White Flour: What Vitamins & Minerals are Missing?

Nutrients Lost when Wheat is Refined into White Flour

Bread is called the staff of life because it has more nutrients per weight than fruit, vegetables, meat, milk, and potatoes (Thomas).  Each grain is still alive, and therefore more than a mini-vitamin pill, there are ephemeral phytochemicals and other nutritional elements present, especially if you mill your own fresh flour.

Five of the 19 vitamins and minerals removed are added back to white flour, but as you can see in these vitamin pill posts, vitamin pills don’t do anything to improve your health, at all, and can even be harmful, according to many decades-long studies.  And what about the 14 additional vitamins and minerals removed that aren’t put back into white flour?  

Source: Tamara Goldis.  May 2008.  Whole Grains. The Inside Story. Nutrition Action Healthletter

The chart above only covers 13 vitamins and minerals.  Here is the complete list of the 19 vitamins and minerals that are removed along with the bran and germ:

Nutrient

% Lost

Nutrient

% Lost

Nutrient

% Lost

Cobalt

88.5

Zinc

77.7

Copper

67.9

Vitamin E

86.3

Thiamin

77.1

Calcium

60.0

Manganese

85.8

Potassium

77.0

Pantothenic Acid

50.0

Magnesium

84.7

Iron

75.6

Molybdenum

48.0

Niacin

80.8

Vitamin B6

71.8

Chromium

40.0

Riboflavin

80.0

Phosphorus

70.9

Selenium

15.9

Sodium

78.3

SOURCE: Shroeder, Henry A. 1971. “Losses of Vitamins and Trace Minerals Resulting from Processing and Preservation of Foods,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 24

References

Campbell, Judy, et. al.  1991. Nutritional Characteristics of organic, freshly stone-ground, sourdough & conventional breads. Ecological Agriculture Projects, McGill University.

Thomas, B. “Unverdauliche Stoffe im Brot. Brotindustrie 19(1976): 340-346

About Alice

I've milled and baked with whole grains for many years, because whole grains are delicious, and white flour is missing the nutrition that protects you from cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and many other diseases. Plus it's a good emergency food.
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