Porridge or lugaw, as Filipinos are fond of calling it, had gone viral as a sensitive topic, whether it should be classified as essential or not. There’s no other way of looking at it except through the benefits it gives. In this post, let us look at how it really nourishes our katawang mortal.

An encounter in the Philippines had put lugaw in a situation where it got questioned if it is essential or not. Apparently, while a lugaw meal was on its way to be delivered, it was not permitted to get through a certain locale based on rules concerning lockdowns. Due to authorities classifying it as non-essential, it stirred controversy.

Almost all lugaw eaters, mostly Filipinos, had something to say. And while I agree to food, being essential in general, my opinion goes, “Why not look at how lugaw actually nourishes the body? It might help to figure if it’s essential or not.”

The Ingredients:

Knowing and understanding the ingredients of a typical lugaw recipe can help us out in seeing how it nourishes our physical bodies:

1. rice

Rice, the very main ingredient, belongs to energy-giving foods. It is a good source of carbohydrates and depending on the colour you have at hand, it gives a variety of benefits to the human body. One of these benefits is the help it gives in regulating sugar levels in the blood. As the rice gets digested, it takes the simplest form called glucose, for the cell to utilize it effectively.  But what many don’t know is that glucose can’t get into the cell without the help of insulin. The supply of glucose it gives to the body though gives it an overall idea that it is capable of generating energy on demand. When blood sugar depletes, glycogen, the stored form of glucose, breaks down responding to the brain’s signal of its release.

When cooked with water too, rice softens. With that quality, it becomes a go-to for those who are required of a soft diet. Post-op surgical patients are often ordered of nothing orally in the first few hours to facilitate wearing down of anaesthesia. This diet progresses from liquid to soft diet in which lugaw becomes one of the common offerings in the hospital for a soft diet.

2. meat

chicken heart
The chicken heart makes Asian soup stock so tasty. It also adds consistency to their congee or lugaw.

It’s amazing how lugaw can be eaten in variety. There’s goto, in which the soup base is from boiled pig and cow. There’s also the chicken-flavoured lugaw called, arroz caldo. But apart from the bursting flavours from the meat, we all know the benefits we get from it. Protein, being a primary benefit from this specific food group, helps us grow muscles and repair injuries, such as when we get cuts and muscle tears. It facilitates overall growth and provides the essential nutrients that ease impulse transmission.

3. spices

Many cultures indulge in different kinds of spices when eating their lugaw. There are garlic, onion, ginger, spring onions, and I just have to emphasize this, more garlic. Toasted garlic.

Some enjoy it with fish sauce (patis) calamansi, pepper and voila! Now, it’s finished. Generally, spices facilitate food digestion while providing the lugaw tantalizing flavours. Most spices get their flavour from capsaicin which helps in increasing your body’s temperature. Body heat increases the body’s metabolic rate which, in effect, slows down one’s appetite. Such a domino effect helps in preventing obesity. Who wouldn’t want that?

Many prefer the original flavour, though there are daring ones who push their limits. They garnish their lugaw with pepper and spring onions they garnish it with. Other Asian countries live for chilli, which automatically becomes part of the lugaw they are most fond of.

4. boiled egg

Eggs are good sources of protein at a very low cost. They are the easiest to prepare and they do not only relieve one of hunger. But it offers a dense pack of nutrients like no other food can. It contains fat on top of the protein so, it’s quite fulfilling on one go. There are selenium, and vitamins such as Vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as iron, copper and zinc. Here is a recipe for boiled eggs that you can do and prepare in less than 20minutes.

Considering many situations nowadays because of how COVID-19 diagnoses involve the upper respiratory tract, all the more soft diet is preferred. Massive quarantine arrangements are enforced. It is undeniable that countries gained additional costs in dealing with food arrangements for quarantine accommodations provided by the government. It is a no-brainer that lugaw is easy to prepare,  packed with nourishing ingredients, and is essential.

Based on the brief review of what benefits we get from these ingredients, do you agree that lugaw is indeed, essential?



I have a deep regard for your time. It's when I write and cook that time becomes non-existent. I love learning and while you think I am the kind of lady who has a lot of things to say, just take it that I was sharing what I had learned with full impact over a cup of Joe.

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