Is porridge only fit for the 3 bears?
1. HELPS QUIT SMOKING
Compounds in oats can help calm the nervous system and reduce the craving for nicotine as it soothes and calms the brain.
Bathing in oat-based solutions can help problem skin. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the anti-inflammatory compounds in porridge oats can help conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Fill a sock or stocking with porridge oats and place in water for 20 minutes while bathing. Not curing the psoriasis or eczema, but it takes away the ‘itch’ Ideal for a child’s bath before bed-time
3. FIGHTS INFECTION
Of all the cereals, porridge oats has the best proportion of protein needed for the growth and the repair in the body and to help boost the immune system.
4. FIGHTS HEART DISEASE
Many studies have shown that eating fibre-rich food such as oats can reduce the risks of heart disease. But scientist in the US found that porridge contains avenanthramides chemicals that stop blood cells sticking to artery walls, preventing the fatty deposits that cause heart disease.
5. REDUCES DIABETES RISK
Slowly digested foods such as porridge might cut the risk of developing the non-insulin dependent diabetes by absorbing sugar from the gut and ending the need for large quantities of insulin to be released.
6. HELPS CONCENTRATION
The slow releasing complex carbohydrates in oats sustain energy levels, allowing full concentration to be maintained. Complex carbohydrates also stabilize and raise blood sugar levels.
7. BEATS DEPRESSION
Porridge is in vitamin B6, which promotes the brain chemical serotonin. High levels of serotonin are associated with feelings of well-being and also aid relaxation and restful sleep.
8. BOOSTS ENERGY
Porridge is high in complex carbohydrates and soluble fibre, which means they release energy slowly. A bowl of porridge should provide all the energy you need until lunchtime.
9. CUTS CHILDHOOD OBESITY
A study of 10 000 children by researchers at New York’s Columbia University found that among those who regularly ate whole-oat product, the proportion of overweight children have almost halved. Researchers at Oxford Brookes University also found that those eating foods with a low glycaemic index (GI), such as porridge were less likely to binge on sugary snacks. Foods with low GI rating release glucose into the body more slowly and evenly, leaving you feeling fuller for longer.
10. LOWERS CHOLESTEROL
Porridge is rich in soluble fibre, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol. High cholesterol occurs when fat builds up and constricts the arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart. Eating oats can improve blood flow and bind cholesterol in the gut, aiding its removal from the body. Scientists think the cholesterol-lowering effects of oats are due to the oat soluble fibre beta-glucan.
11. PREVENTS CONSTIPATION
High-fibre foods such as porridge increase the movement of food through the digestive tract. This increased bowel action provides a good environment for beneficial bacteria in the gut to ferment while decreasing levels of destructive bacteria.
12. FIGHTS OSTEOPOROSIS
Porridge oats are blended with milk, making an excellent source of calcium which is essential for bone health. Lack of calcium can lead to osteoporosis, which involves a loss of bone density and can make bones fragile.
13. CAN HELP DIETING
Porridge oats is 100% natural, with no added sugar, salt or additives, and is naturally low in calories. An average bowl of porridge made with water contains 171 calories.
14. GOOD FOR PREGNANT WOMEN
Porridge is a source of folic acid. Studies have shown that taking folic acid from before conception until the 12th week of pregnancy can reduce the chances of having a baby with spina bifida. Pregnant women need 400mcg of folic acid a day.
15. FIGHTS CANCER
Oats are rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, which protects the body from the damaging free radicals that can cause cancer, a diet high in soluble fibre foods such as porridge oats might also help reduce the chances of developing breast, bowel and colon cancer.
16. CONTAINS ESSENTIAL MINERALS
Porridge is good source of manganese, which is essential in allowing the body to produce energy as well as helping to build bones and connective tissue. It also contains zine, which is needed for normal growth, sexual development and reproduction and a healthy immune system.
17. REDUCES BLOOD PRESSURE
A daily serving of oats can improve blood pressure control and reduce the need for anti-hypertensive medication, according to US researchers-73% of those fed wholegrain oat-based cereal (containing 3g of soluble fibre) stopped or reduced their blood pressure medication by half.
18. COULD HELP LIVE LONG LIFE
Britain’s longest living man, David Henderson, from Montrose, Scotland, who died in 1998 at 109, attributed his age and good health to a daily bowl of porridge. This could be because the lipids present in oats contain a good balance of essential fatty acids which have been linked to longetivity and general good health.
19. IMPROVES SEX LIFE
Porridge oats can boost libido by helping to re-balance testosterone and oestrogen in the body. Testosterone drives the sexual desire in both sexes. Men with low testosterone levels go off sex. Thus the expression ‘Sowing his wild oats’
20. GOOD FOR HANGOVERS
Oats neutralize acidity levels in the body and help absorb foxins. Since a hangover is as a result of “poisonous” effects of alcohol, a bowl of porridge might help relieve the symptoms. Porridge oats also contain one of the highest levels of soluble fibre of any cereal. Soluble fibre is essential for healthy digestion. Since alcohol depletes sugar levels, the slow releasing carbohydrates in porridge helps redress this.
The consumer group Choice looked at over 140 cereals from major Australian supermarkets to determine healthy choices for kids and adults. Only two were considered healthy. It is time the merchants of breakfast cereals rose to the occasion and realised that people need to eat healthy food. It is a shocking state of affairs that products marketed to children have higher levels of sugar and salt than products aimed at adults.
Parents ought to give their offspring the best chance in life and provide them with foods high in fibre and calcium, low in sugar and sodium. At the moment, many children are served the health equivalent of chocolate cake or ice cream for breakfast. If the youngsters want something sweet with their breakfast, give them fruit