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Brown rice is a gluten-free food and provides vitamins and minerals.
Whole-grain brown rice is a filling and versatile grain safe for gluten-free diets. Brown rice provides you with vegetarian protein, but not the protein that causes symptoms in people sensitive to gluten. You'll get health-promoting dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals from brown rice. Even though rice itself is gluten-free, read the label of a packaged food with brown rice to ensure it's free of gluten-containing ingredients.
Gluten is the protein found in the cereal grains wheat, rye, barley, triticale, bulgur, farina, kamut, semolina and spelt. It's also in food additives and ingredients made from the gluten-containing grains. According The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, people who are sensitive to gluten have an immune reaction after eating it which may cause symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, headaches, fatigue and skin rash. In order to prevent symptoms, you must follow a strictly gluten-free diet avoiding all sources of the protein.
Protein in Brown Rice
Brown rice is a gluten-free alternative to whole-grain wheat and wheat products and provides you with the same amount of protein per serving as wheat. From 1 cup of cooked brown rice you'll get 5 grams of vegetarian protein. Most people need at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, according to the Institute of Medicine. If you weigh 150 pounds, you need at least 55 grams of protein per day; eating 1 cup of brown rice would meet 9 percent of your daily need for protein.
Brown rice, unlike white rice, still contains the rice bran and rice germ, making it a whole grain. In general, the less processing a grain undergoes, the higher the nutrient content. One cup of brown rice provides you with 218 calories and 3.5 grams of dietary fiber, which helps to regulate your digestion and lower cholesterol levels. You'll also get over 15 percent of the daily value recommended for the B vitamin niacin and the minerals magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and manganese from one serving of brown rice.
Unlike oats, rice is not usually harvested or milled using the same equipment as gluten-containing grains. This means the potential risk of cross-contamination of whole-grain brown rice is low. However, it is possible for contamination with gluten to occur during food processing or packaging of food. Read the label to be sure a product states it is gluten-free. When in doubt, call the company that manufactured the product and avoid eating any food you are unsure about to avoid potential side effects.