Upon first glance, porridge (or oatmeal, depending on where you are from) may not seem the most exciting breakfast food in the world. However, there are many benefits of eating porridge.
Firstly it is great for your health, generally. The oats are packed full of micronutrients and healthy fiber. This makes porridge beneficial for overall health and provides you with energy to fuel an active lifestyle.
When you start to mix your morning porridge with healthy ingredients, you will find that it is very adaptable – as well as more exciting – than you may have previously thought.
In this post, we outline why you might want to swap your usual breakfast fare with porridge.
One of the benefits of eating porridge is that it is low in calories
Porridge has the richness of a “stick to your ribs” type of breakfast, while still offering surprisingly low calories. There are calorie and energy benefits of eating porridge. A full cup of cooked oatmeal, with nothing added, is just 159 calories. This means that even though a bowl of porridge can keep you feeling full for hours, the calorie count is a fraction of your daily calorific budget.
For those 159 calories, you get 27 grams of carbohydrates to give you an energy boost. There are also modest amounts of fat and protein. Roughly 6 grams of protein can be found in a cup of oats, and 3 grams of fat.
Fiber for fullness
Some of the larger health benefits of eating porridge come from its relatively high fiber content. Fiber is important for making meals, at any time of the day, more satisfying. This is because it helps to fill your stomach without packing in the calories. Fiber also helps keep your digestion regular by fighting constipation.
The soluble fiber found in oats binds to cholesterol, which flushes it from the body. This means that porridge can help you to control your blood cholesterol levels. A single cup of cooked porridge oats supplies the body with 4 grams of fiber. This is around 15 percent of the daily fiber requirements for women, and around 10 percent for men.
The benefits of eating porridge that is fortified with nutrients
For added benefits, pick up some fortified porridge from your local grocery store. Fortified porridge provides a wealth of extra health benefits. For example, the benefits of eating porridge that has been fortified include the extra minerals and vitamins. Calcium and phosphorus are added, both of which improve bone health.
Fortified porridge also comes fully equipped with iron, a mineral that supports metabolism and nourishes red blood cells. If you eat fortified porridge you will also benefit from generous amounts of B-complex vitamins. These vitamins help the body to produce energy and they play a part in boosting metabolism.
Porridge is adaptable for your diet
If, like many people, you tend to fall into diet ‘ruts’, then end up quitting a diet out of pure boredom, then porridge can help. Oats tend to absorb the flavors of other ingredients. This means that you can cook them with sweet or savory flavorings and you can create new combinations each day.
Give Middle Eastern-inspired porridge a try. You can do this by adding vanilla almond milk, chopped berries, and cardamom. A Southwest savory porridge is another option: Cook your porridge in chicken broth and top it with salsa, sliced chicken breast, and chopped avocado.
In the cooler months of the year, you can prepare your porridge on the stovetop, or in the microwave. Alternatively, mix your ingredients in a mason jar and allow it all to “cook” in the fridge. Overnight oats are amazing on hot summer mornings, and they make for a great lunch too.
There are many benefits of eating porridge and many different ways of combining ingredients… What are your favorites?