Oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to start your day. Nothing says “good morning” like a warm bowl of oatmeal. Whether slowly cooked and creamy, or blended with fresh fruit in a smoothie, oats provide your body with many benefits. 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.
Whole Grain – 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. The food label on your package of oats should list one ingredient: whole grain oats. Avoid pre-packaged oatmeal that may be high in both sodium and sugar and lower in beneficial fiber.. Oats are a source of iron, magnesium and B vitamins.
Lower Weight – 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 and frozen berries can satisfy your hunger easily until lunch.
Oatmeal Options – If you’ve tried oatmeal before and didn’t like it, reconsider. 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. Do not add any sugars, if you need extra sweetness, add a teaspoon of Perfect Sweet xylitol or let the natural flavor of the fruits and spices take over. Blend your oats with different fruit into a healthy oatmeal smoothie. Because oatmeal is such a beneficial food, try to find a different way to eat it every day.
1. Low calorie food; stops cravings.
A cup is only 130 calories! It also stays in your stomach longer, making you feel full longer. You will have less hunger and cravings.
2. Provides high levels of fibre, low levels of fat, and high levels of protein.
It’s on the short list for the highest protein levels of any grain.
3. Stabilizes blood sugar and reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes
The high fibre and complex carbohydrates slow down the conversion of this whole food to simple sugars. The high levels of magnesium nourish the body’s proper use of glucose and insulin secretion.
4. Removes your bad cholesterol (without affecting your good cholesterol).
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. MayoClinic.com even recommends oatmeal as one of the top five foods to eat to improve your cholesterol numbers.
Many studies have shown that the unique fibre in oatmeal called beta-glucan, has beneficial effects on cholesterol levels
5. Contains lignans which protect against heart disease and cancer.
Oatmeal, like many whole grains, contains plant lignans, which are converted by intestinal flora into mammalian lignans. One lignan, called enterolactone, is thought to protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease.
6. Contains unique antioxidants beneficial for heart disease.
Unique antioxidants in oatmeal called avenanthramides, help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
7. Protects against heart failure.
A Harvard study on 21,000 participants over 19 years showed that found that men who enjoyed a daily morning bowl of whole grain (but not refined) cereal had a 29 percent lower risk of heart failure.
Guess what grain is most easily found and prepared unrefined – oats.
8. Enhances immune response to disease. The unique fibre in oatmeal called beta-gluten also has been shown to help neutrophils travel to the site of an infection more quickly and it also enhances their ability to eliminate the bacteria they find there
9. It tastes good!
All oats have gone through a heat process which gives them their rich nutty flavor. 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 fibre and nutrients .
This means however, that oats are not raw and will not sprout.
Different Kinds of Oatmeal:
All the benefits mentioned above are actually for oats. Most people don’t think about oats – they think about oatmeal. In fact most people could not identify whole oats if they were sitting in front of them.
There are many different levels of processing of oatmeal. Generally the larger the “flake” – as in rolled oats or the bigger the seed or groat – as in steel cut oats – the less processed it will be, the more nutrients it retains and the slower it will be to digest. It will also be slower to cook.
Most people think steel cut oats are the least processed since that is how the largest groats are labeled, but some of the most processed oats like instant and baby are also steel cut.