What’s in a bowl of cereal?

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toasted muesli lib INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS A bowl of muesli containing a tablespoon of dried fruit also counts as one of your disease-protective five-a-day portions.

London - A bowl of cereal is a good start to the day. But which is the best for your needs?

Migraine: All-Bran

This extremely high-fibre cereal is also packed with magnesium, providing more than a quarter of the recommended daily allowance per bowl.

Magnesium helps regulate muscle contraction, and may help ease the muscle tension associated with headaches — magnesium supplements have been used to ease migraines.

Ageing: Muesli

A source of vitamin E (from nuts) and flavonoids (from dried fruit), muesli boosts antioxidants and phytochemicals that fight inflammation and mop up the free radicals linked with diseases such as cancer and arthritis. Remember, a bowl of muesli containing a tablespoon of dried fruit also counts as one of your disease-protective five-a-day portions.

Excess weight: Shredded Wheat

Adults who watched their calorie intake and swapped to wholegrains lost significantly more body fat from the abdominal area than those who cut calories, but continued to eat refined (white) grains, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found.

This is because wholegrains release their energy more slowly, so that less insulin is released (this hormone mops up blood sugar), which may reduce your propensity to lay down fat.

Two Shredded Wheat biscuits count as three wholegrain portions — the daily recommended amount.

Tummy bugs: Rice Krispies Multi-Grain

This cereal is fortified with a prebiotic (a special kind of fibre) called inulin that acts as a fermentable food for friendly Bifidobacteria in the gut.

Combined with a probiotic drink, a large bowl can increase good bugs in your gut, guarding against stomach upset and bolstering immune defences.

Lack of vitamin D: Kellogg’s Mini Max

This cereal is fortified with vitamin D (with a quarter of the recommended daily amount per bowl), helping to prevent the bone disease rickets - on the increase in children in Britain. With 18 percent sugar, it’s no more sugary than Bran Flakes.

High cholesterol: Porridge

An active ingredient called beta glucan in oats lowers cholesterol by encouraging the production of the digestive bile salts that absorb cholesterol. We need 3g of beta glucan a day to have a noticeable effect and you’ll get more than half of that from one modest bowl. Make with soya milk to enhance the cholesterol-lowering effect.

Pregnancy: Special K

Special K is fortified with more than half the recommended daily allowance of folic acid in a 30g bowl. This is the nutrient women need in higher amounts before and during the early stages of pregnancy to prevent birth defects. - Daily Mail

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