Rice bran, which is the outer layer of the whole rice grain, is the part which is normally removed and thrown away. What most of us eat is the endosperm part of the rice grain which is mostly starch.
Let’s look at what nutrients gets thrown out when we remove the bran layer of rice – vitamins B1, B3, B6, manganese, iodine, some amount of protein (particularly lysine, an essential amino acid) and essential fatty acids. Bioactive phytochemicals like dietary fibre, phytosterols, and other phenolic compounds are also present in rice bran. 100 g of rice bran can meet a quarter of the needs of vitamins needed for our body.
Researchers have found hundreds of metabolites in rice bran which have potential medicinal and health promoting attributes. While more research is needed to confirm this, what we already know about rice bran should convince us to eat unpolished rice in place of white rice.