Nutritionist Cassandra Barns explains why porridge is a tasty and healthy option for breakfast!
"Oats are a good source of slow-releasing energy and, unlike most other breakfast cereals, don't contain any added sugar. This means they can help to keep your energy stable until lunchtime, rather than causing a crash by mid-morning!"
"Being whole grains, oats are a natural source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B1, magnesium, iron, manganese and zinc, which have many vital roles in the body including supporting energy and immunity. Most breakfast cereals are low in these natural nutrients and have to be fortified with synthetic vitamins, which may not be as easily used by our body."
"Nairn's Scottish Porridge Oats (£1.99, www.nairns-oatcakes.com) are a particularly good source of magnesium. Magnesium is often lacking in the average diet, and so many of us may not get enough. It's one of the nutrients that's essential for our cells to make energy."
Slow release energy
"Clearspring Power Porridge (£3.49, www.clearspring.co.uk) is a great breakfast for fitness fanatics or gym-goers - either before or after training. The slow-releasing carbohydrates in oats are fantastic for powering a workout or for restoring muscles after training, and magnesium is vital for muscle function too."
"Porridge can easily be 'dressed up' to increase its deliciousness and nutrient content. Add fresh berries for the tang and sweetness, vitamin C and antioxidants. Stir in chopped nuts or seeds to increase the protein content and healthy fats. Or sprinkle over a teaspoon of cinnamon, which has warming qualities for the winter, and may help with balancing blood sugar."
"The fibre in porridge oats may help to lower cholesterol naturally, too. I think oats are a much better way to lower your cholesterol than popular cholesterol-lowering spreads, which are made with hydrogenated, unnatural fats."