The Importance of Cereal Proteins in Daily Nutrition

Cereals stand as a vital source of energy, packing approximately 350 kcal per 100 grams. In many regions, including India, they contribute significantly to daily caloric intake, with cereals and grain legumes accounting for 70% to 90% of daily calories. Furthermore, they provide a substantial portion of dietary protein, although their protein quality varies.

Unfortunately, cereal proteins are often lacking in essential amino acids, particularly lysine. Maize, in particular, is deficient in both lysine and tryptophan, a precursor to niacin. This deficiency underscores the importance of a mixed diet containing diverse proteins to meet nutritional needs adequately.

Among cereals, rice stands out for its relatively higher lysine content compared to others. This makes rice protein comparatively better in quality. Additionally, rice is a notable source of B-group vitamins, especially thiamine. However, it lacks vitamins A, D, C, and is relatively poor in calcium and iron.

As our understanding of nutrition evolves, efforts are underway to enhance the quality of cereal proteins through breeding and biotechnological interventions. While cereals remain a staple in many diets worldwide, optimizing their nutritional content remains a priority for ensuring overall health and well-being.
The Importance of Cereal Proteins in Daily Nutrition

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