Wheat bran is made of the top hard layer of the wheat kernel known as brand. It is the outer layer that covers the endosperm and germ of the wheat kernels and is stripped from it during the milling.
Wheat bran is a healthy byproduct that is nutty and sweet in flavor and can be eaten as a breakfast or for adding more healthy texture to different baked goods such as muffins and bread.
It is rich in fiber and other plant minerals, and other nutrients and is known to help reduce weight, thus improve health and decrease the risk of chronic diseases.
It also helps boost the metabolism and helps prevent constipation. Plus, it is safe for consumption even if you have gluten intolerance or allergies.
So overall, the bran is an excellent way to start the day, but what happens if you run out of wheat bran?
There are some substitutes that can help save the day until you get the chance to pop into the store to get some more wheat bran.
Some of the most suitable alternatives for wheat bran include oat bran, wheat germ, flaxseed, oatmeal, rice bran, whole wheat flour, and more.
The top wheat bran substitutes
1. Oat Bran
Oat bran is among the closest substitutes for wheat bran. But there are some nutritional differences to keep in mind, especially if you are consuming the bran for weight loss or other health reasons.
Wheat bran is more nutritious than oat bran, but yet it has fewer calories than it.
Wheat bran contains 24.8g of fiber per cup, while oat bran has 14.05g per cup.
The fiber helps absorb water and protects the digestive tract by producing a protective gel. On the other hand, oat bran contains more beta-glucan, known as soluble fiber, which has multiple health benefits, especially for the cardiovascular system.
Both foods contain healthy minerals such as calcium and magnesium, as well as about 5-6mg of iron, as well as vitamin B complex and antioxidant phytochemicals.
Flaxseed is another healthy substitute for wheat bran you can use for making yourself a healthy breakfast or meal when you run out of wheat bran.
It is gluten-free, and a single spoon of flaxseed contains 3g of fiber which is about 8-12% of the daily recommended value.
Thanks to the high fiber content, flaxseed can help lower blood sugar levels. It also is high in healthy omega-3 fats, fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
You can add flaxseed to your diet or use it as an alternative to wheat bran if you are looking for the best and healthiest substitute for adding some diversity to your daily meals.
3. Wheat Germ
Wheat germ is the layer of the wheat kernel below the bran. The wheat germ has a different nutritional structure and protein, lipid, and fiber content than WB.
While bran contains 15% protein, more than 4% fat, and 42% dietary fiber, wheat germ contains more protein, and 23% fat, and only 13% fiber.
100g of wheat germ has 360 calories as compared to the same amount of bran which is only 216 calories.
The nutritional content of vitamins and minerals in the two is quite similar, and both the wheat bran and germ are suitable for baking due to the high fiber content.
Thus, if you are baking something which requires adding wheat bran, you can safely substitute it with the same out of wheat germ for the same or similar end results.
4. Rice bran
Rice bran is the outer layer and a byproduct of the rice plant, which is used for making healthy oils in Japan and India. It has a nice flavor and texture and can easily be used as a replacement for wheat bran if you want a healthy breakfast or meal or if you want to bake something with the WB.
Although it is prevalent in Japan, it can be less easy to find in the western world. Still, if you can find it, you might be happy to know that rice bran has a 26% fiber content which is lower than that of the wheat bran but higher than the fiber content in oat bran.
Rice bran is known to help lower the bad cholesterol levels in the blood. It contains a lot of calcium which can help reduce kidney stones and other health conditions.
Overall, if you can get your hands on it, rice bran can be a very healthy and delicious alternative for wheat bran.
Oatmeal is one of the most popular breakfast choices and is preferred as a starter for the day because of its healthiness and its ability to reduce the risk of many serious diseases, and its capability of controlling insulin production in the human body.
Oatmeal is a healthy alternative for wheat bran and contains a lot of good minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants such as magnesium and vitamins E and B.
It is also gluten-free and very easy and quick to prepare for breakfast. It can help resolve issues with constipation and other digestive issues as well.
Plus, it can easily substitute wheat bran when needed for a particular baking recipe for making muffins, cookies, granola bars, or others.
6. Whole-wheat flour
Whole wheat flour, as its name suggests, is made of whole wheat grain and contains a lot of healthy fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
It is commonly used for baking and thickening dishes and can readily be used as a wheat bran substitute when you are cooking.
Keep in mind that whole wheat flour contains more fiber and has a more intensive flavor than wheat bran, so you may need to add more water when using it for baking or cooking.
Are wheat bran and bran the same thing?
Yes, both are the outer layers covering the wheat kernels, which are stripped away as byproducts during the milling process.
What exactly is unprocessed wheat bran?
This is a WB that has been separated from the kernel naturally rather than being stripped off during the milling of the wheat.
It contains a lot of fiber, minerals, and vitamins and is an even healthier and more natural alternative to regular wheat bran.
What is the recommended quantity of wheat bran to eat per day?
Depending on your age, weight, and activity level, as well as the reason for the consumption of the wheat bran, the recommended daily quantity can vary.
For example, if you are eating it to resolve constipation issues, then about 20-25g of WB per day should do the trick.
If you are eating it to lower your high blood pressure, even 3-6g per day can have a positive effect on your health.
If you are suffering from IBS, then the recommended dosage of wheat bran per day is 30 grams.