Benefits of Rice Bran Oil

The rice bran has quietly crept into our kitchens in the last few years. Though we consider this oil as a healthy one, many of us still do not know why it is healthy. Read on to know how the rice bran oil helps us.

Rice bran oil is the choice of the so called middle class masses in the country. One of the latest in the affordable list of healthy diets among the masses, the oil claims that it can be put to many more uses other than just as cooking oil. The many advantages of the oil have led to the skyrocket demand for the product in the domestic side as well as in the hotels and restaurants.

What is Rice Bran Oil

Bran is the outer layer or the husk of the rice grain. The oil extracted from this bran surrounding the kernels of rice is the rice bran oil. The health benefits associated with this oil along with the high smoke point make it ideal oil for cooking in the Indian households. Normally the rice bran used in the extraction of the oil is the by-product of the rice milling industries. Hence rice is not grown purposefully for the oil extraction as is done in case of other alternatives.

Why is Rice Bran Oil a healthy choice

Health experts have rated the rice bran oil quite high on the health chart. The common people also have shifted their preferences to the rice bran oil considering the various health benefits that come along with it.

  • Cholesterol reduction: The composition of saturated, mono saturated and poly saturated fat in rice bran oil is more towards perfection when compared to other commercially available cooking oils. This results in the reduction of the absorption of the cholesterol. It further accelerates the elimination of the same. Cardiac issues are thus under control.
  • Check development of kidney stones: The rice bran oil has the fantastic property of reducing the calcium absorption. This in turn reduces the risk of having kidney stones
  • Prevention of cancer: Rich in vitamin E, tocotrienol, tocopherol and the compound Oryzanol, the oil showers the elements needed to prevent cancer in the body. Further the anti-oxidant properties in it also help in neutralizing free radicals in the body thereby reducing the risk of mutation of genes and cancer
  • Benefits on skin: Rice Bran oil also benefits the individual by improving the health of the skin, hair and nails. The vitamin E and anti oxidants content in the oil is the proven ingredient responsible for arresting premature aging, reducing wrinkles, protecting the skin from sun burns and cell regeneration
  • Boosts Immunity: Vitamin E is also said to boost immunity. This way the oil should be favored more by the parents of the growing children.
  • Benefits on premenopausal symptoms: Studies and observations have concluded that the consumption of rice bran oil helps in reducing the premenopausal symptoms like hot flashes to some extent
  • Smoothens the allergic reactions: Rice bran oil is also coupled with the hypo-allergic properties and help in reducing and smoothening of the allergic reaction in the body. However, it may not be so in every case. And the consumption should be stopped immediately in case any reactions are seen after the first use
  • Choice for the weight loss: The oil reduces the calorie intake automatically when the food cooked in the oil absorbs less oil and still tastes good.

Uses of Rice Bran oil in normal household

  1. Regular Cooking : No doubt, rice bran oil is good and healthy cooking oil. The benefits associated with this oil easily outweigh the high cost and the ill effects of the usage of the chemicals, etc while processing the oil. It is required in less quantity while cooking as the food absorbs less of this. The high smoke point also makes it a choice for deep frying and such other modes of cooking.
  2. As a salad oil : Rice bran is preferred by dietitians and chefs for sauteing and also for salad dressing. It is become a chosen salad oil.
  3. During Fasts: In India, rice grain is used in its raw form in the pujas or idol worships, though we restrain our self from eating the cooked rice during the days of fast. Hence there could be some confusion regarding the use of the rice bran oil for cooking the food that we eat during the fast. We normally use the sunflower oil for the purpose. But the rice bran oil is extracted during the raw stage of rice; hence it caters to the logic of using it for cooking the food related to the fast
  4. For the idol worship diyas: The very reason that the rice bran oil is extracted during the grain stage makes it also a good choice for the diyas for the puja along with the ghee. The rice bran oil gives a neutral flavor thereby gives a pleasant taste to even the food cooked in less oil. One must give it a try before keeping it aside for the higher price when compared to its counterpart


Author: Natarajan30 May 2019 Member Level: Gold   Points : 6

Many of us in India, have become health conscious and are buying oils off the shelf that are good for the heart, less in cholesterol, rich in essential fatty acids etc. Glad that the author has mentioned about Oryzanol. This compound is said to reduce cholesterol levels. It is also said to help with 'hot flushes' (not flashes). Whenever possible, it is better to go for the cold pressed extraction type of rice barn oil if available.

We should also be aware of some of the potential disadvantages of rice bran oil. There are some reports of gamma oryzanol (richest source is rice bran oil) can interfere with thyroid hormonal levels. Rice bran oil is very rich in omega 6(linoleic) fatty acid with very minimal amounts of omega 3 (linolenic) fatty acid. The ideal proportion of both these should be 1:1. This is around 21:1 in rice bran oil. Omega 6 is linked to blood pressure and chronic inflammation. So, if one is using rice bran oil solely, then they need to use sources that are rich in omega 3 ( fish oil, seafood, nuts, and flaxseeds) too.

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