Calcium -Flour, particularly white flour, is rich in calcium, essential for strong, healthy bones and teeth. Six slices of white bread every day will provide around 20% of the recommended daily calcium intake. Bread is one of the best value sources of calcium in our diet.
Iron -Flour is one of the main sources of iron in the diet, which is an important mineral, essential for healthy blood cells and good circulation. Bread is an excellent source of iron.
B Vitamins -B vitamins thiamin and niacin help the body release energy from carbohydrate and help make sure the skin, eyes and nervous system remain healthy. Over a third of our daily requirement of thiamin comes from cereals and flour-based foods such as bread. Bread is also a good source of niacin, another B vitamin.
Folic Acid -Folic acid is present in whole wheat flour and added at higher levels to some breads. More general fortification in other flour is presently under consultation by an expert committee advising the Department of Health. Folic acid helps protect against neural tube disorder in unborn babies and is an essential nutrients for pregnant mothers.
Selenium -Selenium is a trace element found widely in the environment. Good sources include brazil nuts, bread, fish, meat and eggs. Selenium functions as an anti-oxidant and can help protect the body from oxidative damage caused by stress, pollution and aging.
Fiber -Wheat flour is an excellent source of fiber. For a healthy, balanced digestive system it is important that we eat enough fiber. All bread contains a significant amount of dietary fiber, although whole wheat bread contains three times as much as white bread. A lack of fiber has been implicated in certain cancers of the digestive system including colon cancer.
Protein -Wheat flour is a good source of protein and is low in fat, unlike some sources of animal proteins. Protein is essential for growth, maintenance and repair of the body.
Carbohydrates -The majority of the carbohydrate in wheat flour is complex and is vital for providing energy. We need to eat more complex carbohydrate-rich foods to replace some of the fat in our diets, for example nutritionists recommend we eat between four and six slices of bread a day.