There oat bran it is a part of the oat grain, obtained by processing the grain, in order to remove the external, inedible body. This processing leaves, as a "residue", the oat semolina, with oat bran representing the outer layer of the grain, just below the inedible portion of the grain.
But what are the health benefits of oat bran? Let's try to find out together!
One of the greatest health benefits of adding oat bran to your diet is the fact that the high soluble fiber content of this food can allow it to "cling" to water when digested, transforming into a similar substance. to a gel, which can help regulate digestive health. Eating oat bran regularly can therefore contribute to the reduction of constipation and the relief of symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn's disease.
In fact, the fiber from oat bran considerably increases the fermentation activity in the intestine and the production of butyric acid, responsible for the increase in probiotic bacteria and the elimination of nitrogen in the stool, in turn connected to the inflammation of both diseases.
Oat bran contains beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. It follows that regular consumption of oat bran can help lower LDL and apolipoprotein B-100, a protein involved in the metabolism of lipid fatty acids and which helps to increase LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
There are some other ways that oat bran can be considered a panacea for trying to reduce the risk of disease. To begin with, for example, let's remember that its nutritional profile is rich in antioxidants.
Oat bran contains molecules based on vegetable polyphenols which act as antioxidants to help reduce cell damage from free radicals. The soluble fiber found in beta-glucan slows the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates by creating a thick, sticky solution when mixed with other contents in the gastrointestinal tract, which then - in turn - coats the intestines and helps to delay the absorption of glucose.
"Delayed" digestion helps keep blood sugar levels stable, which can reduce the risk of diabetes and help those who have already been diagnosed with diabetes to keep blood sugar levels stable more consistently.
Read also Bran, benefits and properties
Oat bran fiber and products containing oat bran can help you feel full for longer, thus reducing the number of calories you consume on any given day.
The soluble fiber of oat bran also helps to regulate the levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating appetite. By suppressing this hormone with a diet rich in fiber, including oat bran, the risk of overeating and the resulting weight gain are therefore reduced.
Possible side effects
But there are some disadvantages resulting from the intake of too much oat bran? In fact, although soluble fiber such as oat bran is an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet, consuming too much of it can produce some prejudices such as diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, constipation and flatulence.
In order to prevent the side effects of a high-fiber diet, be sure to slowly introduce foods such as oat bran into your daily diet for a few weeks and drink plenty of water to combat the constipation associated with starting a diet. high-fiber diet.
How Much Fiber Should We Get?
Finally, it should be remembered that the recommended total fiber intake for adults with a maximum age of 50 years is 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women. Men and women over 50 should instead consume 30 grams for men and 21 grams for women.
Unfortunately, it is clear that many men and women take a much lower amount of fiber, thus exposing themselves to potential harmful effects on their health.
Finally, we remind you how oat bran should not be confused with oatmeal, a more processed element than bran, which ends up depriving it of part of its nourishment. Oat bran has more fiber than oatmeal (both soluble and insoluble) because it is a specific part of oats, while oatmeal is essentially obtained from the whole grain.