Have you ever paused for a while and asked, what is bran? How come this is recommended by nutritionists and fitness experts? How can this help you improve your overall health?
Technically, bran refers to the outer covering of grain products such as wheat, oats, rice and other types of grains. Yes, this has to be removed after harvesting the grains. When the grains are milled, bran is already stripped off. Of course, grain products which went through more extensive processing have less bran. For example, rice has different colors, particularly white and brown. Rice which is whiter is more polished and has less bran. On the other hand, brown rice still has bran residue which gives it a brown hue.
Bran Nutrition and Health Benefits
The main reason why less processed grain products are considered to be more nutritious is because of the remaining bran. Bran is known to posses a whopping amount of vitamins and minerals. Using rice again as an example, brown rice is more health friendly than white.
Bran is a good source of protein. Hence, for people who would like to boost the growth of their muscles and make their arms and legs much stronger, this would be a great addition to the daily diet. One reason why it is excellent for people who would like to lose weight is that it has high amount of dietary fiber too. Grain products which have high content of remaining bran can easily make a person feel full even if the amount of serving eaten is actually less. Aside from helping in lowering the amount of food to eat, it also improves the performance of the digestive system. Fiber flushes out toxins and contributes in regular cleansing.
Due to the benefits of bran for the digestive system, this has always been known as a great remedy for constipation. There is no need to take meds and pills just to put the digestive system back to its regular rhythm.
For people who want to regulate their cholesterol level and limit their intake of unhealthy fat, whole grain products which have enough bran is ideal too. The monounsaturated fats that it has, plus all the vitamins and minerals in it would make it easier to avoid hypertension and heart ailments.
Eating More Bran
There are different sources of bran which you can add to your daily diet. One is to switch from the regular polished rice to brown rice. There are also whole wheat oat cereals or oatmeal which contain generous amount of bran. Some baked goods also have impressive amount of bran like muffins, loaf breads and others.
If you are not used to eating food with high amount of bran, it is better to start on minimal amount first. For example, if you want to eat whole oatmeal, limit yourself to one serving per day only. Then gradually increase it if you need to. It is also important to keep in mind that since whole grain products also contain calories, make sure that you would also regulate your intake.