Digestive Disorders > Intolerances > Gluten Intolerance

What is wheat bran and what is it used for?

Dr. med. Andre Sommer

Dr. med. Andre Sommer

Wheat bran is obtained from wheat processing. The flour is sieved, leaving the outer layers of the wheat grain - the wheat bran. Wheat bran is used to help enrich the diet insoluble fiber. The fiber leads to faster and longer feeling satiety and works against constipation. In irritable bowel syndrome, a high-fiber diet, for example by eating wheat bran, can lead to an improvement in symptoms.

The most important things at a glance

  • Wheat bran is a high-fiber part of the wheat grain.
  • The consumption of wheat bran ensures faster and longer satiety.
  • Wheat bran can have a positive influence on diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Wheat bran shortens the passage of food through the intestine and makes the stool softer. Therefore, wheat bran is suitable for use against constipation.
  • Due to its neutral taste wheat bran is not consumed pure, but in connection with yogurt, muesli, baked goods or similar. There are many recipes online to make wheat bran a part of your daily diet.
  • Wheat bran is available in many different shops and also available from many retailers on the Internet

What exactly is wheat bran?

Bran is the part of the grain that remains after sifting the flour. Above all, it includes the fiber-rich outer layers of the grain. Depending on which grain is used, wheat, oat or spelt bran are obtained. Wheat bran is characterized by a high proportion of insoluble fiber, which is not absorbed in the digestive tract and is excreted in the stool. The fiber it contains swell in liquid and thus increase the volume of gastric and intestinal contents.

How does wheat bran work?

Because of the high swelling volume the porridge increases in volume and the stomach and intestinal walls are stretched more. The stomach stretching causes rapid onset of satiety. The fiber stays in the stomach longer as a very easily digestible food from simple carbohydrates. As a result, wheat bran achieves leads to longer lasting satiety. This can make it easier for those who have to limit food intake as part of a diet. The body weight is reduced by the reduced energy supply.

The food porridge gets into the intestine. The higher volume due to the fiber stimulates the intestinal movement (peristalsis). This works against constipation: The increased intestinal peristalsis transports the intestinal contents faster towards the colon and anus. Wheat bran makes the stool a little softer due to the swelling volume. Heavy pressing is avoided. With hemorrhoids or an otherwise sensitive anus, this can make emptying the stool significantly more pleasant.

When is wheat bran used?

Wheat bran helps with:

  • Constipation
  • To support a weight-loss diet
  • For symptom relief with irritable bowel syndrome
  • For haemorrhoids,

In general, a high-fiber diet, e.g. by eating wheat bran, lowers the risk for cardiovascular disease as well as colon and breast cancer.

Did you know?

People who eat a high-fiber diet have a lower body weight.

When should wheat bran not be used?

Wheat bran must not be used if there is a possible bowel obstruction. A bowel obstruction can initially appear as sudden constipation with abdominal pain. Taking wheat bran increases the stool volume. The pressure that is then applied to the intestinal walls can lead to an intestinal breakthrough.

Caution with gluten intolerance

Wheat bran also contains gluten and is not suitable for people with celiac disease.

How is wheat bran used?

Wheat bran tastes, depending on the manufacturer, neutral or slightly bitter. Therefore, wheat bran is not suited for consumption pure. The bran can be stirred into yogurt, quark or muesli. After a few minutes the bran swells a bit and has a mushy consistency. Adequate amounts of fluid have to be included for this.

Tip: **You should take a glass of water per tablespoon of bran, otherwise the wheat bran may not swell properly in the digestive tract. **Without adequate hydration, wheat bran can cause constipation.

There is no clear regulation of how much wheat bran should be consumed. Instead, the effect of the wheat bran on the person concerned is decisive for the dosage. 10 g of bran can be sufficient for constipation, but you can also add 20 or 40 g in your daily diet. As long as enough liquid is absorbed, there is no "maximum dose".

Wheat bran can be used heartily as a binding agent in soups, casseroles or sauces; When baking, two tablespoons of wheat bran increase the fiber content in the basic recipe. Depending on the desired consistency of the dough, it is necessary add a little more liquid to the batter.

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Are there special recipes with wheat bran?

There are many suggestions for using wheat bran on the Internet. A typical **basic recipe for a portion of homemade granola **could look like this:

  • 4 tbsp oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp wheat bran
  • 1 tbsp chopped almonds
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 200 ml milk or milk alternative

Tip: Mix all the ingredients together and let them sit for at least a few minutes, but ideally overnight. The next morning, you can add some fresh fruit, like a chopped apple or a mashed banana.

A dough for high-fiber bread can be made as follows

  • 500 g spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 handful of nuts, e.g. walnuts or hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp of flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp kernels, e.g. sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp wheat bran
  • 1 cube of fresh yeast
  • 300 ml cold water

Mix the ingredients together and let the dough rise for an hour. Then bake it in a tin for one hour at 200 ° C in the oven.

What are the nutritional values of wheat bran?

100 g of wheat bran contain 279 calories and 41 g of fiber. The strong satiety effect makes it easier to eat less overall.

What is the advantage of wheat bran over other vegetable swelling agents?

Wheat bran, oat bran, flaxseed and psyllium are high-fiber and swelling foods thave a positive effect on functional digestive problems. Which product or product mix you choose depends on the individual effect, tolerability and taste. Wheat bran has a very high fiber content and tastes neutral to slightly bitter. Oat bran tastes more intensely like oats or a little nutty. Psyllium seeds have a high swelling capacity and are tasteless. Flax seeds taste nutty and are easy to chew.

In many cases, the right nutrition can already help with the reduction of symptoms. It also increases the quality of life in any case. Please have a look at our nutritional medical therapy program. (Limited spaces) - developed and recommended by doctors. Our certified nutritionists will be happy to help you and advise you free of charge, online from home. In the further course, up to 5 sessions will be reimbursed by your health insurance in Germany.

What does wheat bran look like?

Wheat bran consists of fine, brown bran flakes. The flakes are very small.

Tip: Make sure you have a good closure to prevent the flakes from “blowing away” unnecessarily.

Where can you buy wheat bran?

Wheat bran is available in supermarket chains, health food stores and pharmacies. The individual products differ in price, in manufacturing quality (from organic or conventional cultivation) and in taste, especially in the degree of bitterness. Wheat bran can also be ordered online - the selection of manufacturers is even larger there and when ordering larger quantities there may be a discount.

Where to buy? Product name Price
dm market dm organic wheat bran, 250 g € 0.85
Health food store e.g. Dr. Grandel Granolax wheat bran, 200 g € 3.99
Alnatura, Müller, Edeka, Rossmann Alnatura wheat bran, 250 g 0.85 € to 0.89 €
Edeka Seitenbacher wheat bran, 250 g € 1.59
Online pharmacy e.g. Aurica wheat bran Flosano, 500 g € 4.00
Rewe Organic central wheat bran, 250 g € 1.19
Amazon e.g. Schneekoppe wheat bran, 6x200 g € 10.49

de Vries, J., Miller, P. E., & Verbeke, K. (2015). Effects of cereal fiber on bowel function: A systematic review of intervention trials. World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG, 21(29), 8952, online: https://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/full/v21/i29/8952.htm, downloaded on 31.08.2018.

Parisi, G. C., Zilli, M., Miani, M. P., Carrara, M., Bottona, E., Verdianelli, G., ... & Tonon, A. (2002). High-fiber diet supplementation in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): a multicenter, randomized, open trial comparison between wheat bran diet and partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG). Digestive diseases and sciences, 47(8), 1697-1704, online: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1016419906546, downloaded on 31.08.2018.

Slavin, J. L. (2008). Position of the American Dietetic Association: health implications of dietary fiber. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108(10), 1716-1731, online: https://jandonline.org/article/S0002-8223(02)90228-2/fulltext, downloaded on 21.08.2016.

Lawton, C., Walton, J., Hoyland, A., Howarth, E., Allan, P., Chesters, D., & Dye, L. (2013). Short term (14 days) consumption of insoluble wheat bran fibre-containing breakfast cereals improves subjective digestive feelings, general wellbeing and bowel function in a dose dependent manner. Nutrients, 5(4), 1436-1455, online:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705356/pdf/nutrients-05-01436.pdf, downloaded on 04.09.2018.

Dr. med. Andre Sommer

Dr. med. Andre Sommer

I’m André, a medical doctor from Berlin. Together with a team of medical doctors, nutritionists and data scientists we empower people to understand digestive issues with our app Cara Care.

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