Brown Rice vs Quinoa: Difference and Comparison

Rice has been a popular staple for many years, but quinoa has recently surfaced as a potential substitute.

When deciding between quinoa and rice, remember that both have health advantages and provide dietary value to your meals.

Differences in mineral and vitamin levels, on the other hand, may have slightly varied consequences on your health.

Key Takeaways

  1. Brown rice is whole-grain rice, while quinoa is a seed.
  2. Brown rice is higher in carbohydrates and calories than quinoa but also higher in fiber and protein.
  3. Quinoa is a complete protein source, while brown rice is not.

Brown Rice vs Quinoa

Brown rice is a type of rice that has its hull, bran, and germ intact, which makes it a whole grain. Quinoa is a grain-like seed that is native to South America. While brown rice has a nutty flavour and chewy texture, quinoa is a seed with a slightly nutty flavour and fluffy texture when cooked.

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Brown rice is consumed after the white coating has been eliminated. Brown rice preserves fibre density and has better nutritional value due to the presence of critical elements, as bran and germ are not destroyed.

It has a chewier and nuttier flavour, and because the germ and bran are not separated from the primary grain, it may take a bit longer to consume and digest.

Quinoa is essentially the goosefoot plant’s seed. Several individuals have used it as an alternative to rice in their meals because it is cooked and consumed just like a grain.

Quinoa is ideal for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner due to its versatility. Quinoa has a smoother surface and a neutral taste.

Comparison Table

Parameter of comparisonBrown RiceQuinoa 
Taste It has a neutral flavour, is somewhat chewy, and has a softer textureNo coating, which makes the taste better
Coating It has a layer called saponin, which makes it taste bitterIt is not a complete protein, so it contains only a few of the amino acids
Amino acidsA complete protein thus contains all nine important amino acidsGenerally easy to digest but has high fiber which can be hard for gut
Digestibility Difficult grain to digestGenerally easy to digest but has high fibre, which can be challenging for gut
Nutrients Selenium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesiumZinc, phosphorus, copper, magnesium

What is Brown Rice?

Rice is the cereal grain enjoyed by most of the population on the planet.

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It comes in various flavours, including jasmine, basmati, and Arborio. Rice comes in various sizes, including short and long grains.

Brown rice, as opposed to white rice, preserves the nutritionally rich fibre and germ despite removing the husk, bran, and germ. As a result, brown rice is classified as a whole grain in the Dietary Guidelines.

Brown rice is a whole-grain rice with a non-edible coating or hull. Brown rice is indeed responsible for improving the microbiome’s healthy gut bacteria.

Brown rice only has a thick outer layer called the hull scraped, revealing the nutrient-rich germ and bran. As a consequence, brown rice retains all of its nutrients, including minerals and antioxidants.

Brown rice is high in magnesium, essential for solid joints and teeth, as well as for managing blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Brown rice is also high in manganese, which helps boost collagen formation, essential for healthy skin. When germinated brown rice is consumed, more nutrients become accessible.

Brown rice includes flavonoids and phenols, which aid in the protection of the body against oxidative stress.

brown rice

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is the dicotyledon seeds of the goosefoot plant, yet it is consumed like a grain.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, quinoa is a whole grain that belongs to the grain’s nutritional group and is nutritionally identical to certain other grains.

Quinoa seeds are tiny and spherical, similar in size to sesame seeds. Quinoa comes in various colours, including red, purple, and black, and is pale in colour.

Quinoa has a deep, nutty taste and can be served as a side dish or mixed into salads, soups, and baked products.

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Quinoa contains a naturally unpleasant chemical that prevents birds from devouring the plant’s seed covering. Saponin is a chemical that acts as a seed covering and hinders digestion.

Saponin is a toxin found in nature. To remove this poisonous layer and enhance the flavour and digestibility of quinoa, it must be soaked and rinsed in water before preparation.

Quinoa contains high levels of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, making it potentially advantageous for health in illness treatment and prevention.

Quinoa has a more significant percentage of monounsaturated fat than other cereals and has a tiny level of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.


Main Differences Between Brown Rice and Quinoa

  1. Brown rice, when cooked has a darker colour, is nuttier, and chewer in taste. On the other hand, quinoa has a neutral flavour, is somewhat chewy, and has a softer texture.
  2. Brown rice has no coating to it, which makes it taste better while quinoa has a coating called saponin, which makes it taste a little bitter.
  3. Brown rice is not a complete protein, so it contains only a few amino acids. Quinoa, on the contrary, is a complete protein, and thus contains all 9 important amino acids.
  4. Brown rice is a difficult grain to digest. Quinoa is easy to digest but has high fibre, which can be hard for the gut.
  5. Brown rice provides nutrients such as selenium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium, while quinoa provides zinc, phosphorus, copper, magnesium.
Difference Between Brown Rice and Quinoa

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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6 thoughts on “Brown Rice vs Quinoa: Difference and Comparison”

  1. It’s interesting to learn about the differences between brown rice and quinoa and their respective health benefits.


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