What Are the Benefits of Oatmeal?
You probably didn`t know your bowl of oatmeal can lower cholesterol, aid weight loss, and keep your gut healthy. This healthy breakfast is packed with vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates, including fiber. For extra nutrition, you can add toppings like fruit, nuts, and seeds to your oatmeal. Oats are particularly gluten-free, which makes them a reliable source of carbs for people with specific dietary needs, like those who suffer celiac disease. Some brands of oats contain traces of gluten, which is why it is important to always check the details of the brand you buy. Always opt for steel-cut, old-fashioned, or rolled oats instead of instant or quick oats that have less fiber content.
7 Health Benefits of Oatmeal
Cholesterol level has sure been a thing to worry about in recent years. Oats contain beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol. People who consume beta-glucan on a daily basis are less vulnerable to the dangers of LDL cholesterol, which is unhealthy. This further reduces their risk of heart disease.
Boosts Digestive Health
Oats contain fiber which is great for your overall health, and particularly your digestive system. Its insoluble fiber content promotes regularity, while its soluble fiber content enriches your health with probiotic properties to feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Energizes the Body and Boosts Immunity
Consuming a bowl of oatmeal in the morning enriches you with B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and iron. Iron particularly energizes the body and triggers the process of carrying oxygen through the body from the lungs. Oats supply 1.5 mg of zinc, which is necessary for immune function.
Open to Nutritious Toppings
You can add some toppings to your bowl of oats to enrich your body with some protein and healthy fat. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans; with seeds like hemp, chia, and ground flax are great in your bowl of oatmeal. Fresh fruit is another rich option for your oatmeal. Slice some raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries for additional nutrients.
Rich in Fiber
A bowl of oats can provide you with the daily recommended amount of fiber. Did you know that men under 50 years old should consume at least 38 grams of fiber daily? Likewise, women under 50 should consume 25 grams or more daily. Sadly, a number of Americans aren`t even consuming half the required amount of fiber they need. Consuming diets rich in whole grains and fiber protect against type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, as well as colon, breast, and rectal cancers.
Just like fruits and veggies, oatmeal offers disease-fighting antioxidants. This rich food contains a specific antioxidant called avenanthramides that fights cancer. There you go, another reason to grab a bowl of oatmeal.
Reduces Belly Fat
Oatmeal contains soluble fiber that reduces visceral fat. This fat is usually in the midsection and clings to the organs, as well as raises the risk of heart disease and stroke. Oats reduce blood lipids, blood sugar, and weight, thereby leading to a reduction in visceral fat and preventing its accumulation.
3 Oatmeal Mistakes to Avoid
Now that we have admitted that we should enrich our bodies with oatmeal and seen reasons we should, let`s discuss better ways to consume this meal. What oatmeal mistakes do you make? Let`s see!
You`re Not Serving up the Right-Sized Bowl
A cup of cooked oatmeal contains 154 calories, 27 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fiber. But this is not enough. You may add some eggs on the side or throw berries on it. By all means, add more filling nutrients like protein and fiber to your oatmeal.
You Stick to Water Only
Have you tried experimenting with dairy and non-dairy milk? You can try unsweetened almond milk, soy, or low-fat cow’s milk. It all depends on the taste you want to have. If you want your bowl of oatmeal creamier for fewer calories, try some almond milk. If you want some extra protein, try soy or low-fat cow`s milk.
You`re Adding Unhealthy Toppings
There`s a thin line between adding nutrients to your oatmeal and consuming excess sugar. Not many people know that flavored, sweetened non-dairy milk, as well as nut butter and sweetened dried fruits contain added sugar. Some of these toppings contain maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey, which are all forms of sugar. Your oatmeal is already carbohydrate-rich, so adding much sugar to it is unhealthy. Endeavor to use unsweetened non-dairy milk and unsweetened nut butter to limit added sugar. You could also mash in some banana for fiber and natural sweetness. Cinnamon and nutmeg or fresh fruit like berries are also great in oatmeal.
3 Amazing Oatmeal Recipes you Can Try
Here are three oatmeal recipes you can try to have a sumptuous and nutritious meal.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 medium banana, mashed
- a pinch of salt
- Put all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat at medium/high level.
- Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low/medium and keep stirring for 3-5 minutes as the oatmeal cooks and thickens.
- When the oatmeal is at the desired consistency, stop the heat, and serve immediately.
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- dash of sea salt
- 1 cup water or milk
- toppings of choice
- Add oats, salt, milk/water to a pot over medium/high heat.
- Bring to boil, reduce the heat, and cook for about five minutes, stirring the mixture occasionally.
- Your meal is ready once the oats soak up most of the liquid and get creamy.
- Put in a bowl and add some healthy toppings.
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup grated zucchini
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 banana, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon almond butter or another type of nut butter
- a pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or water)
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- Add oats, zucchini, cinnamon banana, and sea salt to a medium pot.
- Add almond milk/water and stir to combine.
- Put over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Stir the oats several times while cooking to ensure the banana slices melt into it and the oats don’t stick to the pot.
- Your meal is ready when all the liquid gets absorbed and the oats are thick and fluffy.
- Serve oats into a bowl, and top with almond butter and walnuts.
Interesting Facts About Oatmeal
- Oats are primarily used as food for livestock. Humans only consume about 5% of it.
- October 29th is National Oatmeal Day. January is National Oatmeal Month, while March 18th is Oatmeal Cookie Day.
- Seventy-five percent of U.S. homes have oatmeal.
- Milk, sugar, bananas, raisins, and butter/margarine are the most popular oatmeal toppings. The most uncommon oatmeal toppings are cottage cheese, eggnog, peanut butter, and brewer’s yeast.
- Oatmeal cookies are the most common non-cereal usage for oatmeal, followed by meatloaf.
- Rolled oats are the type that has not been cut into small pieces.
- Quaker Oats was the first U.S. breakfast cereal to receive a registered trademark and the first to offer a recipe and a premium on its package. It`s also the first to offer trial-size samples.
- Oats were one of the earliest cereals that humans cultivated.
- The ancient Greeks were the first to make porridge from oats.