Oatmeal & Phosphorus

by Melodie Anne Coffman, Demand Media Google
    Adding raisins increases the phosphorus content of your breakfast.

    Adding raisins increases the phosphorus content of your breakfast.

    Aiming to boost your phosphorus intake? Look to your morning bowl of hot cereal. You need this mineral for healthy bones, proper muscle function, a powerful metabolism and a strong immune system, as well as normal kidney, nerve and heart function. Whether you prefer instant oatmeal or enjoy old-fashioned oats, you'll get a big portion of your daily phosphorus.

    Phosphorus in Oatmeal

    A 1-cup serving of plain unenriched quick oats made with water has nearly 180 milligrams of phosphorus. You'll even get a decent amount of the mineral from a packet of instant oatmeal. Instant brown sugar and maple oatmeal offers roughly 130 milligrams of phosphorus per prepared packet, while the same amount of apple cinnamon instant oatmeal provides less than 95 milligrams. If you prefer plain instant oatmeal, you'll wind up with a little more than 95 milligrams of phosphorus from a single prepped packet.

    Your Recommendation

    Aim to meet your daily phosphorus recommendation of 700 milligrams per day. A lot of the time you need higher amounts of nutrients throughout your pregnancy, while breast-feeding or as you get older. However, your phosphorus needs do not change throughout your various life stages.

    Absorption

    Even though you get plenty of phosphorus from a bowl of oatmeal, your body doesn't absorb it all. You can only absorb about half of the phosphorus content from grains, as well as nuts, lentils and seeds, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. So from a 1-cup bowl of quick oats, for example, you may only absorb about 90 milligrams from the total 180 milligrams. Phosphorus from these types of plant foods isn't as bioavailable and easy for your body to pick up as phosphorus from meat, dairy and fish.

    Getting More Phosphorus

    Don't fret about the lesser phosphorus absorption of your favorite breakfast dish. Instead, add ingredients to it that add even more of the mineral. Dairy foods are some of the best sources of phosphorus. Make your oatmeal with milk in place of water. One-half cup of skim milk adds 90 milligrams of phosphorus to a bowl of oatmeal. Pour in one-quarter cup of seedless raisins, which has about 35 milligrams of phosphorus. If you prefer fresh fruit, pile sliced strawberries on top. You'll get an additional 20 milligrams of phosphorus from a 3-ounce serving. Two ounces of fresh raspberries sneaks in nearly 20 milligrams of phosphorus.

    About the Author

    Melodie Anne Coffman has been writing for various online and print publications since 1996, specializing in human and animal nutrition. After receiving her master's degree in food science and human nutrition, she opened up her own nutrition consulting business in the New England area.

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