Rice bran oil extracted from the thin bran coating of brown rice has been around for centuries. Even today, it is extensively used in many Asian countries like Korea, China, Taiwan and Thailand for cooking, particularly in Japan where it is popularly known as the "Heart Oil" because of its many cardiovascular benefits. The benefits of rice bran oil however, are not limited to the heart. As researchers across the world are discovering, rice bran oil has many nutritive and curative properties that make it beneficial for our overall health. Health associations and nutritionists are showing increased interest in rice bran oil and so are health conscious communities – in America rice bran oil has acquired “health food” status. Rice bran oil contain unique micro nutrients and natural anti-oxidants that are not found in other cooking oils, hence it has been dubbed by many as the world's healthiest oil.
In spite of its almost miraculous properties, not enough people are aware of the goodness of rice bran oil. It's time we uncovered its secrets.
Studies show that consuming rice bran oil has multiple effects and benefits that contribute in preventing and reducing the risk of heart diseases. It is a rich natural source of antioxidant "Oryzanol", a potent chemical compound and tocotrienol, a type of vitamin E that are known to lower cholesterol levels by reducing the levels of fat molecules triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL), and increasing the proportion of good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. MUFA (Mono-unsaturated Fatty Acid) and PUFA (Polyunsaturated fatty acids) on the other hand keep blood vessels improving blood circulation. These benefits have been known to the Japanese for long who call it the "Heart Oil".
Rice bran oil has been known as the beauty secret of East Asian women, and of Japanese, Korean women in particular. In these parts of the world, the oil not only used in cooking but also applied directly to the skin and hair as a beauty regime.
Squalene found in rice bran oil is an organic compound also naturally produced by human skin. It acts as a moisturizing lubricant which gives the skin a soft, smooth, velvety appearance. Gamma oryzanol and vitamin E in rice bran oil also reduce tissue oxidation which slows down ageing of skin resulting in beautiful healthy skin texture and complexion. For its skin care properties rice bran oil is also used as a sunscreen agent.
Vitamin E-complex in rice bran oil is essential in the proper functioning of central nervous system, enhancing brain capability and reflexes and protecting against Alzheimer's disease. Gamma oryzanol increases neurotransmitter production in the brain.
Antioxidants in rice bran oil slow down the oxidation process in the body and control presence of free radicals thus protecting it from diseases, reducing allergic reactions and strengthening the immune system.
Excessive free radicals in the body cause cellular damage and increase the risk of cancer. Rice Bran contains natural substances and antioxidants that curb free radicals and hence reduce the risk. Scientific research has shown that rice bran oil also helps destroy cancer cells. Tocotrienols and Phytasterols are effective anti-mutagenic elements found in rice bran oil.
Rice bran oil is known to contain compounds that regulate hormone secretion. It contains healthy amounts of Ferulic acid that has good effects on the concentration of endocrine hormones. Oryzanol found only in Rice Bran can also reduce hot flashes symptoms in menopausal women.
Rice bran oil is light and has a high smoke point which makes it ideal for cooking and frying. Food fried in rice bran oil absorbs less oil making it preferable for weight watchers. Because of its lightness and delicate and neutral taste rice bran oil is also great for dressing salads.
With its many nutritional benefits it's no surprise that rice bran oil is steadily becoming the preferred oil to in healthy kitchens around the world. Now that you know its secrets, go ahead and give it a try.