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Forget goji berries, rice bran is the new superfood!
Specialists and medical professionals have been looking for so-called superfoods for a long time to improve people's nutrition and health. Researchers have now found that rice bran (the outer covering of the rice grain) has a very high nutritional value and is also rich in proteins, fats, minerals and micronutrients.
The researchers at Colorado State University found that rice bran contains a lot of proteins, fats and minerals and is also highly nutritional. In addition, there are many so-called micronutrients (such as vitamin B) in the rice bran. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "RICE".
Rice bran is usually used as animal feed
The American experts suggest that rice bran could lead to benefits for human health and a healthier diet. Rice bran is removed from whole grain rice during processing and is normally used as animal feed.
A serving of rice bran contains more than half of the vitamins required every day
A single serving of rice bran (28 grams) provides more than half of the daily requirement for essential vitamins, explains author Professor Elizabeth Ryan. These vitamins include, for example, thiamine, niacin and vitamin B6. Traditionally, rice bran is considered a cheap source of fiber and only the lipids it contains have been classified as useful. These can be used in the form of cooking oil, for example. Rice bran has rarely been used for human consumption. The main use of rice bran mainly in animal feed, say the scientists. The high nutritional value it contains could now lead to greater attention.
Doctors discover 16 new health-promoting attributes
The researchers used a sophisticated biochemical technique (mass spectrometry) in their study to measure the amount of many different molecules in the investigated food. The researchers found a total of 453 metabolites in the assessment of three US rice varieties that have so far been used in human nutritional intervention experiments. Among them were 65 metabolites, which had potentially medical and health-promoting attributes. 16 of the health-promoting metabolites were previously unknown, the experts explain.
Rice bran contains many cofactors, vitamins and amino acids
We examined the amino acids, vitamins, cofactors and secondary metabolites in rice bran because they are believed to contribute to the medical and nutritional benefits of rice bran, explains Professor Ryan. "We were very surprised that cofactors, vitamins and amino acids account for almost 50 percent of the total molecule content," added the doctor.
The high protein content of rice bran can compensate for nutritional deficiencies
For some of the compounds in rice bran, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antihypertensive properties have been demonstrated in previous studies. Rice bran also contains 12 to 15 percent protein. Due to the high protein content, nutritional deficiencies can be compensated for, the doctors say.
Rice bran could provide more than 400 healthy single compounds
Rice is an essential staple food for more than half of the world's population and is grown in over 100 countries. Rice bran as a food ingredient could provide more than 400 individual compounds, which together lead to health benefits, explains author Professor Ryan.
More research is needed
Although limited information was available on how well individual compounds can be used by the human body after ingestion, further research should review the use of rice bran in nutritional therapies and medical food applications, the expert adds. (as)