Brown Rice Flour Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits

Brown Rice Flour


Getty Images / Nazar Nazaruk

Brown rice flour is a high-fiber alternative to its white starchy counterparts, where the entire grain of the rice is present, minus the outer hulls. To make brown rice flour, brown rice is stone ground to form a powder that allows the flour to retain its whole-grain goodness from the bran layers.

The main health benefits of brown rice are derived from phytochemicals (plant compounds) within the bran layers that contain anti-diabetic, anti-cholesterol, and antioxidant effects, among others. Unlike many commonly used flours which can be bland in taste, brown rice flour enhances cooking with a nutty flavor and is therefore often used for baking bread, cakes, and even for thickening sauces.

What's more, this flour also serves as a gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat flour. And given the growing demand for gluten-free options, the popularity of brown rice flour continues to increase.

Brown Rice Flour Nutrition Facts

The nutritional information for a 40-gram serving (just shy of 3 tablespoons) of Bob's Red Mill brown rice flour is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 140
  • Fats: 1g
  • Sodium: 4.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 31g
  • Sugars: 0.4g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 3g


Carbs

A serving of brown rice flour contains around 31 grams of whole-grain carbohydrates, therefore, providing complex carbs.

Fats

There are only trace amounts of fat in brown rice flour at around 1 gram per serving.

Protein

Brown rice flour contains approximately 3 grams of plant-based protein per serving.

Vitamins and Minerals

Brown rice flour contains good amounts of magnesium, selenium, vitamin B6, and phosphorus, not to mention a healthy dose of phytochemicals, phytosterols, and phenolic acids (which can protect cells against oxidative damage), among many others which are beneficial to our health.

Calories

A serving of brown rice flour provides 140 calories.

Health Benefits

Brown rice flour, derived from brown rice, offers a host of benefits. Below is a breakdown of some potential health benefits that arise from eating brown rice as well as brown rice flour.

May Reduce the Risk of Certain Diseases

Brown rice contains many forms of phenolic acids that have the potential to reduce the risk of diseases such type 2 diabetes, obesity, and even cancer in some cases. It has also been suggested that the specific phenolic acids in brown rice contain chemo-preventative properties for both breast and colon cancer.

Brown rice flour contains no unhealthy fats (such as trans-fat), which can raise your low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the "bad" cholesterol. Instead, the whole grain component helps to control blood sugar levels and improve your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good" cholesterol.

May Reduce the Onset of Heart Disease

Whole grains have long been linked to heart health due to their ability to lower cholesterol. A systematic review covering 45 studies on the types of grain consumed and the risk of cardiovascular disease (among other health conditions) concluded that whole grains reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease, and also cancer and premature mortality.

May Promote Healthy Digestion

Foods high in fiber, such as brown (a whole grain), can improve the transit of food through the digestive tract and therefore regulate your bowels. Dietary fiber has also been associated with overall metabolic health and gut motility, along with other positive health benefits.

May Aid in Weight Maintenance

Foods with a high fiber count reduce the speed of digestion, leaving the body with sustained energy and more leveled blood sugar levels. Analysis from 12 observational studies (with more than 136,000 participants) and nine randomized controlled trials (with 973 participants) found that there was a lower risk of weight gain when consuming a diet higher in whole grains.

Provides a Gluten-Free Alternative

Gluten-free foods have risen in popularity across the United States within the last decade. Some of the reasons include improved symptoms for those experiencing gastrointestinal issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Therefore, brown rice flour is a safe option for those who have a wheat allergy, celiac, or gluten sensitivity.

Allergies

Although fairly uncommon, some people react to rice. Among the reported symptoms are a runny nose, itching, and stomach ache. If you experience any of these, talk to a healthcare provider about your symptoms. Sometimes an allergist can perform tests to determine if you have a true food allergy.

In analysis to better understand the potential allergies arising from brown rice, various attributes were localized. One of three specific globulin polypeptides (the 52-kDa globulin) was identified as most likely a causative allergen in rice bran.

Adverse Effects

A widely-known concern when consuming rice is the presence of arsenic, a naturally occurring element found in the environment, and therefore in most food and drinks. However, that's not to say brown rice causes any harm to the body when eaten as part of a balanced diet. Rather, it's something to bear in mind if you plan on consuming in large quantities or while pregnant.

Based on data collected from over 1,300 samples, rice was found to contain inorganic arsenic, and given that rice contains a higher concentration of arsenic than other grains, a very high consumption may be related to an increase arsenic exposure.

To reduce the levels of arsenic prescience in brown rice, you might consider preparing it yourself by cooking the rice in more water and then draining. You can also incorporate a variety of others grains into your diet, such as buckwheat or whole wheat pasta, on a regular basis.

Varieties

Aside from general brown rice flour, there are other varieties available. These include sprouted, stoneground, organic, and superfine. Here's a closer look at each.

  • Sprouted: The germinated brown rice, when cooked, generates a sweeter flavor and generally is higher in protein contains certain nutrients are more bioavailable.
  • Stoneground: The flour contains the germ and bran, maintaining the nutritional properties.
  • Organic: Milled from pesticide-free grain, the organic options help retain more nutrients.
  • Superfine: Ground down finer than other flours.

Storage and Food Safety

Brown rice flour can be stored in airtight and tightly sealed packaging, or container, in the fridge to prevent it from going rancid and where it remains usable for 4 to 5 months. It can also be kept in the freezer for up to 1 year. In general, brown rice flour can sit in a cool dry cupboard (so long as it is properly sealed), where it will keep for a few months.

How To Prepare

Although brown rice flour is readily available in many supermarkets and health stores, you can also prepare it yourself at home. The best option is to use a grain or flour mill, as the rice can wear out the blades of a blender or food processor over time. However, they are a suitable alternative every so often.

Make sure the rice is thoroughly cleaned in water before processing. Place the desired amount of brown rice in your chosen equipment and process or spin on high until a powder forms.

Recipes

Brown Rice Flour Recipes to Try

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9 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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