Porridge Toppers

It’s no secret a bowl of porridge in the morning is one of the best breakfasts around. Here’s how to make that morning bowl of warming goodness even better. Try one of these three winning combinations. They don’t work together both in the taste and benefit stakes.

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It’s no secret a bowl of porridge in the morning is one of the best breakfasts around. And no matter the wholegrain you’ve used, all pack a nutritional punch. It’s one that can easily be elevated, as because of the neutral taste from your grains, a bowl of porridge makes the ideal base in which to get even more oomph into your bowl via fruits, nuts, seeds and spices. 

These three combinations aren’t just downright delicious and designed to awaken the tastebuds, they’re packed with power. Here’s what to have on your porridge, and why…

Banana, coconut & chia

A bit of sliced banana adds not just a little natural sweetness, but is a good source of potassium – essential for cell integrity, fluid and electrolyte balance and a healthy heart. What’s more, they add even more fibre to the oats.

Coconut doesn’t just taste a little like a summer holiday when it’s with banana, it’s one of the best things you can ingest. It’s antiviral and anti-inflammatory owing to the lauric acid within.

Chia seeds hold a marvellous gel like texture and are packed with an incredible number of benefits. We love that they’re a sure way to boost your omega-3 fatty acids, essential for your brain, behaviour and cognitive function. They also ward off inflammation, so to help prevent inflammatory diseases developing like heart disease and arthritis.

Apple, almond and cinnamon

Grating half an apple (including the skin) into your porridge lends a sweet note and so much more. Apples contain quercetin, a flavanoid the Mayo Clinic found to prevent the growth of prostate cancer. Also within, you’ll find catechin, phloridsin and chlorogenic acid – which all pack an incredible punch that protects against oxidisation. Considering cardiovascular disease and cancer are thought to be strongly linked to ‘oxidative stress’ (damage done to cells and DNA by oxidation), the apple’s ability to fight off the destructive effects of that oxidation, make it one of nature’s greatest weapons.

Almonds are civilisation’s longest cultivated nuts and while they went through a stage where people stayed away owing to their fat content, we’re all thankfully coming around. They’re satiating, so great for those trying to loose weight, are rich in monosaturated fat –  a key fat in the Mediterranean diet, and have heart healthy benefits. They also hold a little protein too.

Cinnamon doesn’t just work well with the other two ingredients and provide a hint of spice, but also improves blood glucose control. Bottom line – it levels out and moderates your sugar levels. Goodbye cravings and unnecessary snacking.

Blueberries, pecans and pepitas

Think of blueberries as little anti ageing fighters that burst with a sweet tang. They’re brilliant brain food – proven to stop mental deterioration, loss of co-ordination and balance. They’re also seen as a key food for memory, with studies in animals showing their consumption, slows impairments in motor coordination and memory (aka the usual accompaniments of ageing). Contained within blueberries lies anthocyanin, a compound that is an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Sure, pecans can be difficult to crack, but within you’ll find not just monosaturated fat that your heart just loves, but a swarm of nutrients including potassium, vitamin E, phytosterols and beta-sitoseral, a plant compound found to lower cholesterol. So crush up a few and place them atop.

A sprinkling of pepitas are great for men, particularly when getting a little older, because they contain beta-sitosteral, a phytosterol that has shown some benefit in treating benign prostate hyperplasia (aka – the condition that makes men over forty need to go to the toilet frequently at night).

What do you put atop your porridge and why? Need to know how to make perfect porridge? Get the recipe here.

Image credits: apple topped porridge (Food and Cook), blueberry and banana topped (Pepper Passport).

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