Rice bran oil is a type of cooking oil extracted from the outer layer of rice grain called the bran. It is popular cooking oil widely used in Asia including India and China. It has started gaining popularity in other parts of the world due to its health benefits. It can be used for cooking and can also be used as a salad oil. Having a relatively high smoke point of 232 °C, Rice bran oil can be used in high temperature cooking methods like for deep frying and stir frying. Being low in price is as added advantage for rice bran oil.
Rice bran oil is considered as one of the healthiest oil available in market at present. It helps in lowering cholesterol, improves the immune system, helps in weight management, manages skin issues, and reduces the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases and many more. Rice bran oil has high content of vitamin E and good cholesterol. It is a rich source of anti-oxidant and micronutrients that helps in fighting cancer and other age related issues. Rice bran as such is high in fibre; however, when converted into oil the fibre content reduces.
Health Benefits of Rice Bran Oil
The health benefits of Rice bran oil are as follows:
- Management of Cholesterol: Rice bran oil has the close to perfect composition of saturated, mono saturated and poly saturated fat as compared to other commercially available oil. This balance of fatty acid is beneficial in reduction of cholesterol levels in the body. Rice bran oil helps in reducing absorption of cholesterol and accelerates elimination of cholesterol. This in turn helps in reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis and cardiac issues such as heart attacks and strokes.
- Health Benefits of Rice Bran Oil for Kidney Stones: Rice bran oil reduces calcium absorption which helps in reducing the risk of developing kidney stones.
- Prevention of Cancer: One of the health benefits of rice bran oil is the prevention of cancer. Rice bran oil is rich in vitamin E including tocotrienol and tocopherol. It also contains a compound called Oryzanol. These have anti- oxidant properties which help in neutralizing free radicals in the body. This helps is reducing the risk of mutation of genes and cancer.
- Anti–aging Properties & Skin Health Benefits of Rice Bran Oil: Rice bran oil helps in overall wellbeing of the individuals. It is beneficial for improving the health of skin, hair and nails. Vitamin E content of rice bran oil acts on the free radicals and arrests premature aging. Rice bran oil helps in smoothening of the skin, reduction of wrinkles, cell regeneration, protection of skin from sun burn etc. It also aids wound healing and promotes skin protection.
- Health Benefits of Rice Bran Oil in the Management of Premenopausal Symptoms: It has been noticed that consumption of rice bran oil helps in reduction of hot flashes and other premenopausal symptoms.
- Hypo-allergic Property of Rice Bran Oil: Rice bran oil usually does not lead to any allergic reaction when used in cooking. In fact, it has been seen that rice bran oil helps in smoothening allergic reaction in the body.
- Weight Loss Benefits of Rice Bran Oil: Rice bran oil is one the best choice of oil while trying to lose weight. It reduces the calorie intake as compared with other commonly used vegetable oil. Food cooked in rice bran oil, absorbs less oil and yet retains the flavour; this makes the food healthier.
Nutritional Composition of Rice Bran Oil
For 1 table spoon (13.6 g) of rice bran oil, the following is the nutritional composition:
|Nutritional Facts (For a serving size of 1 tbsp /13.6 g)|
|Calories from fat||122.4 (101.8%)|
|Total fat||13. 6 g|
|Saturated fat||2.7 g|
|Mono saturated fat||5.3 g (38%)|
|Poly unsaturated fat||5.3 g (38%)|
|Omega-3 fatty acids||2.2%|
|Omega-6 fatty acids||3.4%|
|Vitamin E||4.4 mg (30%)|
|Vitamin K||3.4 μg|
|Food energy per 100 g||3700 kJ (880 kcal)|
|Smoke point||232 °C (450 °F)|
|Saponification value||180 – 190|
|Unsaponifiable||3 – 5|
Side Effects of Rice Bran Oil
Although very few, there are some side effects of consumption of rice bran oil. They are as follows:
- Gastrointestinal Issues as a Side Effect of Rice Bran Oil: It is advised to avoid consumption of rice bran oil in presence of gastrointestinal issues such as ulcers, adhesions, digestive abnormalities, intestinal issues etc. Rice bran oil can affect normal bowel movement and digestion.
- Rice Bran Oil leading to Allergic Reaction as its Side Effect: Even though rice bran is thought to be hypo-allergic, when having for the first time, one must be cautious about rare allergic reaction that may be caused by it. Rice bran oil must be avoided if allergic reactions develop after consuming it. This however is very rare.
As per the World Health Organisation and American Heart Association, rice bran oil is considered as the one of the healthiest oil. Besides being healthy, rice bran oil is readily available commercially and comparatively cheaper than the other commonly used oil. Rice bran oil being heart friendly protects the heart and arteries. It lowers cholesterol, helps in reducing the risk of cancer and also reduces the risk of developing renal stones. It also reverses the aging process and helps is controlling menopausal symptoms. Additionally, it helps in weight loss and overall well-being of an individual.