Since I was a kid my mom used to say that the “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, it’s like her most repeated phrase ever, no matter whichever part of the globe you’re from I’m pretty sure that this is your case too. surprisingly it is so true. But most probably a lot of us never give a second thought about how to treat the most important meal with actually important food. With our busy lifestyles, “breakfast” turned out to be a meal to “have something for” or to “skip altogether until having an early lunch”. But what if there is a perfect food out there, which is genuinely tasty, extremely healthy and easy to make?
You guessed right; it’s oatmeal I’m talking about. It’s the breakfast food which had been consistently consumed for generations; and for a good reason.
Let’s look at some of the amazing benefits of oatmeal.
Amazing Oatmeal Benefits
1. Nutritious and Balanced Meal
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest, balanced (and safest) foods out there. Just one cup of cooked oatmeal contains about 150 calories, four grams of dietary fiber and six grams of protein. It is also rich in magnesium, zinc, thiamin, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and iron.
2. Lowers Cholesterol
While oatmeal contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, the soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol levels. Beta-glucan in oatmeal helps healthy-excretion of cholesterol-rich bile, thus reduces the cholesterol levels in your blood.
3. Prevents Heart Disease
Do you ever believe preventing Heart Disease can be one of the oatmeal benefits?
LDL oxidation, which produces artery inflammation, is one of the causes of tissue damages and strokes. The antioxidants in oats, along with vitamin C, prevents LDL oxidation, thus reducing heart diseases.
4. Reduces Risk of Colon Cancer
The risk of colon cancer (also known as ‘bowel cancer’) can be reduced by increasing the fiber intake. Oats, which are rich in fiber can significantly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
5. Reduces Constipation Issues
The other type of fiber in oats is insoluble fiber, which assists in intestinal health while relieving any constipation issues. (In other words, it helps you ‘go nicely’, as the saying goes)
6. Aids Diabetes Treatment
While oats have a very low glycemic level, the high fiber content helps to keep the blood sugar levels, stable. Also, since it has high fiber content, it is digested slowly. This is helpful for diabetes patients since foods that are quickly digested can cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
7. Boosts Energy
We all crave carbs – which is the primary source of energy for our bodies. Since oats are rich of carbs, it gives you a good energy boost in the morning, while the slow digestion makes it a “long-lasting” boost.
8. Weight Control
The slow digestion of oats helps you feel “full” for a longer period, thus, getting rid of your mid-day cravings for junk food. This helps you control your weight in the long run.
9. Fights Infections and Boosts Immune System
Beta-glucan is a unique fiber that oatmeal contains. According to studies, it helps neutrophils ‘travel’ faster to any site of infection, thus enabling the ability to quickly eliminate the bacteria which it finds at the source of infection. Also, the selenium and zinc contents of oatmeal assist in ‘fighting’ against infections, thus boosting the immune system.
10. Reduces Stress
Oatmeal is often identified as a “comfort food”, which reduces stress hormones while boosting serotonin, (commonly called the “feel-good hormone”) which gives you a feeling of calmness. After a breakfast of oats, your entire morning will be ‘nice’ and ‘fresh’.
And these are only a few of many oatmeal benefits.
I know what you’re thinking now. Gee! How much healthy this can be? But then again, to gain all these, I need to eat that plain bleak porridge? Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll pass.
No! If you have this idea about oatmeal, you’re not alone. Lots of people who haven’t yet seen or tasted the diversity of oatmeal preparation have the same idea, but that is incorrect. While it is very healthy in it’s simple and plain porridge form itself, it can be prepared in literally hundreds of ways.
Ways You Can Prepare Oatmeal
You can use hundreds of types of add-ons to give it hundreds of flavors! You can make it taste milky, sweet, savory, spicy or any other taste. And you can add lots of add-ons to give it interesting presentations and flavors, starting with basics like sugar and milk, to fresh fruits like bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and apples, to nuts and seeds like walnuts, sunflower seeds, and almonds, to other ingredients like raisins, honey, caramel, and chocolates. The list goes on and on. You can be creative and add your own thing or mix a few together too, to get your own unique flavor. You can have oatmeal every day for breakfast, for an entire year, with no two meals tasting the same! That’s how versatile oatmeal preparation can be, that is if you want it to be. Or you can stick to your most favorite combinations.
While having all these oatmeal benefits and all these taste variants, and you can still make it in a few minutes and still make it suit your busy lifestyle. And while breakfast is the meal which oatmeal is usually consumed for, it can be your lunch or dinner too. Whichever meal you will have it for, it will come fully-packed, consistently, with all the goodness and wellness, which it had helped for generations.
So, let’s give it a go today… shall we? (I promise you, you won’t regret it)