Rice is one of the most popular and versatile grains and is a food used all over the world. While saying yes to rice is an easy choice, the difficult choice comes when you have to decide between white or brown rice. If you eat white rice, you are eating the grain after the husk, germ, and bran have been removed. If you eat brown rice, you’re eating the grain in its fullest, most complete form.

Ultimately, because of the processing, brown rice is better for your overall health. But what are the specific benefits of choosing brown rice? To find out, we talked with two expert dietitians about how brown rice can impact your health in various ways.

Learn more about the benefits of brown rice, and for more healthy eating tips, check out One Major Effect of Eating Cantaloupe.

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Even though rice gets a bad rap, this grain is actually full of important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

“Brown rice is super healthy. It contains nutrients including fiber and magnesium that can keep your heart healthy and may reduce your risk of heart disease,” says medical board expert Lisa Young, PhD, RDNauthor of Finally Full, Finally Slim. “The fiber in brown rice is healthy for your digestive tract as well and can prevent constipation and help keep your bowels regular.”

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Many people may assume that they need to give up grains completely if they want to lose or maintain their current weight. However, brown rice can actually be a helpful addition to your healthy eating plan.

“Brown rice, despite being a starch, can even aid with weight control as long as you keep your portion size at check. The fiber can help you feel full and prevent you from being hungry. To lose weight and feel full, I advise replacing white rice with brown rice to avoid feeling hungry,” says Young.

Holding brown rice in hand over a glass bowl of rice
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While many other types of carbs can leave you feeling hungry after, brown rice can help you stay full and satisfied after eating it.

“Brown rice contains 3.5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per cup! Both of these slow down digestion, helping you get full faster and stay full longer after eating. Brown rice can contribute to feelings of satisfaction after eating, especially if paired with a protein and fibrous veggies,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and another member of our medical board.

Brown rice bowl
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Manganese isn’t talked about often, but it’s a very important mineral that your body needs. You can find manganese in foods like legumes, leafy greens, nuts, and whole grains like brown rice!

“Manganese is vital for many important processes in the body, such as bone development, wound healing, muscle contraction metabolism, nerve function, and blood sugar regulation, and one cup of brown rice provides you with 88% of the recommended dietary intake,” says Goodson.

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