Start your day right with one of the healthiest and most nutritious breakfast foods.
There are many benefits to Oatmeal.
1. Lowers blood pressure
Avenanthramides are a type of antioxidant that exists almost exclusively in oats. They have been shown to increase nitric oxide production, which dilates and relaxes blood vessels, causing a drop in blood pressure.
2. Lowers cholesterol
Oats are a good source of a type of soluble fiber known as of β-glucan, which increases the elimination of cholesterol-rich bile from the body. This can help reduce cholesterol levels.
3. Regulates blood sugar levels
Oats have a low glycemic index due to their soluble fiber content which slows carbohydrate digestion and glucose absorption. This means they do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels when consumed, helping to control blood glucose levels.
4. Helps control weight
The high fiber content in oats also help you to feel fuller longer. This helps prevent overeating and indulging in unnecessary snacking, which can help with weight loss and weight management.
5. Improves bowel movements
Fiber is important in maintaining a healthy digestive system. The fact that it passes through the gut undigested means it adds bulk to stools which supports regular bowel movement and prevents constipation.
You don't have to eat your oatmeal like a Dickensian waif! Make your oatmeal more nutritious by adding any number of toppings. Add fruits for additional fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and nuts and seeds for protein, fiber and healthy oils. Here are some ideas:
Fresh fruits: bananas, blueberries, strawberries
Nuts: almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts
Seeds: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds
You can also toast your nuts and seeds to enhance their flavour. For a calcium boost and creamy flavour, make your oatmeal with low-fat milk instead of water, or use coconut milk instead.
Final tip: Avoid adding overly sugary toppings to your oatmeal or using highly processed oatmeal or instant oatmeal as they are often full of sugars, additives and preservatives.