From the 9th to the 15th October it is National Bread Week in Ireland, and it gives you the chance to learn just how important bread is to the Irish diet!

Bread is very nutritious, and did you know that it contributes 16% to the total calcium intake to the Irish population? This makes it the 2nd highest contributor to calcium after dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt. All types of bread contain calcium, which is a nutrient that is necessary for strong bones and teeth particularly in growing children.

In addition to calcium, bread provides 14% of the total iron intake in the Irish diet. Iron is a mineral necessary for making red blood cells and young women have a high requirement for iron in the diet. Young women are the lowest consumers of bread so need to increase their bread consumption to increase their iron intake. Many people believe that bread is high in sugar, making it unhealthy – but this is a common misconception! Bread is actually low in fat and low in sugar, so it fits all healthy eating criteria. On top of all that, both brown and white bread contain fibre. Bread provides 19% of the fibre intake in the Irish diet and is second only to fruit and vegetables.

So here is a food that provides calcium, iron and fibre in significant amounts in the Irish diet and yet is low in fat and sugar… Not bad for such a tasty food that everyone loves!

So come on Ireland: Love Your Loaf!