Food and health

Healing around food – oats and water

Each of us has different needs and circumstances to operate our food practices and for the main – and for those whose bodies can tolerate fibre – having enough water and fibre helps keep us well. This is how oats can play an important part in nourishing and system maintenance due to their availability and affordability.

Those of us in colder places may find we don’t feel like drinking as much water and this is understandable, though without enough water we slow down our food elimination process and can cause slower movement of waste and feeling unwell from not releasing toxins. Our individual diets can vary a lot and if we are taking liquids through green smoothies and fruits this will contribute to keeping things moving.

Each of us does the best we can and if we can at least drink enough water and do our best to eat adequate fibre, we can benefit from proper movement of food.

One way is keeping a jug of water with a filter (Britex or another will do) near me and each time I look at it pour a glass or two which holds about a cup (250ml), whether I feel thirsty or not. If I find that I still need to drink more water I may need to set another kind of reminder. If you have any thoughts feel free to add them and I appreciate your input.

I found a website with recommendations from a doctor about this subject and he has oats at the top of his list of helpful advice. I love oats as a warming treat in the morning with some type of milk and low GI coconut sugar. He also recommends ground flax seed as another highly effective fibre that provides mucilage for the movement process.

Oats are full of fibre but he cautions eating them without additives, whole and freshly rolled so that the oils stay fresh and not turn rancid, the oats should smell fresh. Also advising that we drink adequate water for the fibre to work best, as taking extra fibre without water creates more problems so we need to be drinking enough water daily.

The doctor’s webpage is here and he offers other suggestions for constipation such as massage of ileocecal “reflex” points. The instruction image is missing from his site, but in a search I found other images showing the massage points.

I’ve found a way I like to make oats also cuts cooking time, is soaking overnight or for an hour with boiling water then gently stir over low heat in water and or milk till soft. Add a little coconut sugar or other health giving sweeter that is preferably not cane sugar and a scant pinch of salt if you need extra flavour. Not too much liquid but just enough to keep from drying out. I have read a popular hotel in London cooks them for 45 minutes after soaking overnight. I haven’t tried this and usually cook 15 minutes after soaking with enough water and or milk so they can bubble gently without sticking. Oats will thicken up nicely during the cooking and adding more liquid may be needed. Some saucepans are ‘stickier’ than others and some people cook oats in a double boiler to avoid this. ¬†If you use a stainless steel or cast iron pot with enough liquid and stir when you feel to, I have found this to work quite well. If you have more time to wait you could see how 45 minutes tastes. I find a minimum of 15 minutes or longer to have a better feeling with digestion and believe this is due to the oats taking on more water.

One last note on oats are other benefits of lowering blood pressure, and being whole food containing important minerals of zinc, magnesium, selenium, manganese and Vitamin E. They are a feel good food, warming, comforting, inexpensive, nourishing, satisfying and good for you.

Blessings x

Photo by jacqueline on flickr

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