Is porridge part of your morning routine? Often described as the King of breakfast, porridge has been hailed as one of the healthiest and most versatile foods to start your day with. Its popularity has rocketed on photo-sharing sites with oat enthusiasts sharing snaps of their bowls drizzled in honey, caked in coconut and topped in Nutella, along with hashtags such as #porridgepassion.
So what's got everyone so hot over porridge? Since the topping trend has gained momentum there's been great debate about whether or not our oaty breakfast bowls are actually good for us. Well our answer is yes, and here's why it should be part of your morning routine.
Why Is Porridge Good For You: It Can Help To Regulate Your Appetite
Porridge contains a high level of fibre, which fills you up and prevents overeating. Fibre also helps keep blood-sugar levels even and reduces the risk of high cholesterol. Women should aim to consume 20 grams of fibre a day, but be wary that adding berries, seeds and nuts to your porridge increases its fibre content and eating too much can leave you feeling uncomfortably full, and potentially lead to weight gain.
Why Is Porridge Good For You: It's High In Antioxidants
Whole oats are high in antioxidants, most notably a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, which are almost solely found in oats. Avenanthramides help lower blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide. This gas molecule helps dilate blood vessels and leads to better blood flow. This can greatly help people with Type 2 diabetes thanks to its large amounts of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fibre.
Why Is Porridge Good For You: It Slowly Releases Energy
Oats are a slow releasing carb, making porridge the perfect breakfast choice to see you through to lunch. Porridge calories are made up of a high amount of complex carbs, which get digested at a slow pace and therefore give you lasting energy. By delaying the time it takes your stomach to empty of food, the beta-glucan in oatmeal may increase your feeling of fullness. This can help you eat fewer calories and lead to weight loss.
Why Is Porridge Good For You: It Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
Soluble fibre also reduces your body's absorption of cholesterol from the intestines. Oatmeal contains soluble fibre that reduces levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or 'bad' cholesterol, which collects in the lining of the arteries, potentially blocking them. Therefore starting the mornings with porridge could potentially reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Why Is Porridge Good For You: It's Good For Muscle Recovery
It's no coincidence that athletes often eat a bowl of porridge before a workout. Oats have a high content of phosphorus, which is stored in the bones and helps with energy production, helping to filter off waste through the kidneys and muscle recovery after intense exercise. Making porridge with milk and adding seeds and nuts will create a high-phosphorus content in your meal. But back away from the sugary spreads as over-topping with unhealthy alternatives can cause more damage than good. If you have a sweet tooth try adding in half a banana.
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