At this point in 2013, I think we have all learned to choose brown rice over white rice. White rice is brown rice that has been milled to remove the bran and much of the germ, which drastically reduces fiber and nutrient content. After that, the grain is further processed to remove the outer most layer of germ called the aleurone layer, which contains essential oils. My best advice is to eat foods that are closest if not in their natural form! If you didn’t know this, now you do. I could caution you to not buy white rice, white bread, white coffee filters (unless you like bleach in your cup of joe,) etc, but it is a choice entirely up to you.
But what is all this I keep hearing about “sprouted grains?” Just when I think I figure one thing out, another factor pops up! If it’s not life, it’s food. So what are sprouted grains? Sprouting any grain increases its nutritional value. When any grain sprouts, changes take place within the seed in order for it to grow. Once sprouted, the enzymes within the seed activate nutrients necessary for it to become a plant. Nutrients within the seed are more easily absorbed after the sprouting occurs. Significantly. Take the following for example:
- Calcium in brown rice that is sprouted prior to cooking increases from 7.5 mg to 30 mg per 100g of rice.
- Sprouted brown rice contains higher levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), magnesium, potassium, zinc, and the phytonutrients ferulic acid and gamma oryzanol. Hence, the nickname, “GABA rice.”
- Sprouted brown rice helps to control blood sugar, in turn, helping to prevent diabetes.
- It lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by raising the plasma HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol)
- It promotes a better functioning immune system, which is especially important for nursing mothers. A study performed on nursing mothers showed decreased depression, fatique, and anger.
- Sprouted brown rice has no cholesterol or sodium.
- Sprouted grains can contain twice the oxygen radical absorbtion capacity, otherwise known as ORAC as unsprouted grains.
So what the heck is GABA? GABA is a neurotransmitter for the central nervous system. It is naturally occurring, however adding more of it to your diet through foods is extremely beneficial. I just read that taking supplements can help the brain function more properly, especially for people with ADHD. I will have to talk to my pediatrician and keep you posted. Anyways, a GABA deficiency can contribute to the poor inhibition which allows the brain to become over stimulated, in turn producing a constant state of anxiety, hypertension, heart palpitations, etc.
Today, many grains are harvested before they have the chance to sprout. By simply choosing to buy rice that is sprouted you are increasing your intake of nutrients, promoting better digestion, and overall helping your body function more properly. I’m a firm believer in consuming as much of your vitamins and nutrients through the food you eat as opposed to supplements, so try buying sprouted brown rice. Look for labels in your supermarket. I recently found this delicious line to replace your usual snacks. AND they are NON GMO!!!