Jazzed Up Porridge

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

It may seem boring to some, but I have porridge (or muesli) for breakfast nearly every morning. I enjoy baking as you can see and love sweet treats like chocolate, but I also have a healthy diet and I'm always interested in finding and eating nutritional foods. I thought I would share my recent porridge extras, and their health benefits, for a more exciting breakfast.

Porridge oats: There are so many benefits of eating porridge. Eating complex carbs such as porridge, will give you a steady flow of energy, keep your blood sugar stable and help to stop you munching on treats before lunch. Oats are high in dietary fibre, consisting of whole grains containing both soluble and insoluble fibre which may also improve digestion. It has been found that oats reduce blood cholesterol, and eating a bowl a day can prolong your life expectancy and reduce the risk of dying from cancer. 

Unsweetened almond milk and nuts: Unsweetened almond milk is packed with goodness. It's lactose free with no added sugar, naturally low in saturated fat and calories, a source of calcium and vitamins B2, B12, D and E. Almonds and other nuts are packed with fibre, essential fats and are an easy way to add a little protein to your breakfast. Protein is needed by the body for growth and maintenance, especially for those wanting to tone up and gain muscle. Foods high in protein take more work to digest burning more calories in the process, and they also take longer to leave your stomach which keeps you full for longer. While nuts and whole grains are a source of protein, they don't contain all nine of the amino acids your body needs to build lean muscle unfortunately, see this article for advice on how to add more protein to your diet.  

Cinnamon: A sprinkle of ground cinnamon is such an easy way to help to regulate blood sugar and reduce fatigue. 

Milled flaxseed: Flaxseed is a source of fibre, protein and iron. It's one of nature's richest sources of the essential fatty acid Omega 3 which contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels and may enhance your mood and reduce the risk of depression (and we do like to smile).

Pumpkin seeds (and sunflower seeds): These little seeds of happiness and beauty contain Omega 6, the powerful antioxidant vitamin E and zinc which all contribute to the maintenance of normal healthy hair, skin and nails. A handful of pumpkin seeds daily has also been found to reduce PMS. 

Banana: Bananas are one of the best sources of potassium, which is an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. They will give you an instant and sustained boost of energy and are also high in fibre which aids digestion.

Berries: Berries are packed with antioxidants and have the ability to prevent disease and promote health. Blueberries may help to reduce belly fat, help to improve learning and memory and help fight diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes (powerful little things).

One of my favourite magazines is Women's Health, which has helped me to share some of these healthy eating tips. You can visit their website for more ways to 'pimp your porridge' and other healthy eating tips.

Now eat up Goldilocks!

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