with Rogers Foods Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Tammy-Lynn
Dietary wellness is essential to maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases. Changes in lifestyle have led to a high incidence of diseases and conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diabetes. To maintain a healthy diet, it is important to consume foods that are high in fibre. Wheat bran is a natural fibre source and offers various health benefits. This blog will explore the benefits of having wheat bran in one’s diet and the scientific evidence that supports these benefits.
What is Wheat Bran?
Wheat bran is a component of the wheat grain that remains after the flour has been milled. It is an excellent source of fibre and contains essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc. Wheat bran is one of the most fibre-rich parts of the wheat grain, making it an excellent addition to one’s diet, especially for those who are trying to increase their fibre intake.
Health Benefits of Wheat Bran
1. Promotes Digestive Health
Wheat bran contains insoluble fibre that promotes digestive health. Insoluble fibres, unlike soluble fibres, do not dissolve in water and pass through the digestive system undigested, adding bulk to the stool and increasing bowel movements. This action prevents constipation and digestive problems such as hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.
Research has shown that consuming wheat bran can help reduce the risk of colon cancer. Wheat bran contains phytochemicals that protect against the formation of colon cancer by preventing the growth of cancerous cells in the colon.
2. Helps with Weight Loss
Wheat bran can also help with weight loss. The insoluble fibre in wheat bran makes people feel full, reducing the likelihood of overeating. Overeating and consuming of a lot of refined and processed foods can cause weight gain. Also, the fibre in wheat bran helps to slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, thus preventing a dramatic surge in insulin production, which can also help prevent weight gain.
3. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Consuming wheat bran can help lower cholesterol levels. The soluble fibre in wheat bran absorbs bile acid, a substance created by the liver that helps digest fat. When this acid is absorbed, the liver needs to make more, using up cholesterol in the process, thus reducing cholesterol levels.
4. Regulates Blood Sugar
The fibre in wheat bran can help regulate blood sugar levels, especially for people with type 2 diabetes. Insoluble fibre can slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, preventing spikes and minimizes the need for insulin. Research has shown that consuming wheat bran reduces the risk of diabetes development.
5. Reduces the Risk of Heart Diseases
Wheat bran consumption can also help reduce the risk of heart diseases. The beneficial effect of wheat bran on cholesterol levels and blood sugar regulation can help improve arterial health, preventing plaque build-up and reducing the risk of heart disease
How to Incorporate Wheat Bran into Your Diet
There are many ways to incorporate wheat bran into one’s diet. Here are some ideas:
1. Use it as a cereal topping.
2. Add to sauces and smoothies.
3. Use as a substitute for breadcrumbs.
4. Mix it into pancake or waffle batter.
5. Add to homemade granola or trail mix.
6. Use it as a binder in meatloaf, meatballs, or veggie burgers.
Wheat bran is a natural source of fibre that provides various health benefits. It promotes digestive health, aids weight loss, lowers cholesterol levels and blood sugar, and reduces the risk of heart disease. As such, it is important for individuals to consider incorporating wheat bran into their diet. When incorporating wheat bran into one’s diet, care should be taken to ensure that the fibre content of foods is not too high, leading to gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, constipation, and cramps. You should consult your doctor or nutritionist before making any dietary changes.