Bran is the outer shell of the wheat grain and benefits the body in many avenues. Wheat bran is a concentrated food source of insoluble fiber, the gut-healthy fiber that has a laxative effect and adds bulk to the diet.

Disease/Ailments:

Digestive disorders
Constipation
High cholesterol
Diverticulitis
Cancer prevention
Coronary disease

Health benefits:

Digestive: Due to it’s high insoluble fiber content, bran retains water, increasing the volume and weight of the feces and aiding in constipation.

Absorption and detoxification: The cellulose fiber absorbs irritants, toxic substances, cholesterol, bile salts, and carcinogens from the digestive tract and eliminates them in the feces.

Blood sugar: Fiber slows down the absorption rate of sugar into the bloodstream. This is particularly important for diabetics.

Antioxidant: Phytates present in whole wheat contain beneficial antioxidant qualities. When the phytates combine with iron, they prevent an excess of oxidation from harming the intestinal lining. This can potentially become a factor in causing cancerous degeneration.

Anticarcinogenic: More studies show that phytates and phytic acid are anticarcinogenic, which explains the role whole grains have in cancer prevention.

Good source of:

Fiber, manganese, selenium, magnesium

Purchasing, storing, & enjoying:

Purchasing: Bran can be purchased in prepackaged bags or in bulk containers.

Storing: Due to its susceptibily to going rancid, bran should be stored in the refrigerator.

Enjoying: It is preferable to consume bran in its natural state, meaning with the rest of the kernel in whole grain breads and food derivatives.

  • Bran can be added to muffins, dinner rolls, waffles, breads, etc.
  • Sprinkle bran on top of hot or cold cereal and soups and stews.

Resources & recipes:

  • Applesauce bran muffins: http://www.vegetarianrunner.com/archives/vegetarian-recipe-applesauce-bran-muffins
  • Orange ginger bran muffins: http://www.namelymarly.com/2013/05/orange-ginger-bran-muffins/

 

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fiber/NU00033

Graf, E.; Eaton, J.W. Suppression of colonic cancer by dietary phytic acid, Nutr. Cancer, 19: 11-19 (1993).

Shamsuddin, A.M. Inositol phosphates have novel anticancer function. J. Nutr., Cancer, 125: 725S732S (1995). 


About the Author

Ashley Kim

"Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners." – William Shakespeare

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