Preserving Nutrients in Brown Rice

What's the best way to preserve the nutrients in brown rice? Nutrition Diva has the answer.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

Q. I recently found a recipe for brown rice which produces beautiful, fluffy rice with no chance of scorching. You use about twice the normal amount of water, simmer the rice until it's almost done, then drain the excess water off and let the rice steam in the pot off the burner. I love the results but am I pouring off important nutrients with the water?

A. You probably are pouring off some of the nutrients with the water--but the losses will be fairly small and very unlikely to make a significant difference in your health or nutrition.

For example, instead of providing 12% of the daily allowance for thiamin, a cup of rice cooked with your method might only provide 10%. And instead of 2% of your calcium allowance, you might only get 1.5%. (The fiber content, on the other hand, shouldn't be affected.)

Brown rice is a bit higher in certain nutrients than white rice but it's still unlikely to be the nutritional highlight of the meal. As long as there's a nice big serving of vegetables next to that rice, I think you have nothing to worry about!

Related content:
How cooking affects nutrients
What's the healthiest type of rice?
The truth about whole grains


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About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.