It’s fair to say that bread has had some bad press over the past few years, but a new study published in the journal Nutrients has confirmed that “bread and cereals contain nutrients essential for health and functionality”.

This fact is particularly true with older generations; they should not cut bread from their diets as these essential nutrients are necessary for healthy ageing. Bread includes nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, C, folate, calcium, magnesium, fibre, potassium and iron. Not getting enough of these nutrients can lead to numerous adverse health outcomes and poor ageing.

If you take away one thing from this article: Eat your grains

Breads, rolls and tortillas, as well as ready-to-eat cereals are packing with under-consumed nutrients that are essential for health and wellbeing.

4,500 dietary surveys were taken with adults over 50, by two National Health datasets between 2011 and 2014. These surveys showed that a high percentage of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre came from all grains that were consumed.

According to the study, grain foods make up 14% of all energy in the total diet, the fourth largest contributor out of 15 food groups, and contribute less than 15% of all calories and less than 5% of saturated fat.

Yanni Papanikolaou, study co-order and vice president of Nutritional Strategies, summarised these results best when she said: 

“These data show that grain foods are the foods we love that love us back – finally, we can enjoy bread again”.

The fact that bread is beneficial to the health and youth in older generations is always good to know. However, it is also important to note that in order to keep a healthy diet, be cautious of indulgent bread or bakery items that may contain high levels of sugar, saturated fat and sodium.