150 naira breakfast that can prevent drowsiness, diabetes and 12 types of cancer

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Eating oats for breakfast can be very beneficial 

By Charlotte Smith

Adding this common kitchen cupboard item to your breakfast routine would not only help you stay more awake but reduce your risk of chronic illnesses. Top of FormBottom of FormResearch has shown that eating one particular type of food for breakfast can benefit you greatly. Adding porridge oats to your morning meal could stop daytime drowsiness and potentially reduce your risk of diabetes and bowel cancer.

Some supermarkets are selling a 1kg bag of porridge oats for N150 (the equivalent of 9 pence), equating to just N150 per 100 grams serving. You could mix oats into yoghurt with some berries and nuts, or just heat it up with milk for a traditional breakfast dish – avoiding adding sugar.

Oats are a great energy source because they contain complex carbohydrates. A bowl of whole grains, like cooked oatmeal, breaks down to become energy that’s slowly absorbed by your body during the day. This can help tackle daytime drowsiness and make you feel fuller for longer. Besides lasting energy, oats are also a good source of thiamine, phosphorus, magnesium and B vitamins like niacin and folate, which work together to help your body metabolize energy.

Oats have also been proved to help support blood sugar management, a major factor in diabetes. As your body digests less processed oats slower than refined grains, this means you can avoid increasing blood sugar levels too much after eating. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent or reverse diabetes too. The American Diabetes Association recommends losing up to 15% of your body weight at diagnosis.

Following a diet rich in fibre and protein, but low in calories, sugar, and fat, can spur weight loss – making porridge (without adding sugar, like syrup) an ideal option for breakfast. Oats are a very low-sugar food, with 100g oats containing less than a gram of sugar.

In 2018, a research review found oats could lower cholesterol levels. This is important as being diabetic can raise your heart disease risk. Oats are classed as a low-GI food with a GI rating of below 55. Further research shows oats can reduce your risk of bowel cancer. This is most likely down to the fibre they contain, according to Cancer Research UK.

Fibre increases the size of your faeces, dilutes it, and helps it move through your system quicker. This reduces the amount of time harmful chemicals stay in contact with the bowel, potentially reducing the damage caused to cells. Fibre may also help gut bacteria to produce helpful chemicals that change the conditions in the bowel. This is why foods high in fibre have been linked with reducing the risk of bowel cancer for many years now.

But other things in whole grains, such as phenolic acids, could also be playing a role, and may partly explain why whole grains seem to show a strong link on their own.

Eating more high-fibre whole grains and fewer refined grains can help you keep a healthy weight by feeling fuller for longer. This not only cuts the risk of bowel cancer, but 12 other cancers too.

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