bran flakes

Benefits of bran flakes

Many people begin their day with a bowl of bran flakes. Bran flakes are a popular, fibrous cereal that’s sometimes prepared with raisins, nuts, or other dried fruits for an additional health kick. However, it’s wise to be conscientious about bran cereals with many added ingredients, as they typically have a higher fat and sugar content than simple whole bran flakes.

In this article, we’ll explain what bran flakes are and look at their health benefits. We’ll break down the nutritional profile of bran in detail, so you can see its nutrient content for yourself. Finally, we’ll advise simple ways to enjoy more bran as part of a balanced diet.

What are bran flakes?

Bran flakes are a popular breakfast cereal made from the external layer of a wheat kernel: the bran. When wheat’s milled to make flour, the bran is disregarded. Resourceful entrepreneurs took that discarded by-product of flour and made it into cereal; an ingenious idea, as bran is full of health benefits.

Health benefits of bran flakes

Eating bran is linked to a whole host of health benefits, including:

  • Reduced bloating. The insoluble fibre in bran helps to alleviate bloating – and the discomfort that comes along with it.1

  • Support gut health. Bran is full of prebiotics, which can support gut health.2

  • Better poos. Bran consumption decreases the likelihood of constipation by improving the size of stools and speeding their passage through the colon.3

  • Better heart health. Eating fibrous cereals is likely to improve heart health, as its correlated to lower blood pressure and stable body weight.4,5

  • Lower cholesterol. Studies indicate that eating bran flakes reduces ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol but preserves ‘good’ HDL cholesterol (the cholesterol that helps your body process the bad kind).6

Bran flakes nutritional profile

A 29g serving of bran flakes contains:7

  • 99% of your daily recommended fibre. Fibre encourages normal gut health.8

  • 39% of your daily recommended niacin. Niacin promotes nervous system and skin health.9

  • 38% of your daily recommended vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 encourages your body to produce haemoglobin, a substance that’s essential for moving oxygen throughout the body.10

  • 20% of your daily recommended thiamin. Thiamin transforms food into energy the body needs to function.11

How to include more bran in your diet

Most people enjoy bran flakes each morning as their breakfast cereal. Milk (including plant-based varieties) complements bran flakes, as it softens the bran to help your body digest the fibre easily. This helps reduce digestive complaints associated with excess fibre, like bloating.

If you don’t enjoy cereal in the mornings, you can incorporate bran into your diet by sprinkling bran flakes on Greek yogurt as a nourishing, healthy snack. Alternatively, you could add bran flakes to bakes for a satisfying crunch and plenty of health benefits.

Last updated: 3 November 2020

FoodFood & DrinkNutrition