rice Is Good For You

The production of brown rice removes only the outer layer of the grain, the hull. This process does almost no damage to the grain’s nutritional value. Further milling than removes the germ layer, making the rice whiter and less valuable nutritionally speaking. Further process of polishing removes another layer, the aleurone layer, thus leaving the rice white as we know it in the western world, but even less nutritious. The reason we remove these layers is to give the rice more endurance, as brown rice is way more susceptible to oxidation and modern day supermarkets require food that can last long on the shelves.

As previously mentioned, brown rice is very rich in manganese, but also contains significant amounts of selenium, phosphorus, copper and magnesium as well as Vitamin B3. Since the milling process that converts it into white rice destroys much of these ingredients, the laws in the USA require white rice to be enriched with Vitamins B1 and B3 as well as iron. But what exactly does brown rice do for our health? So, does brown rice have gluten?

Why Brown Rice Is Good For You A bowl of brown rice.

Well, for starters, brown rice is super rich in manganese, a mineral that influences the production of energy from protein and carbs. The same mineral also helps the synthesis of fatty acids, which are great for our nervous system. The same mineral also influences the production of cholesterol, which in turn helps produce the sex hormones. So, does brown rice have gluten?

Multiple scientific studies conducted by the likes of Harvard University and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have found that people who choose whole grains instead of the processed grains, such as brown rice over white rice, tend to weigh a lot less. Their overall health was also shown to be better, but the studies are not conclusive as such people also tend to lead a healthier lifestyle altogether, not smoking, drinking less and spending more time exercising, as well as generally eating healthier food. Still, it is very likely that eating whole grains will make you weigh less in the long term. So, does brown rice have gluten?

One thing that is proved beyond any doubt is that eating whole grains will lower your cholesterol levels. A study by the Louisiana State University proved that eating whole grains will reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in individuals with elevated cholesterol levels.

All that said, gluten intolerability has become a serious issue in modern day world, and we hear people often asking does this or that product contain gluten. So, does brown rice have gluten?

Does Brown Rice Have Gluten In It? A plate of brown rice and greens.

Does Brown Rice Have Gluten In It?

While some grains like wheat do contain gluten, brown rice is not such a grain. Brown rice contains absolutely no traces of gluten in its natural form. The grain itself is free of gluten. That said, there is still a chance for brown rice to get “contaminated” by gluten in the processes that lead from the field to your kitchen table. So, does brown rice have gluten?

For starters, your brown rice might get some traces of gluten from improper handling by the grocers. For instance, many grocery stores will have brown rice in shelves with white flour or pastries, which in the run may lead to some mixing and some gluten coming in contact with your rice.

Another way for your rice to get in contact with gluten is in the kitchen, especially in restaurants where lots of food is being prepared, often on limited working surfaces. This runs the risk of your rice getting in touch with other foods that do contain gluten and getting “contaminated”. So, does brown rice have gluten?

Simply keeping your brown rice completely separate from the rest of the products in your pantry should do the trick. Make sure you don’t get it mixed up with any other products that contain gluten and be sure to always be careful when purchasing the rice. Furthermore, if you are buying products that contain brown rice within, make sure to read the labels as they will always list if there is gluten in them.

Conclusion

Brown rice is one of the most nutritious and healthy grains out there. It is used by hundreds of millions of Asian people on a daily basis as a basic carbohydrate source. The grain is great for your cholesterol levels, your heart and your weight and people who eat whole grains have been found to be more healthy in general as opposed to people who eat processed grains. Brown rice is also gluten-free, meaning it is completely safe for any celiacs out there or anyone who is partially intolerant to gluten.

Image Credits For Does Brown Rice Have Gluten

Image usage rights based on creative commons 2.0 – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Image One by Bill Dameon – https://www.flickr.com/photos/billdamon/9664907651/

Image Two by Walter Lim – https://www.flickr.com/photos/coolinsights/14622181773/

Image Three by arincumly – https://www.flickr.com/photos/arincrumley/2231951192/

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