What are Fortified Cereals?
Breakfast cereals are considered fortified if they have had vitamins and minerals added to them. Eating fortified breakfast cereals are a great way to making sure you are getting plenty of essential vitamins and minerals in your diet.
“Why should someone like myself want to eat fortified cereals?”
- Nutrient Dense: As we age, our calorie needs decrease but our daily requirements for most vitamins and minerals increase. The reason why an aging adult’s calorie needs decrease is due to the loss of muscle mass and the tendency to become less active. The need for certain nutrients is actually greater because the foods we eat are not digested and absorbed as well as they used to be when we were younger. Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin” is absorbed by exposing human skin to the sunlight. However, older adults only produce 20% of Vitamin D through sunlight, unlike younger adults. As the need for calories decrease, appetites lessen, and tastes change, it is extremely important that the foods we do eat are rich in vitamins and minerals to ensure we maintain good health. Fortified cereals are an excellent way to add these much needed nutrients to your daily diet. By consuming the breakfast given to you by Meals on Wheels you are receiving 33% of your daily nutrient requirements. Adding fortified breakfast cereals into the MOW breakfast bags, is an easy way for MOW to meet the 33% requirement.
- Inexpensive: Eating real food will always be the best way to receive the nutrients your body requires. Buying fruits and vegetables can be very expensive. Fortified breakfast cereals are an easy and affordable way for you to obtain your nutrients without breaking the bank.
- Bioavailability: Older adults do not absorb vitamin B12 from real food very well, which leads to not meeting the daily requirement of B12. However, crystalline B12, which is found fortified in breakfast cereals, is easily absorbed. The B12 crystalline form can only be found in fortified cereals or supplements, not naturally in real food.
What are the nutrients fortified in breakfast cereals and what is so great about them?
- Folic acid assists with the functioning of the nervous system.
- Helps prevent against dementia and depression.
- Generates new healthy red blood cells and prevents anemia.
Vitamins B6 and B12:
- Helps improve cognitive development, mood, and memory retention
- B12 linked to delaying or preventing age-related hearing loss
Calcium + Vitamin D:
- Helps prevent bone loss and bone fractures
- Prevents softening of the bones
- Helps reduce physical decline, such as damage to our muscles as we age
- May reduce infections and potential cancers
Information from: http://www.nutrition.gov, http://www.eldercare.com. Produced by Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County by Hollie Mann, nutrition intern for Sherry Simon, R.D./L.D. For questions regarding nutrition education contact: Sherry Simon, R.D./L.D., Direct Nutrition Services for Meals on Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County at 817-336-0912 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.mealsonwheels.org. APRIL 2010