Porridge is the King of Superfoods, packed full of goodness it has a wide range of proven health benefits:
• SLOW RELEASE ENERGY
Porridge oats have a very low Glycaemic Index, this means they are slowly absorbed into the body’s blood stream. This not only gives a long gradual release of energy and helps keep your blood sugar levels stable but it also keeps you full much longer than other breakfasts.
• PACKED FULL OF GOODNESS
Porridge Oats contain:
B vitamins (B1, B5, B6)
Zinc (A single porridge serving can contain up to 41% half of your daily required intake)
Porridge is proven to lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease and boost serotonin (this is widely believed, among other things, to help prevent depression, particularly in the dark winter months).
Unlike other sugary cerials porridge contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. As well as being good for your long term health porridge gives a number of immediate short term benefits, the most famous of which is it’s ability to keep you full until lunch and give the body a slow release of energy.
|Nutrient||100g of oatmeal||50g of oatmeal||% RDA per 50g of oatmeal|
|Iron||3.8mg||1.9mg||21% men, 12% women|
Reference McCance & Widdowson’s 2006
• HIGH IN PROTEIN
Porridge has the highest proteen content of any cereal, it’s oats contain around 10g of protein for each 100g serving.
Protein is a massive functional component of the cells that make up our body. A protein molecule is made up of long chains of amino acid subunits. Many of these are not made or stored in the body, so it is essential we get plenty of them in our diet, and porridge is packed full of the stuff.
Needed for growth and repair the body needs a minimum of 10 – 15% of its daily food intake to contain protein.
• IDEAL FOR LOOSING WEIGHT
Porridge is a great part of a weight loss diet for the following reasons:
- Porridge is very filling.
- Full feeling helps you avoid those mid morning snacks.
- To make a sizeable bowl of morning porridge you only need around 30 grams of porridge oats.
- To keep calories down it can be made with water. Alternatively you can use semi or skimmed milk to improve taste.
- As an example, a large bowl of porridge, made with half skimmed milk and half water with a tea spoon of sugar will contain around 200 calories.
- For this small calorie concession the slow release porridge carbohydrates give a long gradual release of energy, a full feeling until lunch and a healthy dose of beneficial vitamins and minerals.
- Porridge oats are high in fibre and help lower cholestrol
- Cheap and quick to make. If your in a hurry porridge can be made in just a few minutes.
- Despite popular misconceptions, porridge is delicous.
Top Tip: Watch your added extras. Sugar, syrup and other additions soon ramp up your calorie count. Also be careful of instant porridge as it often contains a massive amount of added sugar and salt. Try instead to add fresh fruit, honey or nuts.
In short just about every dietitian and health expert in the world agrees that porridge is a pretty damn good way to start your day.
• HEART DISEASE
As porridge oats provide a healthy and natural source of fibre they have been proven to help reduce cholesterol. It is the soluble fibre called beta-glucan in porridge that acts like a sponge in the intestines and absorbs and eliminates cholesterol-rich bile acids. This process is know to lower bad LDL cholestrol which in turn improves the health of our heart and lowers blood pressure.
The above is based on a number of studies including the article below by Teeside University that found that ”“Seven of the eight studies reported lower total and low density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol with oatmeal foods than control foods.”
• TYPE TWO DIABETES
• BETTER BOWLS
The fiber in porridge can help improve bowl function, it does this by increasing the bulk of the stools and softening the bowl. It decreases the chances of constipation and the fiber can also help diarrhoea by absorbing water. Porridge is also thought to improve IBS.
• SEX DRIVE
One of the less scientific and unproven health benefits of porridge is its ability to boost our libido, balance hormones and improve our sex life. They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.
Do you get half way through the morning and find yourself tired and lethargic ? Do your kids get to school and struggle to concentrate ?
If your morning breakfast consists of a sugar packed cereal with no real substance and a coffee it is no coincidence that you struggle to get through the morning. Sugar might help you wake up by boosting your blog sugar levels but you will only come crashing down a few hours later.
Porridge, with its slow releasing complex carbohydrates helps you sustain energy levels through the morning. The complex carbohydrates also stabilize and slowly raise blood sugar levels. This makes porridge oats an excellent breakfast choice for adults and children alike.
• GOOD FOR HANGOVERS
Everyone says they have a hangover cure but the fact is one doesn’t exist. But some things do help.
The oats in porridge are said to help to absorb toxins and neautralise acidity levels in the body. Since a hangover is your bodies reaction to being poisoined a bowl of porridge might just help make you feel a little better, a little sooner.
• FIGHT DEPRESSION
A cure by no means but porridge can help prevent depression. Porridge is high in the Vitamin B6 which encourages the brain to produce Serotonin, this can be associated with feelings of well being, relaxation and aid restful sleep. During the winter this can be increasingly important as serotonin levels are known to dip when people are not exposed to enough sunlight.
• HELP VOID CHILDHOOD OBESITY
A riecent study of 10,000 children by researchers at New York’s Columbia University found that when children regularly ate whole-oat products including porridge, the proportion of overweight children almost halved.
Researchers at Oxford Brookes University also found that children eating foods with a low glycaemic index (GI), such as porridge, were less likely to binge on sugary snacks. Foods with a low GI rating release glucose into the body more slowly and evenly, leaving you feeling fuller for longer.
• AND FINALLY … IT COULD HELP YOU LIVE LONGER
The oldest man in Britain came from Montrose in Scotland, his name was David Henderson and he lived to the ripe old age of 109, passing away in 1998.
David put his age and good health down to a daily bowl porridge … and who are we to argue.
• NEXT ?
Fancy giving porridge a try ? check out the following pages:
- Wholegrain cereals for coronary heart disease
- Teeside University Study
- American Diabetes Association
- Pub Med
- Daily Mail