Wednesday, May 26, 2010

make healthy beautiful wish!

I've been shopping at Vietanamese grocery stores since I was 20, but somehow never discovered the instant cereal drink section. a girl from my Eastern Nutrition class is always eating some kind of oatmeal type packet with seaweed in it, so when I went to pick up some kuding cha for my air conditioning induced sore throat, I made sure to scour the aisle for some kind of breakfast gruel. While most of them had wheat flakes, I was able to find this lovely blend which is relatively gluten-free, if you eat oats. It contains oats, Job's tears, green mung bean, lotus seed, and oligofructose.

It's lightly sweet, bland, a little nutty. the consistency is fairly gluey with a few flakes or lumps. I made a double serving and added water to the texture of pudding, but it's probably intended to be served more as a beverage.

Coix seeds, mung beans, and lotus seeds are all used to strengthen the digestive tract as well as clear internal dampness and heat. Internal dampness and heat are a sort of mystical-sounding Chinese Medicine concept that basically breaks down to "metabolic friction." They can manifest as skin problems, muscle and joint pain, bloating, edema, urogenital dysfunction, digestive pain, diarrhea, insomnia, anxiety, even bleeding. They can be caused by stress, improper diet, lingering pathogens, weather, or congenital predisposition.

I assumed oligofructose was the same as regular fructose, i.e. fruit sugar, but it's actually a type of fiber that is about half as sweet as regular sugar. it's called a prebiotic because it is digested by intestinal bacteria. it helps with calcium absorption and may help prevent yeast overgrowth.

one packet breaks down to 143 calories, 29.6 g carbs, 6.6 g fiber, and 4.6 g protein. it also has relatively high iron, B vitamin, and calcium content for an unfortified cereal.

and finally, the package has a lovely Engrish description on the back:

Oat and Job's tear are both annual plants. Job's tear is especially renowned for it's high nutritive value as "The kind of grass family." Oat has been proven to be good for healthy by many agricultural experts and scholars in Europe and America in their researches. The combination of Oat and Job's tear is able to compliment each other and provide excellent nutrition to keep healthy."

In summary: this shit tastes good. it'll make you gorgeous, sexy, and give you superpowers. Total win.

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