If you need a quick and healthy meal in the morning, try bran flakes. Bran flakes are a healthy cereal choice, because they are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. The nutritional values of bran flakes vary from brand to brand, so read the nutrition labels before buying.
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A ¾-cup serving of bran flakes has 97 calories, which come from about 5 percent fat, 10 percent protein and 85 percent carbohydrate. But bran flakes are rarely consumed plain, and their nutritional content changes when milk is added. A ¾-cup serving of bran flakes with ½ cup skim milk has 138 calories. Five percent of those calories are fat, 20 percent are protein, and 75 percent are carbohydrates.
Bran flakes are a high-fiber cereal, with 5.3 grams per ¾-cup serving. Fiber is an important nutrient in your diet, because it helps move stool through your intestines. Fiber can help you avoid constipation and may decrease your appetite by helping you feel full. The Institute of Medicine recommends women consume 25 grams of fiber a day and men consume 38 grams.
Like many other cereals, bran flakes are fortified with iron. One serving provides over 100 percent of the daily value for men and 44 percent for women. Iron helps you build red blood cells. One serving of bran flakes also supplies 22 percent of phosphorus, 14 percent of zinc, 21 percent of copper and 47 percent of manganese. Although bran flakes provide less than 2 percent of calcium when consumed alone, a serving with ½ cup of skim milk provides 17 percent of the daily value.
Bran flakes are also fortified with numerous vitamins, including many of the water-soluble B vitamins. One serving provides more than 25 percent of the daily value of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B-6 and folate. One serving also supplies more than 50 percent of B-12. B-12 assists in the manufacturing of red blood cells and supports your nervous system. Bran flakes contain no vitamin C.
Bran flakes contain a significant amount of two fat-soluble vitamins: vitamin A and vitamin D. One serving provides 25 percent of the daily value of vitamin A, which supports the immune system and strengthens vision. One serving of bran flakes also supplies 7 percent of vitamin D, which helps you absorb calcium. Because fat-soluble vitamins are more readily absorbed when consumed with fat, you may want to use low-fat milk instead of nonfat milk on your cereal.