White rice is milled rice that has had its husk, bran, and germ removed. This alters the flavour, texture and appearance of the rice and helps prevent spoilage, extend its storage life, and makes it easier to digest. After milling, the rice is polished, resulting in a seed with a bright, white, shiny appearance.
Brown rice are rice grains with only the outer inedible husk removed, keeping the bran layer and cereal germ intact. These two layers are rich in fibre and nutrients and give the rice its brownish colour and chewy texture. Brown rice is a good source of iron and zinc. Similar to white rice, brown rice comes in different grain size and lengths including short, medium and long, depending on preference.
Red rice has a unique reddish-brown colour due a compound called anthocyanin, which functions as antioxidants. Anthocyanins are also found in certain red-purple fruits and vegetables like blueberries. The antioxidant activity in red rice is found to be almost 10 times more than brown rice. Red rice grains also contain the outer bran and cereal germ; hence it has higher amount of nutrients compared to white rice. For example, red rice is also a source of selenium, which protects the body against infections. Commercial availability of red rice has improved over the years, and it is now relatively easy to find in many stores.