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What is bran?

Bran is the outer layer of a grain or cereal that is removed during the milling process. It is a source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. 

What are different types of bran?

There are four common types of bran: oat bran, wheat bran, rice bran, and corn bran. These have been removed during the milling process and can be purchased separately from the rest of the grain. Additionally, whole cereal grains contain bran on their outer layer. The different types of bran can be found at grocery stores as well as ordered online. 

Is bran gluten-free?

Some types of bran are gluten-free. Rice, corn, and oat bran are gluten-free, although oat bran is frequently processed in a facility that also processes wheat, therefore it may have come into contact with wheat. Wheat bran is not gluten-free.  

What are the benefits of bran?

One of the most significant benefits of bran is that it is very high in fiber compared to the rest of the whole grain. Fiber helps with digestive regularity, promotes healthy gut bacteria, lowers cholesterol, and controls blood sugar levels. Bran is also a good source of many vitamins and minerals.

How can I use bran?

Bran is often used in baked goods to add more fiber and to enhance texture. It can also be used by adding to smoothies, yogurt, warm or cold cereal, casseroles, soups, and stews. 

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Photo of Kristin Ricklefs-Johnson

Medically reviewed by:

Kristin Ricklefs-Johnson, Ph.D., RD

Kristin is an RDN who also earned her Ph.D. in Nutrition from Arizona State University with an emphasis on insulin resistance, lipid metabolism disorders, and obesity. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Mayo Clinic where she focused on nutrition-related proteomic and metabolic research. Her interests include understanding the exact mechanism of action of various genetic variations underlying individual predispositions to nutrition-related health outcomes. Her goal is to help all individuals prevent chronic diseases and achieve long, healthy lives through eating well.

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