Bran is the outer layer of cereal grains like rice, oats, and wheat, this outer layer is usually removed during the process of milling to produce a smoother and whiter product. Now as people are becoming more aware of the many health benefits of bran less companies are removing or at least not completely removing the bran of the cereal grains they harvest.
Whenever the fiber-rich bran and the vitamin-rich germ are left on the endosperm of a grain, the grain is called a whole grain. Example of whole grains includes whole wheat, whole rye, oatmeal, whole oats, whole cornmeal, whole hulled barley, popcorn and brown rice.
Bran Nutrition: rich source of insoluble fiber, niacin and other B vitamins, iron and other minerals.
Health Benefits of Bran:
- Excellent in fighting constipation and other digestive and bowel problems. And since it helps prevent constipation, bran may also be beneficial for persons suffering from hemorrhoids.
- Oat and rice bran helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. When eaten regularly, oatmeal and OB help to lower total cholesterol levels by 25% or more within a very short time of period (one to three months).
- Promotes a feeling of fullness, which can lead to weight loss. Since bran absorbs water, it contributes to a feeling of fullness in the stomach, which may help people eat less and therefore lose weight.
- May reduce the risk of colon cancer by reducing the amount of time required for the stool to travel through the bowel.
- Improve glucose metabolism in people with diabetes.
How much Bran to take? As a laxative, a mere three tablespoons of miller’s unprocessed bran or one ounce – a third of a cup of a hundred percent bran cereal – a day is usually enough to correct chronic constipation. Twice that much has produced diarrhea in some people, although research shows that individuals vary enormously in their response to wheat bran.
How to take Bran Supplement: Initially, if you use BS, start small. A lot of bran consumed in a single day, particularly if your stomach is not used to it, can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
Experts Advise: Many nutritionists now advise to eat whole-grain wheat bread, cereals, and other products that contain bran. Have oatmeal, and other cereals made with whole oats; similarly, substitute brown rice for the polished white variety. These foods are far more palatable than raw bran, which tastes like sawdust, and they are more nutritionally beneficial.
Side Effects of Bran:
- Excessive bran intake reduces the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
- Excessive intake can cause bloating and intestinal gas.
- Excessive intake may aggravate inflammatory bowel disease, a condition in which the colon is inflamed.
- Eating too much fiber could cause bowel impaction.
“This post was originally published on January 9, 2012 @ 23:42”