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Oat bran: the version that helps in the diet

Oat bran: the version that helps in the diet

Bran is a word that always has a negative connotation, as if it were the rest of a food. In fact, the oat bran is just that, the outer layer of the grain that is removed in the refining process, and before ended up not being used. But like wheat bran, it was discovered that a lot of nutrients, such as fiber, were being wasted! This is because the bran is always whole foods.

In addition, the nutritional composition of both foods are similar, which means that the bran may contain gluten. Oats itself do not contain gluten, but as in most of the world it is processed along with wheat, it is considered one of the dangerous foods for celiacs. Therefore, it is important to always check the packaging, because if it contains traces of this protein, it should be on the packaging "contains gluten."

And in the case of oats, it is not any fiber we are talking about, glucans are a special type and are in abundance on the outside of the oats, bringing benefits to our body, such as the longer delay in the absorption of glucose and cholesterol.

Main nutrients of oat bran

NutrientsBran of Oats (30 g)Oats (30 g)
Calories74 kcal117 kcal
Carbohydrates19.87 g19.88 g
Proteins5.19 g5.07 g
Total fats2.11 g2.07 g
Saturated fats0.39 g <0.99 gMonounsaturated fats
0.71 g0.65 gPolyunsaturated fats
0.83 g0.76 gFibers
4.6 g3.2 gCalcium
17 mg16 mgIron
1.62 mg1.42 mgMagnesium
70 mg53 mgPhosphorus
220 mg157 mgPotassium
170 mg129 mgSodium
1 mg1 mgZinc
0.93 mg1.19 mgVitamin B1 (Thiamine )
0.35 mg0.23 mgVitamin B2 (Riboflavone)
0.06 mg0.04 mgVitamin B3 (Niacin)
0, 28 mg0.28 mgVitamin B6
0.05 mg0.03 mgVitamin B9 (Folic acid)
16 mcg17 mcgVitamin E
0.3 mg-Vitamin K
1 mcg-Source: United States Department of Agriculture table

When comparing the bran with oats, we realize that a good part of their vitamins and minerals are in balanced amounts in comparison. The bran loses to the amount of oats zinc, but in compensation gained in vitamin E and K, in minerals like iron, potassium and phosphorus, has a little more total fats, especially monounsaturated fats, which help increase HDL cholesterol which is considered good for our body.

Another advantage is the amount of fibers, composed mainly of a soluble type called beta-glucan, which brings even more health benefits by turning into a gel in the digestive system when it comes in contact with the water.

Both contain this type of fiber, but the bran is much richer. To give you an idea, the recommended amount of fiber per day is 35 grams. The recommended portion of oat bran (30 grams or two tablespoons) contains 4.6 g of these nutrients, or 18 percent of what we need per day. Meanwhile, common oats account for 11% of our daily needs. See how much of the Daily Value * of some nutrients the bran also carries:

31.5% phosphorus

  • 29% vitamin B1
  • 26.5% magnesium
  • 18% fiber
  • 13% zinc
  • 11.5% iron
  • 10% protein
  • 6.5% carbohydrates
  • 6% folic acid
  • 4.5% vitamin B2
  • 4% vitamin B6
  • 4% total fat
  • 3% vitamin E
  • 2% vitamin B3
  • 2% saturated fats
  • 2% calcium
  • 1, 5% vitamin K
  • 0.05% sodium.
  • * Daily reference values ​​for adults based on a 2,000 kcal or 8,400 kJ diet. Your daily values ​​may be higher or lower depending on your energy requirements.

Benefits of oat bran

Brings satiety

The bran has more fibers than the grain itself, and in both cases the two types of fibers are present: the insoluble ones, like cellulose, that are not broken by our body. And the soluble ones, stars of this food, that has its greater representative in the beta-glucanas. Its characteristic is to absorb water and form a gel in the stomach and intestine, increasing its size. It even lines the walls of these organs, slowing the absorption of nutrients and leaving the food cake longer. The advantage of these two mechanisms is that they inform the body that it can release hormones from satiety, preventing you from eating much more. Regulates the bowel

Once again fibers are heroines! The gel formed when they come in contact with the water helps in the intestinal transit. And beta-glucans are fermented in the intestine, which stimulates the growth of the intestinal microbiota (also known as intestinal flora), which are the beneficial bacteria we carry there. This improves the organism in various ways, including by stimulating peristaltic movements. A team of British researchers at Imperial College analyzed twenty-five studies involving more than two million people. Researchers have found that high intakes of dietary fiber, particularly cereals and whole grains such as oats and bran, are associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer. With each addition of 10 g per day of whole grains in total fiber intake, a 10% reduction in disease risk was observed.

Helps defend the organism

By stimulating the gut bacteria, the fibers also help our immune system, after all because 60% of our body's total immunoglobulins are in this organ! In addition, good bacteria transform the fibers into short-chain fatty acids, which prevent bad microorganisms from the intestine from invading the bloodstream and spreading throughout our bodies, creating an indirect defense as well. Helps Prevent Diabetes

Do you remember the gel formed by beta-glucans, which delay the absorption of some nutrients? One of them is glucose, which ends up being sent in smaller doses into the bloodstream. The result is that the pancreas needs to produce less insulin, which puts these nutrients into the cell. This prevents the organs from becoming resistant to the hormone and it takes more of this substance to absorb the same amount of sugar, which can progress to type 2 diabetes. Another good news is that insulin is responsible for causing the fats are stored in adipose tissue. Therefore, if its production falls, the process tends to reduce, avoiding an accumulation of "fat mass."

Heart ally

Cholesterol also has its reduced absorption due to the gel formed by the fibers. This causes the nutrient not to overlap in our body. Studies have shown that the intake of cereal, especially in the form of bran, is beneficial for those who have this high rate, as there is a decrease of up to 10%. Brings Well-Being

Being a protein-rich food , oatmeal contains tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for controlling our mood, known as a friend of well-being. For the conversion from one to the other, it takes the action of an enzyme, which only works well when the levels of some nutrients are adequate, among them, magnesium, also found here. Helps the brain

As we have seen, oat bran has good amounts of vitamin B1. All belonging to the B complex help our body in the uptake of energy in cells, especially when assisting in the metabolism of oxygen and glucose, the main sources of cellular fuel. B1, moreover, has this action mainly in the neurons, cells that form our brain.Recommended amount of oatmeal From one to two tablespoons per day (amount that rotates around 15 to 30 grams) is enough to consume the oat bran. And remember to also include a good amount of liquid, between 1.5 and 2 liters a day, for the fibers to take effect.

How to consume oat bran

Oats - Photo: Getty Images

Oat bran can be consumed with fruit, mixed with juices, yogurts and vitamins, or even in sweet and salty pastry from pies, cakes and biscuits

Compare oat bran with other foods

oatmeal does not have significant amounts of nutrients in general, but its major advantage is the type of fiber it has: most of it is soluble, with a good focus on beta-glucans. However, when compared to other bran, it has good benefits.

Oat bran has a large amount of fat, 10 times more than corn and twice as much as wheat. This may sound bad, but the advantage is mainly reflected in the good fats, ie monounsaturated fats (10x more than maize bran and 3x more than wheat bran) and polyunsaturated fats (4x more than maize) .

This food also contains good amounts of vitamin K when compared to other brans. The amount is considered relevant, but there are other richer sources, such as broccoli and spinach, for example

  • Nutrients (30 g)
  • Oat Bran
Corn BranWheat BranRice mealCalories74 kcal
67 kcal65 kcal95 kcalCarbohydrates19.87 g
25.69 g19.35 g14.91 gProteins5.19 g
2.51 g2.51 g4 gFats < 11 g0.28 g
1.28 g6.26 gSaturated fats0.39 g0.04 g
0.19 g1.25 gMonounsaturated fats0.71 g0.07 g
0.19 g2.26 gPolyunsaturated fats0 , 83 g0.12 g
0.66 g2.24 gFibers4.6 g23.7 g
12.8 g6.3 gCalcium17 mg13 mg
22 mg17 mgIron1.62 mg0.84 mg
3.17 mg5.56 mgMagnesium70 mg19 mg
183 mg234 mgPhosphorus220 mg22 mg
304 mg503 mgPotassium170 mg13 mg
355 mg446 mgSodium1 mg2 mg
1 mg2 mgZinc0.93 mg2.18 mg
1.81 mgVitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.35 mg0.003 mg0.16 mg
0.86 mgVitamin B2 (Riboflavone)0.06 mg0.03 mg0.17 mg
0.08 mgVitamin B3 (Niacin)0.28 mg0 , 82 mg4.07 mg
10.19 mgVitamin B60.05 mg0.04 mg0.4 mg
1.22 mgVitamin B916 mcg1 mcg24 mcg
19 mcgVitamin E0.3 mg0.13 mg0.45 mg
1.48 mgVitamin K1 mcg0.1 mcg0.6 mcg
0.6 mcgSource: Department of Agriculture United StatesContraindicationsAlthough very healthy, oat bran contains the same proteins as the grain and one of them is gluten, an item that needs to be banned from the celiac disease diet, as well as wheat.The high fiber content of this food also makes it contraindicated for: children under six months, as they do not have a developed digestive system ; who has an accelerated bowel, since the fibers optimize the operation of the intestinal transit; who has irritated bowel syndrome or colitis, since the fibers cause even more irritation.


Overuse of oats can cause food intolerance or flatulence. All food in exaggeration can create an intolerance, that is individual of each one. In addition, like every fiber-rich item, we need more water to aid digestion, otherwise we can create gases. Excess fiber in the diet also decreases the absorption of zinc and calcium.

Where to find

You can find oats in their different forms in supermarkets and in natural food stores.

Oat Bran Recipes

Sweet Pancakes with Oat Bran - Photo: Getty Images

There are several ways to consume this bran, including including in recipes!

Sweet pancake recipe with oat bran

Oat bran pancake with fruit jelly

Sources consulted

Nutritionist Nicole Trevisan, nutritionist Nutritionist Roseli Rossi, specialist in Clinical Nutrition at the Nutrition Equilibrium Clinic, in São Paulo

Nutrologist Roberto Navarro (CRM SP 78.392), member of the Brazilian Association of Nutrology (Abran)

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