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The Nutrition of Wheat Bran Cereal

Fitday Editor

One of the most highly nutritious cereals is wheat bran cereal. It is produced from the outer layer of the wheat grain. The cereal has a rich content of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Vitamins include B1, B2, B3, B6 and E. Mineral content includes magnesium, manganese, zinc, calcium, copper, phosphorous and iron. These nutrients bring you various health benefits.

Weight Loss

Fiber-rich foods promote overall good health. They also enable healthy weight loss. The fiber occupies space in the body that would otherwise be filled by food. You feel full much faster when you consume fiber-rich foods. It also stays in the stomach longer than other foods. This reduces the need for frequent food intake. Research has established that along with other healthy lifestyle practices, fiber-rich foods can help you lose and manage your weight.

Bowel Activity

Wheat bran cereal promotes regular bowel movements. This helps to prevent chronic constipation. However, it is important that you also drink plenty of fluids, including water, along with fiber-rich foods.

Fights Breast Cancer

Studies have established that low fat, high fiber foods such as wheat bran cereal can decrease estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen has been implicated as a contributing factor to breast cancer because of its role in activating breast cell division. It also supports the growth of breast tumors. Wheat bran cereal contains plant estrogens known as phytoestrogens. These compounds inhibit the harmful activities of estrogen in the body. Phytoestrogens also accelerate the breakdown of estrogen and its excretion through urine. This lowers blood estrogen levels and helps to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Prevents Colon Cancer

It is believed that bacterial enzymes and other toxins in the stool promote colon cancer. Wheat bran cereal helps to eliminate these toxins. The food also contains good amounts of vitamin E, which works as an antioxidant. It helps to protect healthy cells in the colon from the harmful effects of free radicals. Frequent consumption of this cereal food can help lower the risk of colon cancer.

Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Wheat bran cereal is one of the richest plant sources of magnesium. This mineral supports the activities of more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in secretion of insulin and utilization of glucose. Studies have established that wheat bran cereal substantially reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Prevention of Gallstones

The cereal contains good amounts of insoluble fiber. This has been established as vital for prevention of gallstones in women. The fiber accelerates the transit of food through the intestines. It also reduces production of bile acids. High amounts of bile acid have been found to play a role in the formation of gallstones.

Cardiovascular Benefits

Whole grain cereals, such as wheat bran, can help lower low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. High levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood leads to plaque build-up in the arteries. This can lead to heart attacks.

When eaten at least 6 times a week, this cereal can be very beneficial to post-menopausal women who are at higher risk of stroke and heart disease. This is because decreasing levels of estrogen tend to lower high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels and increase LDL levels. It has been established that high levels of HDL cholesterol help to prevent heart attack because of their preventive role in arterial plaque build-up.

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