What Are the Health Benefits of Croissants?

Croissants contain beneficial nutrients, including iron, but they're also high in saturated fat.
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends several servings of grains daily -- 6 ounces for women or 7 ounces for men -- as part of a balanced diet. While at least half of your grain servings should come from whole grains, you can also consume some foods made from refined grains, including croissants. Croissants provide some beneficial nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. However, they also offer some nutritional drawbacks, so you should consume them in moderation.

Iron and Selenium

Croissants contain iron and selenium, two essential minerals. Selenium helps support muscle cell metabolism, aids in new cell growth and maintains the health of your thyroid gland, while iron boosts red blood cell production to promote healthy circulation. Each large croissant offers 15 micrograms of selenium and 1.4 milligrams of iron. This makes up 28 percent of your daily selenium requirements, set by the Institute of Medicine, as well as 17 percent of the daily iron intake requirements for men or 8 percent for women.

Folate and Niacin

You'll boost your intake of B-complex vitamins -- including folate and niacin -- by eating croissants. Both vitamins support your metabolism, with niacin helping you derive energy from nutrients in your diet and folate helping you metabolize proteins. Niacin also supports healthy cell communication, guides cell growth and lowers cholesterol. Consuming a large croissant boosts your intake intake by 1.5 milligrams -- 9 percent of the recommended daily niacin intake for men or 11 percent for women. It also provides 59 micrograms of folate, or 15 percent of the recommended daily intake, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Vitamins A and B-5

Croissants contain beneficial vitamin B-5, also called pantothenic acid, and vitamin A. Each large croissant provides approximately 12 percent of your daily vitamin B-5 intake requirements, as well as 17 percent of the daily vitamin A intake recommendations for men or 21 percent for women, according to the Institute of Medicine. Both vitamins B-5 and A help you produce the red blood cells you need to transport oxygen. Vitamin B-5 also helps you produce steroid hormones -- the family of hormones that includes estrogen and testosterone -- promotes nerve communication and supports your metabolism, while vitamin A aids in cell growth and nourishes your immune system.

Nutritional Drawbacks

Croissants are made with relatively large amounts of butter, and significantly boost your saturated fat intake -- each large croissant contains 14 grams of total fat, with 8 grams coming from saturated fat. Regularly consuming foods high in saturated fat increases your LDL cholesterol levels -- the type of cholesterol associated with heart disease risk. Each croissant also contains 313 milligrams of sodium, slightly more than one-fifth of your daily sodium allowance, set by the Institute of Medicine. Sodium boosts your blood pressure, and regularly consuming too much sodium threatens your heart's health.

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