NewsTuesday 15th November 2016
Fight winter fatigue with oats
Getting a daily dose of oats will help fight off winter fatigue, boost energy levels and warm up the body on cold mornings.
Oat porridge makes a great hearty breakfast at this time of the year, creating strong warming energy that will keep you going until lunchtime.
Oats are also a super food containing antioxidants that help keep the heart healthy, and beta-glucan (a type of fibre) that has been shown to lower cholesterol, enhance the immune system and stabilise blood sugar.
Leading macrobiotic practitioner Oliver Cowmeadow said: “Oats are ideal for those people who really struggle with the cold in winter, lacking in energy and feeling tired all the time. Porridge creates warmth and energy and can provide a real lift.”
Because oats contain more fat than other grains, they are richer and more warming, making them an ideal winter food.
Whole oats (sometimes known as groats) are best as they are easier to digest and more nourishing - once broken open and processed they begin to lose nutrients.
To be digestable, grains are better cooked with water - granola and muesli are eaten in their raw form making them more difficult to digest, which can cause fermentation and gas, and not provide as much energy.
Oats fact file:
Porridge us grown widely in the UK, where it has been used for thousands of years, so is also a good choice for the environment.
Oats are harvested in the autumn and are a hardy grain that can withstand poor soil conditions
Rolled oats are flattened grains that are quicker to cook and create a lighter porridge
This super grain is an excellent source of manganese and molybdenum. They are also a very good source of phosphorus as well as a good source of copper, biotin, vitamin B1, magnesium, dietary fiber, chromium, zinc and protein.
Oats are gluten free but are often processed in facilities that also process gluten-containing grains such as wheat and barley, so cross contamination can occur.
Recipe: Whole oat porridge
This traditional Scottish recipe is creamy and very warming on winter mornings (serves three to four people).
1 cup of whole oats
5-6 cups of water
1. Wash the oats – add water to cover and gently stir with hand, then pour off dirty water, repeat one or twice until water is clear.
2. Place in a saucepan with the cooking water and salt. Cover and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer for several hours, or overnight in the winter. Alternatively, cook for 45 minutes the night before and half an hour in the morning.
Serve with seasonal fruit, and/or seeds.
Photo: oats, by Andreas Trepte (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons