Difference between Brown, Red and Wild Rice


Now and then, in the vegan restaurants, I get to see on the menu, a lot of a use of red rice, brown rice and wild rice. One day, I got curious to do some research on them. So first, I got a pack to try them. The pack had all 3 rice in equal proportions. It was written on the packet to soak the rice in water atleast 1 hour before pressure cooking them. Otherwise, it will take a lot of time to pressure cook these varieties of rice.

What is the difference between Brown rice, Red rice and Wild rice? Their taste, place of origin, nutrition value, texture etc is what make them different from each other.

Before I write on this topic. I want to tell that this food which we ostracize as fattening is high in complex carbohydrates, contains almost no fat, is cholesterol free, and is low in sodium, except for the salt added to the cooking water. All rice, both brown and white, is considered a good source of vitamins and minerals i.e it is a food with 0 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams sodium, 0 grams sugar and 3 grams of protein.

Infact ….

Rice has all the amino acids except the amino acid called lysine. Lysine in turn, is available in beans and dals. This is the reason dals and rajma are eaten with rice. As together they make complimentary proteins. You can try dal-chawal instead of ‘chicken’ after weight lifting and see the difference :) Well I accept rice has carbs too but they are complex carbs which increase the fiber content of the food and which dissolve slowly into the blood thus keeping the blood sugar stable (Ideal for improving metabolic rate). You couldn’t expect that much from chicken :)

Anyways one thing that wonders me is the enormous variety in rice. Whichever place you go to, you will come across a different type of rice. There is thick, thin, long grain, medium grain, short grain or sticky etc types of rice. Basically these properties of the rice grain depends on the region where it is grown. Like India is famous all over the world for its long grain, thin strands of basmati rice. And Italy for thick and small risotto rice.

The other thing about rice grain is the stage at which it is used for eating . i.e Brown rice is a stage of rice when only the topmost hull of the rice is removed.

Closely talking, the three rice- brown rice, red rice and wild rice differ either in their regions or stages.

When the rice grains are removed from the paddy then these grains are made up of four layers as shown in the picture

About Brown, Red and Wild Rice

When it has all five layers then it is called rice with chaff

Brown Rice

When this first layer of chaff is removed from the grain of rice then the rice left behind has 4 layers. And it is called the brown rice. Now let me talk about the love and hate affair with brown and white rice respectively. To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm. Basically white rice is obtained by a lot of processing and polishing of the grain. BUTT- A big one :P You will be surprised to know that both white and brown rice have same number of ‘calories’ as well as ‘carbohydrates’ (Loved the info?:)) The difference is in the minerals, and vitamins that get stripped in the process of making white rice. Most of these vitamins and minerals are added externally to the packet to white rice but some important things like bran oil which reduces bad cholesterol and magnesium etc which are there in the brown rice, go amiss in the white rice.

And since, brown rice is more heavier a grain as compared to white rice grain hence for a same amount of brown and white rice. Brown rice may have more calories as compared to white rice. But eating white or brown rice is again a decision between Calorie vs Nutrition

Red Rice

Red rice and red tomato. What do they have in common? The red color :P :D . This red color is due to the presence of anthocyanin, which is an antioxidant. Something which eats up all the free radicals or let me say something which does the detox work in the body. So this rice can do detox too :)

This rice grain is red in color because of its place of origin. It is a native of Bhutan. Bhutanese Red Rice has been grown for thousands of years at the fertile soil of valleys, irrigated with old glacier water rich in trace minerals. It has more potassium than Gatorade :P and a significant amount of magnesium. I found its flavor, a little nutty. It needs a lot of chewing. Fiber fiber in my stomach :)

Wild Rice

As the name suggests, this is the kind of rice that grows wild. It grows in the lake region, shallow water region etc. It just needs water and a certain minerals to grow and show up above the surface of the water. It is mostly grown and eaten in North America but I am sure every region might have their own variety of wild rice.

This rice came to the limelight because of its protein content, fiber content and low fat. Also it is one of the gluten free rice. This is the reason it is not sticky. You can check in the picture, the rice with black, thin and long stands is wild rice rice. It has all the amino acids including the lysine. Since it grows so naturally and wildly so it has vitamins and minerals :) Guess what wild and natural is nutritionally good ;-)

Eat rice without worries!! :)

Apart from these I found a lot of use of quinoa and hemp as well. I got them home. I will write about them soon :)

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Loads of Love

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Difference between Brown, Red and Wild Rice

4 thoughts on “Difference between Brown, Red and Wild Rice

  1. Ramya

    Excellent article Nidhi!! :) I try to eat brown unpolished rice but I do end up eating white rice as well!! The south Indian palate is my excuse :P
    I totally agree with what you said about eating dal chawal post workout as it has a complete amino acid profile. I’m fed up of seeing bodybuilders around me eating chicken and baked potato post workout. (Chicken for protein and baked potato bcoz they dont wanna skip “carbs”!). Why does food have to be reduced to grams of protein and carbs? Why cant it be beyond that?!
    This article has ur signature style stamped all over it :) Love it! :)

    1. Nidhi

      Thanks Ramya :) .. All rice are good nutrition wise.. it is on us to decide which suits us and which does not .. like some might feel immediately bloated with white rice or some may have gastric problems with brown rice.. so it is to each it’s own.. nutrition wise all are good … chicken is tough for the system…:( anways.. ki haal?


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