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Turmeric Brown Rice Recipe – A Wholegrain Superfood

Want an easy and healthy dish to accompany your favourite meals? This wholegrain recipe makes the most of turmeric’s flavour and benefits.


Good day all, I hope you’re well! Here is a recipe everyone who wants to really know how to get maximum benefits when using brown rice: Turmeric Brown Rice…

There are many reasons to add turmeric into the diet. The powerful spice is one with many researched health benefits, and it even made it onto my lists of:

And what better way than to incorporate it with nourishing, hearty, brown rice? I like to make this turmeric brown rice recipe to go alongside any type of curry (especially Indian)!

(P.S. Take a look at my Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Curry for the perfect pairing!)

This recipe reminds me a lot of Pilau rice, as it uses many similar spices. You can customise this recipe to your liking, and even mix in other types of rice (or spice)!

I find that it works just as well with red rice, and has an amazing flavour if you mix the two.

This is one of my favourite ways to have rice, and I hope it will be for you too! Let me know if you enjoy this, and if you did, it would mean a lot if you shared it.

Let’s get into it!

Proper Preparation is Important

Before you you get straight into it, please take a moment to familiarise yourself with the proper way that this should be prepared: Fermented.

Now, that word seems unpleasant to some, but without it we would have no coffee, chocolate, cheese, vinegar, traditional pickles and sauces, or even alcohol as we know them! In short, fermentation has been a vital tool to human civilizations since the dawn of our time!

This is a process that is important for all grains, nuts, and seeds alike. I always ferment my oats, and it’s extremely straightforward, and doesn’t take long to get used to (or make a habit of!) at all.

Why to Ferment Brown Rice

By rinsing and fermenting brown rice and other grains, we partially germinate the seed and reduce components such as phytic acid (an antinutrient) and arsenic. These prevent us from absorbing nutrients and may have other effects (such as on the thyroid), so reducing them in wholegrain rice is important.

The fermentation process also slightly reduces carbohydrate content, and introduces a whole new spectrum of nutrition. This means probiotics to help the immune system (even when cooked), and increased nutrient absorption.

(P.S. I covered this in detail, and a very easy way to do it in a previous post. Click the link below to take a look.)

Read: Let’s Ferment Brown Rice! Nutrients and Removing Antinutrients

An Alternative Option?

You can also soak the rice. This won’t have as strong an effect though, so if you soak it, try to follow these two guidelines:

  • Soak for at least 12 hours, but even 6 will make a slight difference
  • Try to use dechlorinated (or boiled & cooled, room temp. – lukewarm) water

Selecting the Best Ingredients

When it comes to brown rice, any type is good really. However, some types are better than others, and if you can get them it will make a difference nutritionally and taste-wise. 

On top of the list is brown basmati (bonus points for organic)! This has a lower glycemic index than other rice and higher fibre content along with it. At the same time, you’ll get a nutty version of the aromatic flavours of white basmati, which makes it versatile.

For any turmeric basmati rice recipe, brown basmati rice is a suitable candidate.

We’ll also be using spices, including turmeric. It is ‘turmeric brown rice’, after all! The easiest way to do this for this recipe is with turmeric powder. You can make this with fresh turmeric for the best results, but otherwise simply go for a powder without any additives (this should be easy to find). Once again, organic is better.

If you want to make it with fresh turmeric root, here’s what to know:

  • Pick a firm root: It should not be squishy
  • The root should also feel smooth
  • Colour is good: Try to get a light orange / brown root (with skin on), and the flesh should be vibrant. Some turmeric is more yellow, which is fine.
  • There should be no mould present
Turmeric Basmati Rice Recipe - Healthy Fresh Turmeric Root (Orange)

Here is a good simple recipe on how to make the traditional powder.

We use other spices and herbs to add to the flavour, add turmeric by itself has an earthy, slightly bitter flavour. If you like fragrant dishes and Indian food, I can guarantee you enjoy this dish!

I prepare this in advance if I can, and use some coconut oil or other fat and then cool and refrigerate the rice.

Done this way at least 10 – 24 hours before using it well reduce the carbohydrate content further, and create beneficial prebiotic resistant starches (^). Resistant starches have been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved glycemic response and insulin sensitivity (^)(^). This is completely optional.

Here is My Easy Turmeric Rice Recipe:

Serving Suggestions!

I find that this dish works best as a side to meals like curries. But don’t forget that it can also be substituted as a main dish, especially if you add some vegetables, onion, or even egg!

This Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Curry is a mouthwatering accompaniment that you can make in 15-20 minutes!

Nutritional Benefits of Turmeric and Brown Rice

Brown Rice Nutrition

turmeric brown rice recipe - brown rice health benefits and nutrients

Brown rice offers some significant benefits over white rice. Factoring in proper preparation, the higher nutrient content is an excellent reason to eat more brown rice.

White rice is more processed and has had the hull, bran, and cereal germ removed. On the other hand, brown rice keeps the bran and the cereal germ, which means it provides more fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Most notably, brown rice is very rich in manganese. One cooked cup can provide over 70-80% of the recommended daily minimum (according to the World Health Organisation).

This essential mineral supports bone and connective tissue formation, brain and nerve function, and an overall healthy metabolism. It is important for regulating blood sugar and acts as a free radical. Overall, getting a proper amount into your diet can support health in the long run.

Additionally, brown rice is a good source of selenium (which is good for the immune system), zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and a small amount of iron.

In terms of vitamins, its content is made up almost entirely of B-vitamins. It provides us with over 10% of our B1, B3, and B6 values.

The Benefits of Turmeric

This is the co-superstar of our easy turmeric brown rice recipe.

Over the years, research about turmeric has increased, and with it has the amount of people enthusiastically talking about it.

Health experts from around the world and thousands of studies support the benefits of turmeric and its components (^). This traditional spice often used in Indian cuisine (known as Haldi) is responsible for the vibrant yellow orange colour of many curries.

In India, Ayurvedic practitioners and people all over still use it as a traditional remedy today. A delicious example is turmeric milk (or golden milk), which is used for common ailments like the cold.

Here are some of the research-backed health benefits of turmeric and curcumin:

  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Powerful Antioxidant (prevents cell-damage, including with ageing)
  • Neuroprotective (helps to prevent and benefits those with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.) (^)(^)
  • Boosts overall brain function
  • Benefits Arthritis

One fascinating example of this, is one study in which participants that ate curry more often demonstrated significantly higher cognitive ability scores (^)! And, Alzheimer’s occurs in India (ballabgarh) at a much lower rate than in the USA, according to this study.

I believe this superfood should be mixed into your diet whenever you can make it work!

I Hope You Enjoy!

That’s all for this recipe! I love to make this, and the family seem to like it too. I’m sure you’ll have the same experience!

This healthy brown rice recipe is great alongside all sorts of dishes, vegetarian, meat, seafood, and more. That doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, though. Lightly fried with some onions or mixed in with vegetables, it substitutes a nice main dish in itself.

Leave a comment below with any questions you have, and share with me your favourite ways to enjoy brown rice! I look forward to hearing from you all.

Until next time, stay healthy
James

Categories
Natural Remedies and Herbs

Should You Eat Orange Peel!? Well, Maybe…

orange peel zest with pith - Should You Eat Orange Peel

  • “Can you eat an orange peel?”,
  • “Should you eat orange peel?”,
  • “Why on Earth would I eat orange peel!?” And even,
  • “How to eat orange peel?”

These are all questions that many of us – surprisingly or not – have wondered at some point or another!

It’s funny to think about, but there are some great insights to learn from these questions.

First of all, yes, some people do eat the peel! And no, it’s not as bad as it seems.

But the question really comes down to why you would even want to! Well, today we will explore the question and find out what this whole shenanigan is about.

Time to zest things up a bit!

What’s the Point?

Starting off, why should you eat orange peel? Isn’t it only good for unhealthy foods like marmalade?

Well… You may know that eating too many oranges and other sweet fruit isn’t advised due to the high sugar content. Maybe having up to 3 servings* a week is optimal as long as you’re also eating plenty of fresh vegetables and low-sugar fruits such as tomatoes and olives, etc. High amounts of sugar has many health risks.

However, some of these fruits do contain a considerable amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, too. So, having a little* sweet fruit each week or once in a while is fair. Especially considering dietary adaptations our ancestors would have made in different seasons and foreign lands on occassion.

Oranges, in particular, are a good source of vitamin C, soluble fibre, potassium, beta-carotene, and other phytonutrients.

This is anti-ageing and benefits our immune system, collagen and elastin (connective tissues), skin health, digestive health, and heart health. (The key is moderation, still)

The peel can provide many additional benefits, though. In fact, pound for pound, the zest of an orange may contain more vitamin C than the fruit itself! Add to that a much higher fibre content, and other types of anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidative compounds, and you’ve got quite a healthy zest with many applications! And one of the best parts is the very low sugar content! To get 10g of sugar, you’d need to eat about 66 tablespoons of the stuff!

Imagine that you used to throw out all that nutrition! We’ll talk about the delicious ways to use it in a bit…

What Are the Benefits?

The sum up some of the best health benefits of orange peel and zest, here is a handy list. This is why the peel is worth it:

Fights off Infection

Orange peels contain a high amount of vitamin C, vitamin A carotenoids, (D-)Limonene, and antioxidants. These help to strengthen the immune system, kill harmful microbes, and prevent damage to healthy cells and tissues. It may even help to relieve bronchitis. Limonene – a highly non-toxic terpene – has been linked in studies to many benefits, which we will discuss now.

Could Help to Prevent cancer

Not only can antioxidants such as flavonoids in orange zest combat free radicals, but D-Limonene has been demonstrated to fight numerous types of cancer.

This terpene has multiple chemoprotective properties (^). Studies conclude that it has cytotoxic effects against types of gastric(^), colorectal, and breast (^), prostate (^), and liver cancers (^)*! Orange oil also helped to encourage the growth of healthy cells in one study on its effect on liver cancer*. In the study on gastric cancer, D-Limonene actually induced apoptosis (death) of cancerous cells.

More study is needed to fully confirm the anti-cancer properties of this terpene though.

Reduces Stress

Stress is one of the most destructive forces on health that we know of. There is much that goes into reducing and preventing it, including proper nutrition, exercise, and avoiding its causes as much as possible. However, natural remedies and foods can also help to reduce stress, much like they can depression.
Orange oil has been used in traditional medicines such as Ayurveda for this effect, and research has shown that it has measurable anti-stress actions (^). This is in part due to its therapeutic and anti-inflammatory effects on the nervous system.

Supports Gall Bladder Health and Reduces Heartburn & Gastroesophageal Reflux

Limonene has another surprising benefits here. It helps to dissolve gallstones, and at the same time has properties which help to cleanse the gall bladder of fat buildup.

It also helps to neutralise gastric acid and encourage normal digestive muscle activity. For this reason, it is often claimed to help with acid reflux and thus heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) (^), and there are many attestations to these benefits that can be found online.

May Improve Skin Health

Another traditional use of orange peel is to apply it to the skin or use it in soaps and other topical applications. The anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects help to prevent and even combat acne. At the same time, vitamins C and E, as well as antioxidants, could prove beneficial in preventing signs of ageing and wrinkles.

Supports Digestive Health

Some of the beneficial effects already covered such as reduced inflammation and a high amount of fibre help to explain this.
We find pectin (a soluble fibre) in many plants, fruits and vegetables alike. Due to orange containing a high content of this, they could help to promote digestion and prevent constipation. In fact, citrus peels typically are comprised 30 to 35% of pectin!
The benefits of this fibre are various, and the way it helps digestive health is too. It can help to reduce constipation (^), diarrhoea (^), and vomiting. At the same time, it encourages a healthy gut microbiome (or flora) by acting as a prebiotic to boost your probiotics! (^)
Additionally, insoluble fibre is found in considerable amounts. This can have multiple benefits, too. We’ll talk more about these and soluble fibre in relation to those with digestive issues later on.

Should You Eat Orange Peel - reduce hypertension - blood presure monitor picture

Anti-Diabetic and Reduces Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Studies have demonstrated orange peels to inhibit the actions of enzymes related to hypertension and type-2 diabetes. One of these is known as ACE (angiotensin-l-converting enzyme). This enzyme helps to regulate the amount of fluid in the body, whilst also helping to control the constrictions of blood vessels. In this way, it may increase blood pressure indirectly.
An interesting meta-analysis shows that the essential oils from orange and lemon peels also inhibit alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase enzymes (^). These convert starches and carbohydrates into sugars during digestion, respectively. By inhibiting this from happening, elevated levels of blood sugar may be prevented.
A 2012 study conducted in India also found that D-Limonene actively reduced plasma glucose levels and the activity of glucose- and fructose-converting enzymes, and increased glucose metabolism via glucokinase activity (^). Their findings indicate hypoglycemic effects from D-Limonene.

If the above reasons are not good enough answers to: “Should You Eat Orange Peel?”, I don’t know what is!

Note on Cholesterol

Other sources claim that orange peel may reduce cholesterol levels due to certain medicinal properties and components. However, I have found little conclusive research on this other than a study claiming that these effects may not be so. Here is the article providing information on how orange peel might not lower cholesterol.

At the same time, some studies show pectin to reduce LDL cholesterol, whilst not affecting HDL. So, it could have a small positive effect.

For now, whilst the peel is certainly healthy, it perhaps shouldn’t be relied on for any cholesterol or triglyceride lowering effects.

Think before You Buy! The Best Choices…

For Peels, Always Go Organic

farmer spraying non-organic harmful chemicals pesticides herbicides - Should You Eat Orange Peel

There are some very clear guidelines that we should stick to when using orange peels. First and foremost, DO NOT use non-organic fruit! Make sure that if you intend to use the peel in any way, it is certified organic and watch out for words such as “grown organically” packaging that doesn’t actually explicitly state it is organic. Some companies may grow crops to organic standards and spray them with chemicals afterwards. So it has to say that the product is actually organic itself. If it just says “Organic”, then it is good!

Citrus peels can be quite waxy. Because of this, they have a very high lipophicility, which means that chemicals from pesticides, herbicides, and so on absorbed by the pill in large percentages.

One publication from Independent in 2005 actually was on the pesticide limits of oranges. Government investigators deemed many fruits to contain excessive amounts of pesticides, many of which have harmful effects.

Even though it is 2019 and standards are slowly getting better, orange peels often still contain dangerous chemicals if not organic. These can cause all sorts of damage to internal organs and systems.

Organic oranges generally aren’t too expensive if you want to get some in your local supermarket. Wash the peels of organic anyway to be on the safest side, using a little vinegar when doing so goes a long way too!

Fibre and Digestive Issues

Another precaution is for those with any digestive issues. Because it is very high in fibre, it could aggravate symptoms of people with inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome (or similar ailments). Many people do better with more soluble than insoluble fibre in their diet if they have digestive issues such as these. In general, citrus peels contains slightly higher amounts of insoluble fibre than they do soluble.

Should you eat orange peel if you have any concerns? Well, if you are worried about this, you can try starting with only small amounts, grated or blended and eaten with other foods. Additionally, it might help to seek the advice of a medical professional who knows about your condition. Otherwise, you can always still get many benefits from the peel by using it as a tea or infusion!

You can actually use other citrus fruits such as lemons, too, when it comes to the benefits of Limonene!

“Well… I’m Not Just Going To Eat It Plain…”

And you don’t have to! It doesn’t seem the most appetising thing to bite into, after all…

To obtain the therapeutic effects of limonene, you can make a strong infusion by boiling a lot of the peel in water, or using a supplement. Here is a D-Limonene Supplement with many positive reviews from people suffering with acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD, in particular!

Some other cool and easy uses include:

  • Zesting into oatmeal, yoghurt, or on your roasted/slow-cooked meats!
  • Slicing/dicing into salads.
  • Adding to your blender to make smoothies or shakes!
  • Drying (or keeping fresh) and using in herbal teas!

Just remember the above, and not to eat too much orange fruit because of the sugar content!

You can Buy Organic, Sun-Dried Orange Peel or even Pick Up Some Powdered Orange Peel online or in health food stores to use for your very own convenience when making tea or cooking!

That’s All Folks!

I hope you enjoyed this article as we tried to answer the question: “should you eat orange peel?”. I’m sure the answer and the benefits of orange peel are surprising for many people, especially since the peels on citrus fruits are mostly just thrown away, or used sometimes in cocktails or marmalades (which I think we all now aren’t particularly healthy)!

If you learned anything new, please repay the favour and help us by sharing your newfound knowledge and this article with your friends and family on social media!

Feel free to also follow Healthy Ronin on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for updates, fun facts, and any news!

Until next time, stay healthy

James