Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nutrition and Serving Ideas for Ramen Noodles

By Jastrow (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Although low in calories, convenient and inexpensive, ramen noodles do not add much nutrition to your diet. You can, however, flavor vegetables and meats with ramen noodles or serve ramen noodles as a side dish to make sure you get protein, vitamins and minerals into your meal plan. Eating just a packet of Ramen Noodles mixed with water provides you with only a trace of the nutrition you need each day and an excessive amount
of sodium.

Traces of Vitamins

One package, including noodles of any flavor ramen noodles contains almost zero vitamin C, so you need to supplement your meal with foods that contain vitamin C, such as oranges, kiwi, sweet peppers or berries. A serving of ramen noodles provides about 4 milligrams of niacin, which is about 29 percent of the daily recommended intake of 14 milligrams. Niacin helps your metabolism to produce energy and is necessary for brain function and healthy blood cells. Only scant traces of vitamins B6, B12 and A are found in a packet of ramen noodles. 

Scant Minerals

Of the 1,000 milligrams daily recommended intake of calcium, a serving of ramen noodles has only 18 milligrams. You can add more calcium to your meal with a side of yogurt, milk or cheese. Another mineral, iron is essential for carrying oxygen through your bloodstream and producing amino acids. Your body needs about 18 milligrams of iron each day but a serving of ramen noodles only contains about 3.5 milligrams. If you add pumpkin seeds, spinach or kidney beans to your serving of ramen noodles, it will increase your iron intake for the day.

High in Sodium

Sodium is the one mineral with the highest concentration in ramen noodles. A serving has almost a full day’s, 2,000 milligrams recommended allowance of sodium with over 1,600 milligrams. According to the American Heart Association, consuming too much sodium can lead to heart disease and high blood pressure. Limiting the amount of ramen noodles you eat regularly can help keep your salt intake down. Using only half of the dry flavor packet will also decrease the sodium in your meal.

Harvard Medical School recommends eating a balance of animal and vegetable proteins to ensure your body gets all the essential amino acids. A serving of ramen noodles contains about 9 grams of protein, which is almost 20 percent of the daily recommended intake of 46 grams. You can add more protein to your meal with nuts, seeds, beans and lean meat to add protein to your diet. 



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