The Herbs of Smoothie Essentials: Wheat Bran

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Add a Boost with Fiber Blend, featuring Wheat Bran

Bran, the hard outer coating of all cereal grains such as wheat, is the nutrient dense layer that gets stripped away by the modern industrial food process. In losing the bran we loose what is perhaps the most important part of the grain. Rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, wheat bran is one of the supplements most commonly recommended by doctors.

And no wonder.  A high-fiber diet helps prevent all sorts of ailments, including colon cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, diverticulitis and hemorrhoids.   It is also often the first thing doctors recommend for constipation, high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Yet the average American consumes only about 15 grams of dietary fiber daily, despite recommendations from the Institute of Medicine that most adult women consume at least 25 grams per day and men 38 grams per day.

Technically, fiber is the indigestible part of plant matter that is left over after our stomachs and intestines have absorbed its nutrients, and fiber has an important role to play in health by helping move waste though the digestive system.

There are two types of fiber important to digestion and regular bowel function – soluble and insoluble. Both are vital for proper digestive health.  Wheat bran is incredibly high in insoluble fiber, so named because it does not dissolve in water. This provides a valuable bulking material that helps form solid stools which can easily pass through our bodies while providing a necessary and healthy cleansing of our so-called plumbing.

Wheat bran, in particular, is valuable as a source of manganese which helps prevent osteoporosis and joint problems. It also contains significant amounts of magnesium, iron, phosphorous and a number of B vitamins.

Added to smoothies, muffins and a number of tasty treats, wheat bran is an easy and healthy way to add back to our diets something nature always intended we eat.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fiber/NU00033  http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-867-WHEAT%20BRAN.aspx?activeIngredientId=867&activeIngredientName=WHEAT%20BRAN

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/fiber-how-much-do-you-need

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