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Most grains, like wheat and oats, have a hard outer layer. When they are processed, this layer becomes a byproduct, and is called bran. In the case of processing wheat to make wheat flour, one gets millers or wheat bran. Wheat bran is packed with nutrition, and offers many dietary benefits.
How to Select
You can buy wheat bran from all good health stores and many supermarkets will carry it as well. It can either be purchased in toasted or fresh form. There are also many food products that already contain wheat bran. A number of cereals are made with it, as well as bread and flour.
Many commercial oat bran and wheat bran products (muffins, chips, waffles) contain very little bran. They also may be high in sodium, total fat and saturated fat. Read labels carefully
· Wheat bran has a sweet taste, but not all find it appealing.
· It's also important to start slow when adding wheat bran to foods. A little too much can easily translate to diarrhea.
· Also wheat bran is frequently added to foods that aren't that nutritionally valuable. For example, some wheat bran cereals may be high in high fructose corn syrup or sugar.
· Wheat bran muffins may contain a lot of fat. Wheat bran pancakes may lose a bit of their nutritional value if slathered with butter and syrup. Using wheat bran is not permission to eat unhealthily in other respects.
· Bran is often used to enrich breads (notably muffins) and breakfast cereals, especially for the benefit of those wishing to increase their intake of dietary fiber.
· Bran may also be used for pickling (nukazuke), as in the tsukemono of Japan.
· One can purchase wheat bran in bulk, which makes it quite easy to add to cereals like granola or to baked goods.
· Wheat bran muffins are a natural choice, but adding wheat bran to pancakes, biscuits, waffles, or even cookies is a great way to bulk up the nutritional value of a food.
· Some people even take wheat bran in powdered form as a way of getting their needed dietary fiber each day.
· A small amount of wheat bran can be added to smoothies, especially when it is finely powdered.
How to Store
Wheat bran cannot be stored like regular wheat flour. It tends to get rancid and is best stored in the refrigerator, especially if one plans to store it for long. Alternately, it may be stored in a vacuum-sealed canister at a moderate temperature. If you note that the wheat bran tastes bitter, it is probably rancid, and should be discarded.
· Wheat bran is not the only star when it comes to the health benefits of wheat
· Wheat bran is also high in protein, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin B6, and is low in fat, with no cholesterol, and no sugar or sodium.
· Further, as with all wheat sources, those who have celiac disease should not use wheat bran
· Wheat bran is one of nature's richest sources of natural food fiber, recognized for its role in helping to maintain regularity.
· Wheat bran can help maintain normal bowel function and Relieve occasional constipation, such as caused by changes in dietary habits or travel.