The health benefits of rice bran oil include its ability to help lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, prevent cancer, improve skin health, promote weight loss, relieve menopausal symptoms, protect heart health, increase cognitive strength, and lower allergic reactions.
What is Rice Bran Oil?
Rice bran oil is an increasingly popular vegetable oil that offers many advantages over standard vegetable oils that millions of people commonly cook with all over the world. Rice is one of the most widely available and popular foodstuffs on the planet, and rice bran oil is extracted from the germ and the husk of rice kernels.
It has a very high smoke point, which is why it is commonly used in high-temperature cooking methods, such as stir-frying and deep frying. In terms of similarity to other vegetable oils, it has a similar composition to that of peanut oil and is healthier than many oils.
Rice bran oil is most commonly used in Asian cultures, including Japan and China, primarily because rice is already a staple food in their cuisines. However, rice bran oil is becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world because of its relatively low price point and the many health benefits that come from using it in food preparation.
It is most widely praised for its content of vitamin E, ideal fatty acid balance, antioxidant capacity, and cholesterol-lowering abilities. Let’s look a bit closer at some of the health benefits that you can get from rice bran oil.
Health Benefits of Rice Bran Oil
Rice bran oil has various health benefits as mentioned below.
Prevents Menopausal Issues
Research has been conducted on an extract of rice bran oil in terms of how it affects menopausal women. More than 90% of the women who took the supplement reported a reduction in hot flashes and other irritating symptoms of menopause that all women eventually suffer from. The same benefits are suggested by women using rice bran oil on their own as well.
Controls Cholesterol Levels
The World Health Organization and the American Heart Association have both stated that rice bran oil has the best possible composition of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats compared to all other vegetable oils. This balance of fatty acids means that the cholesterol levels in your body can actually be reduced because the beneficial forms of cholesterol actually inhibit the LDL or bad forms of cholesterol from bonding in the body. This can help reduce conditions like atherosclerosis and the subsequent afflictions like heart attacks and strokes. Who knew that changing the cooking oil you use could protect your heart so well!
Rice bran oil is a rich source of antioxidants, both in various forms of vitamin E, as well as compounds such as oryzanol. There is a lot of vitamin E in this oil, including both tocopherol and tocotrienol, which most vegetable oils do not claim. Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant, which means that free radicals in the body are neutralized. Free radicals are the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous ones. Therefore, keeping a steady flow of antioxidants coming into the body is essential for reducing your chances of developing various types of cancer.
Vitamin E is known for more than helping prevent cancer. Vitamin E (tocopherol) is directly connected to the health and wellness of the skin. Free radicals can attack the skin cells and increase the signs of premature aging. Rice bran oil can increase your levels of vitamin E, which can speed up wound healing, increase cellular regeneration, smoothen the skin, reduce wrinkles, and provide protection from sunburn. Vitamin E also helps boost the protective quality of skin cells, keeping foreign toxins and pathogens from entering through the skin.
Prevents Allergic Reactions
Rice bran oil is hypoallergenic in nature. The oil will not cause any allergic reactions when used in cooking, and can also calm existing allergic reaction in the body. It can also prevent hypersensitivity to other unusual allergens.
Although rice bran oil is technically high in calories, the viscosity of this oil ensures that the food absorbs only about 20% of the oil. When less oil is absorbed, the food still retains the flavor and gets the health benefits of the rice bran oil, but the total caloric intake is less than other vegetable oils, so rice bran oil is probably your best choice if you’re worried about your weight.
Word of Caution: Rice bran oil is high in fiber, which can improve digestion unless you have an existing gastrointestinal condition. The fiber can block up the gastrointestinal tract further if you are already suffering from ulcers or any other condition that narrows your digestive tract for any reason. Furthermore, be careful about the amount of rice bran oil you consume, as it is high in calories. Only use rice bran oil for cooking when you need it and in moderation!