Oatmeal used to be one of the most underrated grains but lately it’s reached almost “superfood” status because of its ability to affect our health and wellness in so many different ways.
I’ve always loved oatmeal and have enjoyed it almost every morning for breakfast as long as I can remember. It’s relatively low in calories but really fills me up. No other food does it like oats!
Aside from tasting great when combined with fruit, ground flax, cinnamon, raisins and almond milk, oats are super good for us. Read below to find out just how good!
1. Lowers Your Cholesterol Levels
Oatmeal contains a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan which has proven to have big-time beneficial effects on cholesterol levels. Studies show that people with high cholesterol (above 220 mg/dl) who consume one bowl of oatmeal each day typically lower their total cholesterol by 8-23%.
2. Protects Against Cardiovascular Disease
In addition to helping reduce cholesterol research now suggests oats may have another cardio-protective mechanism. A bioactive compound unique to oats, called avenanthramides, is thought to stop fat forming in the arteries, preventing heart attacks and strokes.
3. Helps Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
Starting out your day with oats may make it easier to keep blood sugar levels under control the rest of the day. Your blood sugar level is the amount of glucose (from your food) that circulates in your bloodstream, providing energy to cells either immediately or stored for future use. A well-balanced blood sugar level is crucial to overall fitness and well-being, regulating your hormones, triggering your body to burn stored fat, and increasing your metabolism to help you lose weight.
4. Offers Protection Against Breast and Colon Cancer
Studies show that oatmeal has a stimulating effect on the immune system, helping keep your body strong and better equipped to defend against disease. The insoluble fiber in oatmeal helps you stay regular and increases the functioning of your digestive tract, promoting good colon health. The selenium in oatmeal helps repair DNA and is linked with corresponding lower cancer risk, especially colon cancer. See more at pinkribboncooking.com. Pre-menopausal women eating the most whole grain fiber like oatmeal had a 41% reduced risk of breast cancer according to researchers.
5. Provides an Amazing Array of Vitamins and Minerals
- Manganese: This trace mineral is important for development, growth and metabolism.
- Phosphorus: An important mineral for bone health and tissue maintenance.
- Copper: An antioxidant mineral that is often lacking in the Western diet. It is considered important for heart health.
- Vitamin B1: Also known as thiamine, this vitamin may protect the eye lens and help protect against cateracts.
- Iron: As a component of hemoglobin, a protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood, iron is absolutely essential in the human diet.
- Selenium: An antioxidant, important for various processes in the body. Low selenium status has been associated with increased risk of premature death, and impaired immune and mental function
- Magnesium: Often lacking in the diet. Adequate intake of magnesium and vitamin D coupled with overall proper nutrition and weight- bearing exercise are the primary preventive measures for osteoporosis. Intense exercise can deplete your body of magnesium.
- Zinc: A mineral that participates in many chemical reactions in the body and is important for overall health.
Eat your oats, protect your health!
When it’s too hot out to eat a steaming bowl of oatmeal try this!
Summer Time Overnight Oats
Makes 2 servings
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened almond or other milk
1/2 cup filtered water
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ground flax
1 pinch salt
3 dried apricots, chopped
Optional: drizzle of honey
Combine all ingredients except apricots in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve top each bowl with chopped apricots and a bit of honey if desired.