Porridge is good for you!
You won’t find me eating it plain but by adding a few things - like flax seeds (linseeds), cinnamon, cardamom, chopped almonds and some berries or chopped banana/apple - it becomes a super-healthy and mega-tasty breakfast that leaves me with a big smile on my face.
And a super-content tummy!
Or I make my portion into an extra healthy-and-tasty plate of food by stirring in a teaspoon of coconut oil as well as half a teaspoon of cinnamon into the cooked porridge. I top it all off with loads of seeds - flax (lin), chia, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds - and a good handful of berries (see photo on the right).
(For a porridge with a difference - a gluten-free version - click on Quinoa and Apple Porridge with Cinnamon.)
Here’s the scientific part:
Oats contain a fibre that contains beta-glucan which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol and slow down carbohydrate uptake. Oats also gives us silica, a trace mineral believed to be vital for good quality skin, and contain magnesium which helps to boost energy levels.
Flaxseeds (linseeds), Chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds contain high levels of dietary fibre as well as an abundance of micronutrients. Flax and chia seeds are the richest plant source of essential omega-3 fats, which are essential for a healthy brain, heart, joints and immune system.
Sesame and sunflower seeds contain the other type of essential fat, omega-6 fats - which are just as important for the body as omega-3 fat.
Tip: Your stomach will not dissolve whole flax seeds – you can either grind them yourself in a food processor, coffee grinder or blender or you can buy them already ground up. Be aware of that ground flax seeds have a short shelf life and need to be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Coconut oil is a very nutritious type of fat which can help to promote weight loss and which won’t raise cholesterol levels (see Nutritional Information).
Cinnamon is good for you in many different ways. Several studies have shown that by adding ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to your diet per day, you can lower your bad cholesterol. Other studies have shown that cinnamon may help type 2 diabetics to control blood sugar levels.
Please note: if you are eating cinnamon on a daily basis then it is very important that you eat the right type of cinnamon. Click on Cinnamon Spice for more information
Cardamom is a digestive (and super-yummy) spice. It improves circulation and boosts energy.
Almonds are also known to lower bad cholesterol. Whole almonds with the skin on provide the most heart healthy benefits. These nuts are a rich source of vitamin E and they also contain high quality protein and are rich in dietary fibre, B vitamins, essential minerals and monounsaturated fat.
Adding fresh berries will make this a really nutritious breakfast. Fresh berries have the lowest sugar content of all fruit and are full of healthy antioxidants.
Or you can add some chopped banana or some grated apple to each portion – both are of course also highly nutritious but only eat a small amount of banana if you are watching your weight, or want to lose weight.
And after all this scientific hoo-ha, all you need to make 1 portion of porridge is:
40g, 1½oz, 0.4 cup, of oats (I buy organic oats)
275ml, 9¾floz, 1.2 cups, of water or milk
Place in a pan and cook and stir for 6 minutes.
I do personally cook with water and eat it with either milk or unsweetened almond milk.
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