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The nutrient packed layers covering the inner kernel of most grains. Bran is loaded with insoluble fiber, which is important for digestive health, and soluble fiber, which helps to lower the cholesterol level in the blood. Removal of these components from the grain is often attributed to the rise in many of the health problems associated with diets low in fiber.

Some types of bran are so popular as a food supplement that they are sold as a separate product. Oat and rice bran are two of the more popular examples of grains in which some of the bran is removed during processing and ground into a meal to be used as a supplement or food additive.

Bran can be stored in an airtight container almost indefinitely because the absence of the germ portion of the grain increases the shelf life. It is most often used in muffins, breads, and cereals and it is available in natural and health food stores and many large food stores.

USDA Nutrition Facts

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