Our healthy heart porridge! Oats are highly nutritious and rich in antioxidants, but they also contain two amazing properties that your heart loves; Avenanthramides - these may help lower blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide which helps dilate blood vessels and leads to better blood. Beta-Glucan - which has shown to reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels and also reduces blood sugar and insulin response. It also increases the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract. Many other benefits of Oats include keeping you regular (this may feature a lot over the next 12 weeks) and keeping you full for longer between meals, stopping you snacking and helping you lose weight. It is hugely versatile and caters for all types of diets. However, Porridge can be quite boring as a meal…a lot boring! But it doesn’t need to be. This is my favourite recipe which I do last thing at night so it’s ready for me first thing in the morning and can even take it with me if I’m running late. Ingredients (circa 400 calories) 40 grams cup oats (use gluten-free oats, if you're on a gluten-free diet) 80mls almond milk, (orwater, you can use milk, andif you count calories make sure you add them in!) 1 Tbsp chia seeds 1 cup mixedBerries 4 Brazil nuts chopped (I also use Almonds at times) Instructions Before you go to bed mix in a small Tupperware container, the oats, chia seeds, your chosen liquid, I prefer almond milk or water. Make sure that all parts are combined well, stirring around 1 min. Close lid and leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning: Top with berries of your choice, I used blueberries and raspberries, and my brazil nuts. This recipe is perfectly suited for vegetarians and vegans So, we know the benefits of the oats, what about the other ingredients? Almond milk– Always read the labels and check for any ingredient’s that shouldn’t be there especially added sugar! Some of the best out there contain only almonds and water…that’s it. It has heart healthy properties due to its high vitamin E and contains healthy fats, it won’t raise blood sugars either and contributes to your daily vitamin D intake. Chia Seeds– great source of heart healthy omega 3 oils, which helps raise HDL cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke. Berries- Berries are among the antioxidant-richest foods on Earth! Brazil nuts– obviously highly calorific, 4 nuts are approx. 130 calories, and if you are on a calorie-controlled diet, take this into consideration. Brazil nuts have a surprisingly high content of healthy unsaturated fats, commonly known as HDL or good forms of cholesterol or omega-3 fatty acids. Brazil nuts relate to balancing the cholesterol profile of the body and improving heart health. They are also anti-inflammatory and for the guys out there, it increases levels of testosterone and protects the prostate! As I said this is versatile, you can use most fruits, but berries are definitely the healthiest and other types of nuts as well, again the best are Brazil, Almonds, Pecans, do a little research it will be both worth it health wise and taste wise!!