Do you love eating grit cakes, but are always guilty of cheating on your diet? Well, we cannot vouch for the health benefits of oily, fried grit cakes, but grits have various health benefits.
Given here are the 10 amazing health benefits of Grits for you to check out:
1 cup of grits contains 1 gram of protein. However, you have to remember that corn grits mostly contain proteins without many amino acids. So these are incomplete proteins and if you are looking for a high protein food, you may look at some other source. However, if you consider grits as a cereal or breakfast food, it contains enough protein to give your body a healthy start. To amp up its protein content, add milk or other sources of protein to grits cereal.
1 cup of grits contains 91 calories, which is less than that of oatmeal. 1 cup of corn grits also contains less than 0.2 grams of fat. So if you are on a weight loss diet, you can replace your morning oatmeal with grits porridge.
Folate is an important nutrient that our body needs. It helps in boosting our immune system and protects us against diseases like anemia and even cancer. In short, folates help repair DNA (1). Every adult should consume at least 400 mg of folate every day. The requisite amount for pregnant women is 600 mg. Pregnant women are often told to take folate supplements because they prevent neural defects and help in developing myelin sheaths (a protective covering of nerves) in the fetus. Eating 2 to 3 cups of corn grits can contribute to the entire amount of folate required.
Corn grits contain lots of vitamins, especially vitamin B. In fact, 1 cup of cooked grits contains 20 percent of vitamin B1, 25 percent of the folate and one-sixth of the vitamin B3 you require every day. The vitamin B complex that corn grits are rich in is very important to our health. It helps in metabolizing and absorbing the food we eat. It also helps in converting fats and carbohydrates into energy. Vitamin B1 also regulates and optimizes cardiovascular functions by producing more acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that relays messages between muscles and the brain (2). Along with fatty acids, it also protects the eyes and delays cataract development. Vitamin B3 treats insomnia and has been used to treat depression and schizophrenia(3). It also lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, thereby protecting the heart from any disease.
1 serving of corn grits contains 7 mg of selenium and 1.2 mg of iron. Iron is present in our body in hemoglobin, which helps in carrying oxygen throughout the body. It is also present in muscles as myoglobin. It helps in diffusing oxygen throughout the muscle cells. If your body’s iron is depleted, you may become anemic. At advanced stages, it may cause renal failure. Selenium, on the other hand, regulates and controls inflammation. It may even inhibit the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. Its intake has been linked to lower rates of prostate cancer. Along with vitamin E, it can act as an antioxidant and prevent the formation of free radicals, thereby fighting skin cancer and preventing sunburns.
6. Muscle Gain
Corn grits contain plenty of leucine – 1 serving contains 542 mg of it. Leucine is an amino acid that triggers protein synthesis and, thereby, enhances muscle growth. In the elderly, muscle loss is a real problem. For them, a diet that contains a lot of leucine can stem this loss.
7. Weight Loss
Weight loss is one of the best health benefits of grits, as it keeps you feeling full for a longer time and satisfy your appetite. As a result, you will benefit a lot from this if you are on a weight loss regimen. It also provides quick energy, so a bowl of grits would help you work out for much longer. Instead of a sugar-filled, calorific energy bar, a bowl of grits is much more beneficial for those who exercise to lose weight. It is rich in iron, so it helps in oxygen circulation to the fatigued muscles through blood hemoglobin. As a result, you will not tire out easily.
Healthy Grits Recipes
In Southern American cuisine, grits are doused with butter or margarine to impart wonderfully rich taste. But you can make low-calorie dishes out of grits too.
Bring water up to a boil and slowly drizzle in grits until well blended. Now cook this mixture with a pinch of salt, paprika, and garlic powder until it thickens up in low heat. Finally, stir in some grated Cheddar until it melts. It is best eaten with some sautéed shrimps.
Grits With Corn And Onion
Start by sautéing chopped onions and sweet corn. Once cooked, add some milk, water and salt and bring to a boil. Quickly add the grits and lower the heat, simmering until the mixture is thick and creamy. Top it with chopped green onions and parsley. Add salt and pepper according to taste. To make a healthy breakfast, this is all you need. For a more decadent dish, you can add cheese or butter.
Grits With Egg And Spinach
Cook the grits in a similar manner as above. In another pan, wilt some spinach with just a dab of margarine and season with salt and pepper. Poach an egg. Serve the grits topped with spinach and egg for a filling, healthy breakfast.
If you can’t have corn grits for breakfast, cream of wheat, which is a whole grain cereal, is a healthier alternative. It is made of wheat semolina. You can also eat amaranth, which is a gluten-free grain-like substance and very nutritious. Quinoa can be used instead of grits, although you need to alter the cooking time as quinoa takes longer. Oatmeal contains more protein, so those who want a proteinaceous breakfast can replace grits with oats.
By consuming grits, you are bound to feel more healthy and satiated than you ever have. What’s more? Grits aren’t as boring as you think. With some ingenuity, you can make a cup of grits into a sumptuous dish that your family will relish.
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