Many things in life, and life itself, can be hard on you and things we do and must do to stay in good health and wellbeing can also be a bite in the behind. But, some things are easy, and fun to do, and can be tasty, and yes, we are talking about porridge.
Porridge is s a dish made by boiling ground, crushed, or chopped starchy plants—typically grain—in water or milk. It comes in variety of types, recopies and tastes, from rice, corn, wheat, millet, and of course, oat. Oatmeal porridge is the most popular, and most widespread, also it’ benefits are the most studied, and verified by many researches and scientists round the world.
Oats are whole grain gluten-free important source of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Mostly they come in rolled, crushed or steel-cut oats, because it is much easier to cook them this way rather than whole form, but they do come in an instant industrial version which may be sweetened with unneeded sugar.
And oatmeal porridge comes with a price, as low as almost nothing, and what you gain is pretty a lot, like good health, good look and a good habit to pass on to your children, which is having a breakfast of the champions, oat porridge, every day! And what you lose… well, absolutely nothing!
But what is it in porridge that is so good for you? First, the compounds found in it, the minerals, vitamins and proteins, fiber and fat, most of any other whole grain. In 100 g of oatmeal you can find the next balance of minerals:
Amounts per Selected Serving %DV
Calcium 84.3mg 8%
Iron 7.4mg 41%
Magnesium 276mg 69%
Phosphorus 816mg 82%
Potassium 669mg 19%
Sodium 3.1mg 0%
Zinc 6.2mg 41%
Copper 1.0mg 49%
Manganese 7.7mg 383%
Also, it is rich in vitamin B1 and B5 (39% and 10% of %DV), and folatic acid. In 100 g you also get 65 g carbs, 13 g of protein, 6 g of fat and 10 g of fiber, and all for only 388 calories. Also in this bowl of porridge you will also find antioxidants, like polyphenols, but also avenanthramides, which is a group of antioxidants found almost only in oats.
With this variety of nutrients, it is no wonder that it can save your life. And what are the main health benefits of eating porridge every day? Well, the list is quite long, but there are few benefits that are more important than other.
- Lowers cholesterol levels – it can power the chances of heart disease, in a way it affects the cholesterol level, keeping the bad one down, and the good one in perfect balance, and all thanks to beta-glucan fiber which is present in oats, which increases the excretion of cholesterol bile. Studies have also shown in lower cholesterol level together with vitamin C prevent LDL oxidation.
- Diabetes control – thanks to rich content of fiber, especially beta-glucan, oat porridge can lower blood sugar levels, and can also improve insulin sensitivity, in a manner of lower dosages or prolonged frequency of usage. The fibers form a thick gel that can delay the stomachs emptying, and slows the absorption of glucose into the blood.
- Keeps your weight – because porridge is so rich in protein and carbs, and minerals and vitamin, but with so little calories, it will give you the necessary energy for the day, but without too many calories, and because of the fiber, you will feel all fed up, because your stomach will empty much slower. In a simple way, you will eat little, but feel full, and still it will be a healthy way to lose weight because you will get everything your body needs!
- Better digestion – because of the reasons mentioned above, you won’t need to care about constipation. This is very important in elder people with constipation problems, because it can significantly reduce the usage of laxatives, which affect weight lost and digestion problems.
- Reduced cancer risk – according to a study in the American Cancer Society, lignin, a compound found in oats, helps in reducing chances of hormone related cancers, such as breast, prostate and ovarian cancer. It also boosts the immune system and increases responses to disease causing pathogens.
- Decreases risk of childhood asthma – many nutrition experts suggest that eating solids can prevent many conditions, and one of them is asthma. According to a studt in The British Journal of Nutrition, an early age of starting eating oatmeal porridge can lower the risk of developing asthma and diabetes.
- Improves muscle mass – this is good news for bodybuilders, because of the rich protein and low glycemic index, porridge is recommended for every day usage.
- Helps calming down your stomach – again because of the rich fiber content, whenever your stomach is upset because of something you ate, have a bowl of porridge; the fiber will bulk up your stool, and help you with diarrhea.
And what do you need for a perfect porridge breakfast? You need your oats, which can be steel cut, or crushed, and hot water, and that’s it! Boil the water and add it to a bowl with 2 cups of oats, and add a pinch of salt. Leave it until it cools down a bit, and enjoy. And the best part is you can add nuts, almonds, cranberry, aronia, essential oils, fruits and vegetables, pretty much all that you can think of. Just avoid sweeting it up with sugar or any other artificial sweetener, use fruits instead. Enjoy it whatever way you like it, there are no rules, it is your breakfast after all!