Whole grain kernels include the plant's germ, endosperm and bran. Rice bran consists of the germ and the layer between the outer hull and inner rice grain. This is equivalent to 8 percent of the total weight of the rice kernel. About 60 percent of the overall nutrients in the grain, including fiber, are found in the rice bran. Rice bran has a high fiber content, making it beneficial for your diet.
Rice Bran in the Diet
You can add rice bran to many recipes as a way to increase your fiber intake. Sprinkle rice bran on your breakfast cereal or mix it in pancake batter. It has a mild flavor, so you can add it to fruit smoothies without affecting the taste. Add a few teaspoons of rice bran to your cake, cookie or brownie recipe. This is an easy way to sneak in some beneficial fiber.
Dietary fiber helps you maintain your digestive health and reduce your blood cholesterol levels. A 2 tablespoons serving of rice bran provides 4 grams of dietary fiber. You should consume about 25 to 38 grams of fiber daily. Your body does not digest or absorb fiber. Dietary fiber passes through your stomach, small intestine and colon without being broken down. While the fiber is passing through, it benefits your body by helping remove waste products.
Rice bran contains some soluble fiber. This type of fiber dissolves in water, and forms a gel that moves through your gut. Consuming soluble fiber may help lower your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. A diet high in soluble fiber may also help reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar, which may help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Most of the fiber in rice bran is insoluble, and comes from the cell wall of the rice kernel. Insoluble fiber creates fecal bulk and keeps your bowels moving. This may help with constipation or irregular stools. The insoluble fiber in rice bran can help normalize your bowel movements and may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.
Negative Effects of Fiber
Fiber from rice bran can have negative effects in your body. Increasing your fiber intake may cause constipation, diarrhea or an upset stomach. You may also experience gas and bloating. Reduce these effects by slowly introducing rice bran to your diet. Add one teaspoon, twice a day, and increase this amount as you can tolerate it. This will give your body time to adjust to your increased fiber intake.