Glorious Grains Can Improve Your Health

brownricebydanoAccording to the US Department of Agriculture “Eating grains, especially whole grains, provides health benefits. People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Grains provide many nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of our bodies”.

Things like wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grains are all included in the grains category. For the purposes of this article we are going to focus on one of the more beneficial grains: brown rice.

I want you to consider adding brown rice to your diet to improve… your overall health.

My son is receiving private swim lessons from one of his many coaches. Our agreement with his coach is that we are to cook him dinner for he and his family in exchange for a one-hour private swim lesson. What a bargain?

As a health coach, I take it very serious to feed others like I would feed my own family on the other hand my husband not so much.

This weekend I was away at a business conference and my husband bought the ingredients to make the meal for my son’s coach. I returned home the day before the lesson and my husband asked if I could prepare the meal before he went to pick up our son from his lesson. I made my homemade turkey chili. The ingredients in the Chili were all organic. As we were packing it up for the trip to the pool, my husband pulls out a box of “WHITE” rice. I asked him why did he buy white rice and his response was “We’re not going to eat it.” I then asked my husband “Why didn’t you just buy Brown Rice” and the response in return was “I don’t know. What’s the difference.”? I had to remind him that my reputation as “Health” coach was on the line and also that I know first hand that the coach’s daughter has a form of autism and he has a heart condition. That being said I threw the box of white rice in the trash.

Let break this down. White Rice is NOT a “Whole Grain” and Brown Rice is.

Brown rice has all bran layers intact and thus contains all of its naturally present nutrients where as White rice has been stripped away of all of it nutrients. These layers of bran act to protect the grain and to help maintain its fatty acids. Brown rice contains the highest amount of B vitamins out of all grains. Additionally, it contains iron, vitamin E, amino acids, and linoleic acid. Brown rice is high in fiber, extremely low in sodium, and is composed of 80% complex carbohydrates. Because brown rice is a whole food, it takes longer to digest than white rice, providing the body with sustained energy throughout the day.

Phytic acid is a naturally occurring organic acid in the outer layer or bran. All grains contain phytic acid to some degree, but brown rice contains a relatively high level. When brown rice with untreated phytic acid enters the intestines, the phytic acid mixes with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. The chemical reaction that takes place prohibits those minerals from being absorbed and utilized by the body. Some sources say that eating grains with untreated phytic acid will cause the body to lose bone mass and will eventually lead to overall mineral deficiency. However, soaking brown rice and other grains will eliminate the consequences of phytic acid by producing beneficial enzymes and raising the amount of nutrients present in brown rice. Others believe that un-soaked brown rice is healthier, as it stays in the digestive system longer than soaked grains, thus providing more energy.

• Generates energy
• Promotes good digestion
• Quenches thirst
• Alleviates diarrhea caused by spleen-pancreas deficiency
• Relieves mental depression

Do you find that it can be difficult cooking “Real” brown rice not the “Instant” brown rice? Here are Simple directions to make “Real” brown rice.

Basic Brown Rice (yields 3 cups)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45-60 minutes
Serves 4

• 1 cup brown rice
• 2 cups of water or broth
• seasonings to taste

• Rinse rice in a bowl of cool water and strain.
• Place all ingredients in a pot with a tight fitting lid.
• Bring to a boil, reduce heat.
• Cover and let simmer for 50 minutes, if you are not experienced with cooking rice, you’ll want to check the rice 10 minutes before the anticipated finish time so you don’t burn the rice (If you do burn it, it is okay, just try it again!)
• Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.
• Fluff with fork and serve.

May also be prepared in a rice cooker with the same ratio of ingredients.

One of the great things about rice is that you can add it to many other dishes or added as a side dish. Increase this recipe to make more for another meal during the week. It will save you time!

Please contact Christa if you or someone you know is interested in Losing Weight, Increasing Energy or Reducing Stress  without “Dieting”.
Connect with Christa Hayburn, CHHC ADDP:
On Twitter at:
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Photo Credit:
Brown Rice by Dano as Creative Commons on

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About Christa Cassilis-Hayburn

Christa Cassilis-Hayburn is the CEO of Connecting the Dots Solutions that offers pro-active health and wellness solutions to law enforcement officers and families. Christa was a police officer with the Philadelphia Police Department for 11 years. She worked in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the city of “Brotherly Love” as an officer on a task force that responded to all Priority Jobs. At the age of 30, Christa suffered from nerve injuries in her left shoulder, elbow and forearm while on duty as a police officer. After two surgeries and being placed on six different medications for pain relief the medical community told her that her only choice for pain relief was to have a spine stimulator placed in her back for the REST of her life. She said, “No Way!” Instead she took a more holistic approach; which included changing her diet, taking vitamins and practicing stress reduction techniques. Now after 6 months, she is living 90% pain free with NO medications and is very passionate about teaching others to overcome physical and emotional challenges beginning by what you put in your Mouth. Christa’s approach is not to dwell on calories, carbs, fats, proteins or “Fad Diets”. It is not to create lists of restrictions or good and bad foods. Instead, she works with her clients in creating a happy, healthy life in a way that is flexible, fun and rewarding. Christa works with her clients to reach their goals in areas such as achieving weight loss, maximizing energy, reducing food cravings, increasing sleep and reducing stress. As you work together with Christa, you will develop a deeper understanding of the food and lifestyle choices that work best for you, and implement lasting changes that will improve your energy, balance and overall health. Please contact Christa if you or someone you know is interested in Losing Weight, Increasing Energy or Reducing Stress without "Dieting". Connect with Christa Hayburn, CHHC ADDP: On Twitter at: On LinkedIn at:
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