Porridge can consist of a variety of crushed grains such as oats, wheat, or rice. While it is most well-known as a hot cereal in many countries it is a meal that can be eaten at any time during the day or evening. With the growing emphasis on identifying healthy foods, many people are wondering if porridge is considered a nutritious food.
The first health benefit of porridge is fiber. The high fiber in porridge offers multiple benefits including better digestion and reduced blood cholesterol. Depending on the grain in the porridge there will be different levels of soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is the type most often associated with gut health while insoluble fiber helps manage glucose and cholesterol levels. Fiber is also ideal for those wanting to manage or lose weight. Fiber rich foods are generally low in calories but high in energy and nutrients. Fiber helps people feel full for longer which reduces the need to snack or overeat. The levels of fiber alone are enough for many to consider porridge a nutritious food.
After fiber is considered, the next step is to look at popular additives to porridge. Peanuts have become a popular addition to porridge. They are often crushed up to add addition flavor and texture to the grains. The peanut is a legume and has numerous health benefits. It has been shown to aid in managing hemophilia. Carrots are also added for texture purposes and adds a slightly sweet flavor which reduces the need to add sugar. Carrots are known for a variety of health benefits including vitamin A. These ingredients not only make porridge a nutritious food but also allow for an infusion of flavor without adding processed sugars.
There are also specific types of porridge which offer additional benefits. While these porridges are still grain-based, they focus on including specific additional ingredients. One popular type is yam porridge. Yams are a very nutritious food as they contain numerous vitamins and help regulate the digestive system and blood sugar. Some studies also show yams can offer some anti-aging effects as well. Many yam porridge recipes include brown kelp which is rich in calcium and iron.
Mung bean porridge is gaining notoriety as a nutritious food as well. This type of porridge typically includes coix, millet, phaseolus radiates, and perilla frurescens. From a nutrition perspective, the additional ingredients offer a significant boost in protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids.
Overall, porridge is considered a nutritious food. Not only is it nutritious but filling which allows people to make healthy choices throughout the day while minimizing the need for unhealthy snacks.