If you’re not eating oatmeal for breakfast, you’re missing out on a delicious way to add fibre and nutrients to your body first thing in the morning. While the health benefits of oats are documented in hundreds of studies, I have listed just a sample here to indicate the power of oats to improve human health.
- Adding oats to a gluten-free diet may enhance the nutritional values of the diets, particularly for vitamins and minerals, as well as increasing antioxidant levels.
- Oatmeal is a whole grain, and eating whole grains can lower your risk for several diseases, including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
- Oatmeal also contains lignans, a plant chemical that has been found to prevent heart disease.
- Eating oatmeal can lower your cholesterol, especially your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. If you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol, consider adding oatmeal to your daily menu.
- Oatmeal is a source of fibre. That means when you eat oats for breakfast, you’re going to feel full for a long time. Breakfast foods high in sugar and fat can make you feel full for a brief period, but then you’re hungry again. A breakfast smoothie, consisting of blended oats, fruit and ice, can satisfy your hunger easily until lunch.
- Combining fruit or nuts with your oats while they’re cooking adds more nutrients. Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg give great flavour to your oats. Limit any sugars and let the natural flavour of the fruits and spices take over. Blend your oats with different fruits into a healthy oatmeal smoothie.
- A study at Tufts University shows that the unique antioxidants in oatmeal called avenanthramides, help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- The unique fibre in oatmeal called beta-gluten also has been shown to helps neutrophils travel to the site of an infection more quickly and it also enhances their ability to eliminate the bacteria they find there.
- All oats whether in flakes or groats form have gone through a heat process which gives them their rich nutty flavour. This keeps them from spoiling. They have also been hulled. This process does not strip away all the bran and germ allowing them to retain a concentrated source of fiber and nutrients .
- Oats, like other grains and vegetables, contain hundreds of phytochemicals (plant chemicals). Many phytochemicals are thought to reduce a person’s risk of getting cancer. Phytoestrogen compounds, called lignans, in oats have been linked to decreased risk of hormone-related diseases such as breast cancer.
- As the soluble fibre of oats is digested, it forms a gel, which causes the viscosity of the contents of the stomach and small intestine to be increased. The gel delays stomach emptying making you feel full longer which helps with weight loss.
Nothing says “good morning” like a warm bowl of oatmeal! Make oatmeal the way you like and take your first step to fitness.