Switch to bran bread

By Samina Shaheen
Tue, 07, 16

Want to be healthy and fit? Simply swap the white bread you use with bran bread. You! takes a look at some of the advantages...


Want to be healthy and fit? Simply swap the white bread you use with bran bread. You! takes a look at some of the advantages...

Bread is one of the staple foods and most essential breakfast items for many. However, the fact is that white bread can lead to weight gain in the long run so people end up chucking it out from their diet plan altogether. Fortunately, white bread isn’t the only available option and you can easily replace it with whole wheat bread, also known as bran bread. Not only is bran bread light and tasty but can also benefit the body in many ways. Bran bread, in particular, is good for a number of reasons. It’s high in complex carbohydrates, low in saturated fat, a source of protein, and a storehouse of nutrients and fibre - a microcosm of what your diet should be. Read on to find out more...

Switch to bran bread

Bran bread contains a lot of fibre

Fibre is one big reason you will want to stick to bran bread. Adults need about 25 to 35 grams of fibre daily, and in bran bread you will get 5.8 grams of fibre in two slices of bread. It helps in controlling blood sugar and reducing colon cancer risk. Also, because the bread digests slowly, fibre also helps you feel full for longer. Most importantly, the fibre content helps in digestion and keeps the bowels movements regular.

Lowers cholesterol

Whole grains in bran bread not only help prevent your body from absorbing ‘bad’ cholesterol, they may also lower triglycerides, both of which are major contributors to heart disease. One study found that women who ate two to three servings of bran bread daily were 30 per cent less likely to have a heart attack or die from heart diseases compared to women who ate less than one serving a week.

Helps control weight

People who eat a lot of whole grain items such as bran bread are more likely to keep their weight in check and less likely to gain weight than those who eat refined grains. In one study, over the span of 12 years, middle-aged men and women who ate a diet high in fibre gained 3.35 pounds less than those who went for refined products such as white bread. Consuming bran bread also helps redistribute fat in the long run and helps cut down on the amount of body fat you have.

Contains resistant starch

Yes, a certain amount of carbs can do you good and are a necessity for your body. The resistant starch in bran bread can actually do you good as it acts more like fibre. Because it’s not easily digested, it moves slowly through your digestive system burning more fat, stoking the hormones that make you feel full, maintaining your insulin in good working order and keeping blood sugar and cholesterol levels down.

Regulates blood sugar

One of the main benefits of bran bread is that it helps keep your blood glucose from spiking, which can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, among other things. In one study, women who ate two to three servings of whole grain bran bread a day had a 30 per cent lower risk of diabetes than women who ate little or no whole grain products. All you have to do is swap the type of bread you eat to reap the benefits.

Vitamins and minerals hub

Bran bread also contains calcium, vitamin C and Vitamin B. It might not be the first go-to source for vitamin C and calcium, but you can surely get some of your recommended daily allowance from consuming bran bread. However, bran bread is a great source of the minerals our bodies need to stay healthy. These include iron, which transports oxygen throughout the body and helps prevent anaemia; magnesium, which builds bones, and selenium, which protects against oxidation. They also contain zinc, necessary to keep your immune system in fighting shape. It is also rich in the B vitamins thiamine, riboflavin and niacin, all of which are involved with metabolism. It also contains folic acid that helps the body form red blood cells.

Reduces risk of asthma

Eating bran bread early in life may ward off asthma and other allergic conditions. One study found that children who were introduced to whole grains like oats and bran bread  as infants were less likely to have asthma or allergic rhinitis by the time they turned five.

Protects teeth and gums

In a study of almost 35,000 male health professionals aged 40 to 75, participants who consumed the highest amounts of whole grain that is abundant in bran bread, were 23 per cent less likely to get gum disease. This was true even after taking into account other factors like smoking, age and body size.

Healthy bowels

Breads made with 100 per cent whole grain wheat are a good source of fibre. Bran bread will improve your bowel movements. Fibre may also provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome.

Mental health

Whole wheat products like oats and bran bread contain the vital wheat germ or embryo of the seed that contains B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. This is important because according to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, some studies have suggested that B vitamins and vitamin E may protect against diseases of mental decline, such as Alzheimer’s.