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Just a Trend or Incredible Benefit: The Whole Truth About Granola

In 1863, New York doctor James Jackson, a reformer of his time who believed that the cause of all diseases lay in stomach problems, began experimenting with grains. He introduced them into the menu of the sanatorium where he worked, serving them cold. He baked coarse flour into brittle “cakes,” which he then broke and baked again in the oven. The doctor quickly realized that these flakes were easy to chew only after being soaked in liquid, such as milk. He called them Jackson’s granula. Today, a similar product known as granola is gradually conquering the global market. But is it really beneficial, or is it just another marketing gimmick? GoBeauty investigated this.

What is Granola?

Today, we refer to granola as a breakfast and snack food that consists of oats, nuts, honey, or other sweeteners like brown sugar, usually baked until crisp. Sometimes dried fruits, such as raisins and dates, and confections like chocolate are added. Granola, especially when it contains flax seeds, is often used to improve digestion. It is consumed with yogurt, honey, fresh fruits (such as bananas, strawberries, or blueberries), milk, or other cereals. It also serves as a base for various pastries, desserts, and ice creams.

Granola is like muesli, but much tastier, and like oatmeal, but healthier. But wait, is it really healthier?

Benefits of Granola

The more nuts, dried fruits, and berries in granola, the more beneficial it is for the body. A mixture of natural components, prepared at home, can fully replace a hearty breakfast, lunch, or dinner, as well as a snack for small children. Due to its ease of preparation and light weight, this snack is convenient to take on hikes or eat throughout the day.

High fiber content in granola helps cleanse the intestines, quickly satisfy hunger, and restore energy. Moderate consumption of the mix helps regulate the digestive system and eliminate external side effects of digestive issues, such as facial breakouts.

Granola with various berries and dried fruits is a valuable source of vitamins and minerals necessary to strengthen the immune system.

The variety of natural additives, combined with oat flakes, gives the mix a rejuvenating effect. This product positively affects the reproductive system and blood formation processes.

The benefits of natural granola have been noted for people with hypertension and diabetes. Additionally, it reduces the risk of many cardiovascular diseases.

Potential Harm

Granola is strictly contraindicated for those allergic to its components. It’s also important to be aware of harmful flavor additives that can be found in store-bought mixes. Due to its high caloric content (at least 450 kcal per 100 g of the snack), it becomes a forbidden product for those who want to lose extra weight.

Quick-cooking mixes, even with added dairy products, should not be used as a breakfast substitute more than twice a week, according to nutritionists. Any dry breakfast, especially in a roasted form, can provoke peptic ulcer disease with constant consumption. Granola is also contraindicated for those with pancreatitis and cholecystitis.

How Granola Differs from Muesli

Muesli and granola are quite similar in composition, so they are often confused. However, there is a significant difference between these two products. Although both contain grains, nuts, and dried fruits, granola is roasted (baked) with the addition of oil, honey, or juice.

Useful Recipe

To make granola at home, mix 300-350 g of oat flakes, 150 g of nuts, 100 g of liquid honey, 50 g of butter, and 50 ml of water in a bowl. If desired, add pieces of fresh and dried fruits, dried berries, and pumpkin seeds. Then form a layer of this mixture on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 160-180 °C.

How to Store Granola

It’s best to cut it into portioned pieces and store it in a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid. In this form, it will stay fresh and crispy much longer.

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