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Articles Fitness Nutrition

The Nutrition of Shredded Wheat Cereal

Cereal has widely been established as a vital item in a healthy diet. However, the healthiest choices are the low sugar, low fat variety. Shredded wheat cereal is one of the best available to meet your nutritional needs. This is a good low calorie, zero cholesterol choice. It is produced from shredded whole wheat that is made into small squares. The food is a good source of protein and fiber. It also provides good amounts of vitamins B1 and B3. Mineral content includes iron, magnesium, copper and zinc. Health benefits are given below.

Protein

One cup of shredded wheat cereal provides about 6 grams of protein. Proteins are required for various growth and development functions in the body. They help to build skin, hair, muscles and cartilage. Proteins help in the repair of tissues and mucous membranes. Together with carbohydrates, proteins supply the body with energy. Proteins also help to fight infections and support the immune system. Inadequate protein in the diet hinders many of the body’s functions. It can also result in anemia.

Fiber

You get 5 grams of fiber from one cup of shredded wheat cereal. This fiber plays a role in the reduction of low density lipoprotein cholesterol. This helps to prevent plaque build-up in the arteries. It reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack. Fiber has also been established as vital for proper functioning of the digestive system. Insoluble fiber increases stool bulk and enables faster elimination. Regular bowel movements help to eliminate constipation.

B Vitamins

One cup of the cereal supplies about 10 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin B1 and 15 percent for B3. These vitamins play a vital role in metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates. This facilitates energy production. The B vitamins sustain muscle contractions which improve muscular functions. They also support activities of the nervous system. Research has established that the B vitamins also play a role in the body’s ability to tolerate stress.

Iron

This mineral plays a vital role in the production of hemoglobin and certain enzymes. Hemoglobin occurs in red blood cells and distributes oxygen throughout the body. Almost all activities in the body are dependent on enzymes. Metabolism, growth and repair functions all involve enzymes. Iron helps to convert blood sugar into energy. Inadequate iron intake can lead to anemia, fatigue, breathlessness and headaches. A cup of shredded wheat cereal for breakfast is an excellent way to build up on iron supplies for the day. It provides 5 percent of the recommended daily value.

Magnesium

One cup of the cereal provides 15 percent of the daily recommended value for magnesium. This mineral supports the activities of enzymes and contributes to overall good health. Muscles and nerves also require magnesium for optimal performance. Inadequate magnesium can result in muscle weakness, depression, anxiety, irritability and confusion. Research has established that adequate intake of magnesium can help to counter stress. Along with calcium, magnesium helps to sustain strong bones. It also normalizes heart rhythm and helps to reduce the risk of stroke.

Zinc

Wounds heal faster when zinc intakes are high. It boosts the immune system and supports healthy skeletal growth. A serving of one cup of shredded wheat cereal supplies about 10 percent of your daily recommended value.

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