Is Porridge Good for Health?

Many people around the world take porridge for breakfast. This is a meal made from cereal that is quite similar to oatmeal. However, unlike oatmeal which is normally prepared from coarsely ground, rolled, cut or crushed oats, porridge is prepared using finely ground grain of wheat, barley, rice or oats. It may also be prepared from a combination of different types of crushed grains. But, is porridge good for health? This is the subject of our discussion.

Is Porridge Healthy?

The answer is yes. Porridge is healthy. It contains a lot of nutrients, both in type and quantity. In fact, a regular helping of porridge provides many benefits.

1. Appetite Regulation

Whole grains products are generally high in dietary fiber, which helps to fill your tummy faster and keep you feeling full for longer. This way, you are less likely to overeat and therefore you can maintain a healthy weight. Dietary fiber also helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, thereby reducing your risks for cardiovascular problems.

One cup of porridge will generally contain as much as 4 grams fiber. Note that men need to take about 30 grams of fiber per day. Women require about 20 grams. You can increase the fiber content of porridge by adding seeds, nuts and berries.

2. Energy

If you are not sure if porridge is healthy, you probably don’t know that it is high in complex carbohydrates which are digested more slowly compared to simple carbs. This way, your body can continue getting a continuous supply of energy.

One serving of a cup of porridge contains about 27 grams carbohydrate. You can boost the carbohydrate and overall nutrient content of porridge by adding milk, honey, fruit, or brown sugar.

3. Oxygen Transport

Porridge contains a significant amount of iron which is needed in the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin hemoglobin, necessary in the transportation of oxygen to muscles and throughout the body.

A cup of porridge provides as much as 14 mg of iron. This is more than the daily requirement for an adult male, and almost 80 percent for an adult female.

4. Muscle Recovery

For those who work out, the question is not "Is porridge healthy?" rather "What can it do for me?" Porridge is rich in phosphorus with one cup containing about 180 mg. This is about 25 percent of the amount recommended per day. Phosphorus is stored in bones. It is needed for energy production and the filtration of waste in the kidneys. It is also required for muscle recovery following intensity exercise. Adding milk, nuts and seeds increases phosphorus content of porridge.

5. Strong Bones

Porridge is rich in calcium which is required for strong bones and teeth, nerve transmission, muscle function and secretion of hormones. Adult men and women require about 1000 mg of calcium daily and a cup of porridge provides 187 mg. You can boost the calcium content of your porridge by preparing it with milk.

6. Immunity Boosting

One cup of porridge provides about 1450 international units of vitamin A which is almost 50 percent of the daily requirement for an adult male (3000 IU) and more than 60 percent of a female’s daily requirement (2300 IU). Vitamin A is required for good vision, reproduction and growth of cells and tissue. It also has powerful antioxidants that destroy free radicals, reduce inflammation and thereby decrease the risk of developing diseases such as cancer.

More Tips for Enjoying Porridge Healthily

Still wondering, "Is porridge healthy?" It is healthy and easy to make. You can safely microwave porridge which comes in handy when you are running late. You can also choose instant porridge, provided you avoid sweetened or flavored varieties.

No matter which type of porridge you opt for, use water or low-fat milk to ensure you don’t consume excess calories or saturated fat.

You may also add a little salt or other flavorants like maple syrup, honey, fruits such as berries, apples, bananas, raisins or dates. Adding a little cinnamon makes your porridge a bit sweet without adding sugar.

Healthy Porridge Recipes

1. Toasted Almond and Coconut Quinoa Porridge

Ingredients

  • ½ cup almonds, slivered
  • 1 cup quinoa, dried
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½ cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon or one stick cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ⅓ cup dates, pitted and cut into small pieces if desired

Directions

  • Put a dry skillet or shallow pan over medium heat and toast the almonds until they are golden. Remove the almonds and put them on a plate and let cool.
  • Rinse the quinoa by putting them in a sieve and pouring water until it runs clear.
  • Put the water, 1 cup coconut milk, quinoa, cinnamon, maple syrup and the sea salt into a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  • Turn down the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa becomes fluffy.
  • Switch off the heat and turn the quinoa with a fork to make it fluffier and take out the cinnamon stick if that’s what you are using.
  • Serve hot using four bowls. Use the remaining coconut milk to top each of the bowls with 2 tbsp. of coconut milk, a similar amount of the toasted slivered almonds and the dates.

2. Raw Buckwheat & Turmeric Porridge

Ingredients

  • ½ cup buckwheat groats - raw
  • ⅓ tsp. turmeric - ground
  • ⅓ cup almond, oat or soy milk
  • 1 banana - peeled and cut up into pieces
  • Pinch of black pepper

Directions

  • Put all the ingredients in a blender jug and blend until the mixture becomes smooth.
  • Serve with your favorite topping such as granola, fresh fruit, cacao nibs or toasted nuts.

3. Whipped Berry Porridge

Ingredients

  • 3 ¼ cups water
  • 2 cups lingon berries or other berries
  • ½ cup sugar - granulated
  • ⅔ cup cream of wheat
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions

  • Put the water and lingon berries in a medium size pot and place over heat to a boil. Continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add the granulated sugar and salt and gradually mix in the cream of wheat, taking care so that no lumps form. Reduce the heat and let to simmer for about 5 minutes while you stir continually. Switch off the heat and put the pot down to allow the porridge to cool.
  • Once cool, whisk it to make it fluffy; then serve. You can also serve it with milk.
  • Is porridge healthy when stored? Yes. You can store the porridge in the fridge for a day or two, but make sure you whisk it once again before you serve it.
 
 
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