Wheat has proved to be Nature’s most perfect food throughout the world. Wheat bran is the outer layer of the grain.
It is very strange to see that nowadays we purchase the bran separately for all the nutrition we miss in our rice and wheat. Whereas till a few years back after getting flour from the chakki (flour mill), before making chapattis the bran was removed from the flour. An important reason to remove the bran is that bran is dark in colour and so will be the bread, cookies and pastries made from it. Moreover they will not get the fluffiness. So these are removed. This bran was either thrown away or used as fodder to cattle. But nowadays it is sold separately.
The various benefits of the wheat bran are being recognised more and more by the consumers, as wheat bran being a rich source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fatty acids. The bran and the germ part of the wheat gets removed in the process of extracting bleached white flour, which is the most nutritious part of the grain. In the process of extracting the bleached flour over half of the vitamin B 1, B 2, B 3, E, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron and fibre are lost. So 40 per cent of the nutrients are thrown away and we are left with only 60 per cent of them.
BENEFITS OF WHEAT BRAN
- Wheat bran is a good source of vitamins such as vitamin B, riboflavin, Niacin, thiamine, vitamin E and K.
- Wheat bran is an ideal source of a fibre, which absorbs and carries off colon poison and deposits. The fibre in the wheat bran also enables you to achieve weight loss. The fibre in the bran takes the space in the body which would otherwise be filled with food. This reduces the need for frequent intake of food. A cup of wheat bran gives you 25g of fibre.
- Regular bowel movement helps prevent constipation. So drinking lots of fluids along with eating fibre rich food like wheat bran helps prevent constipation.
- For women, estrogen is a contributing factor in breast cancer and supports the growth of breast tumour. Wheat bran reduces the estrogen levels in the body as it contains plant estrogen that inhibits the harmful activities of estrogen. These compounds help estrogen excrete through urine. Thus blood estrogen levels are lowered and helps reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Regular consumption of wheat bran reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Wheat bran has a lot of phytic acid, a substance with anti-oxidant properties that may stop tumours. Studies have shown wheat bran can inhibit both colon and intestinal tumours better than other brans.
- Wheat bran can help women avoid gall stones as compared to women consuming fewer fibre rich foods.
- Wheat bran is very effective in preventing childhood asthma.
- Wheat bran contains fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. These fatty acids help promote cardiac health, positive mood, respiratory health, joint comfort and flexibility. On regular consumption of wheat bran you will definitely experience the benefits you desire within two weeks.
- Wheat bran is a good source of magnesium. With the help of other enzymes it helps in the secretion of insulin and utilization of glucose. Hence considerably reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Wheat bran is a very good source of minerals like manganese, phosphorus, zinc, copper, calcium and potassium.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna