Last Updated on 2021-01-16 by Spongebob
Canadians are craving comfort foods big time. You might have seen different homemade comfort foods on the social media. That one type of foods that’s always on the favourite list is the oatmeal. They are fulfilling and are actually really beneficial for you health, both mentally and physically! Here are five benefits of starting your day with this nutritious whole grain, and tips for further improving its healthfulness.
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Oatmeal is rich in nutrients
Oatmeal contains carbohydrates that you need for energy, with a boost of vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, b vitamins, calcium and potassium. Get 14% of your minimum fibre intake with just half a cup of dry oats. That’s an impressive range for a single food that’s also affordable, simple to prepare, and versatile.
Oatmeal provides antioxidants
The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances in oats are useful to reduce oxidative stress on the body and reduct damage of free radicals. A 2017 study in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity suggests Polyphenols found in oats are believed to protect you against heart diseases, stroke, diabetes or type 2 obesity.
Oatmeal is a good fibre food
Oatmeal contains a type of fibre called beta-glucan that helps to maintain a immune function, reduce cholesterol and blood sugar concentration. The type of fibre helps to prevent heart diseases or diabetes. According to a 2018 study published in the Polish journal Annals of the National Institute of Hygiene ( ). Beta-glucan also functions as an antioxidant, and in this role is tied to protection against hardening of the arteries, neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
In a 2019 report, published in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes, researchers point to the use of oatmeal as a short-term dietary intervention associated with a significant reduction in blood sugar concentrations and improved insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes. This benefit is at least partly due to beta-glucan, which suggests that oatmeal can help reduce and control blood sugar.
Beta-glucan also acts as a prebiotic, a substance that stimulates the growth of beneficial gut microbes, while also slowing or preventing the proliferation of harmful bacteria. As a fibre, beta-glucan assists your digestive tract and helps prevent gut inflammation.
Oatmeal supports healthy weight management
If you want to lose or control your weight, consider starting your day with oatmeal! The fibre keeps you full for a longer time than usual meals. Compared with other breakfast meals like fruits, oatmeal can provide a longer sense of fullness. It naturally lowers your appetite throughout the day and eat fewer snacks or other foods. If you’re trying to lose weight, you can try this method to refrain yourself from eating unnecessary foods.
We’ve always heard about how whole grains are better compared to the other grains, but why? Whole grains contains bran and germ parts of the brain, which, the nutrients are retained. As a whole grain, oatmeal assists weight control by supporting your metabolism. In a 2017 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, healthy men and postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to weight maintenance diets that all had the same number of calories but had different levels of whole grains and fibre. Researchers found that after six weeks, resting metabolic rate, a measure of the calories you burn when you’re not active, increased only in people getting plenty of whole grains.
These outcomes may be why a 2015 study, published in the journal Nutrition Research, concluded that regular oatmeal eaters had lower body weights, smaller waist circumferences, and lower body mass indices (BMI—a number that reflects a combination of a person’s weight and height)). They also scored higher on the Healthy Eating Index, a measure of overall diet quality.
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Oatmeal protects overall health
According to Statistics Canada, heart disease is the second top killer of both men and women in the Canada, with twelve people dying every hour from diagnosed heart disease. A 2019 review of research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology revealed that oatmeal may lower the risk of not only heart disease but all causes of death. Researchers analyzed 16 studies to find whether a diet that emphasized certain healthy foods might add years to a person’s life; they also looked at 17 studies to see how food might protect against cardiovascular disease. Scientists found that whole grain consumption, including specifically oatmeal for breakfast, was tied to a lower risk of death from all causes, including heart disease.
How to make oatmeal even healthier
Oats are often added with a lot of sugar to make it tastier. If you want to be healthier, remember to cut down the sugar content when you have oats! However, eating oats plain isn’t for everyone. I have a few tasty yet healthy suggestions for you.
Oats are often associated with sweet servings. However, you can always enjoy them with savoury toppings too! Try combining a half cup of oats with hot water and top them with a generous portion—at least double the oats—of non-starchy vegetables, such as kale, red bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms, lightly sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with garlic and herbs. For protein, add a cooked egg or a scoop of beans or lentils along with sliced avocado or olives for bonus healthful fat.
If you prefer sweet, you can enjoy your oats hot or chilled. To make a more balanced meal, i suggest adding protein to your oats by mixing a half cup of dry old-fashioned rolled oats with a quarter cup of a plain, unsweetened plant protein powder, such as pea, brown rice, or chickpea protein. Add hot water and stir to dissolve the protein. Fold in a teaspoon or two of pure maple syrup to sweeten, along with a spice of your choice, like ground cinnamon or freshly grated ginger. Stir in a scoop of finely chopped veggies, like riced cauliflower or shredded zucchini. Top with a bit of fresh fruit, and garnish with a quarter cup of chopped nuts or seeds or a drizzle of nut or seed butter. Enjoy warm or refrigerate overnight and eat chilled the following morning.
These combinations are nutrient balanced choices to start your day with. They increase the overall fibre content, balance the macronutrient ratios, and provide an even broader spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For other creative ways to fuel your morning, blend rolled oats into a protein-and-produce packed smoothie, whip up a batch of oatmeal breakfast cookies or homemade oat bars, or layer lightly toasted oats parfait style with fruit, nuts, and a plant-based yogurt. The old saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is even more true when your starter meal includes whole foods with functional benefits, and oatmeal is a superior option!