Oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods on Earth. No wonder that it's extremely popular breakfast food. It can fill up your stomach promoting a feeling of satiety for a long time. Oatmeal is a powerhouse of dietary fiber, high-quality protein, and essential minerals and vitamins.
Oats can boost your energy levels and help you follow a healthy lifestyle. Oatmeal is a good option for people with various chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and celiac disease. For the most health benefits, look for steel-cut, old-fashioned, or rolled oats instead of instant or quick oats since instant and quick oats don’t contain soluble fiber. Here are nine weighty reasons to eat oatmeal for breakfast:
Oats are rich in a particular soluble fiber called beta-glucan. Beta-glucans have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol that tends to build up in arterial walls. Daily consumption of beta-glucan can decrease your bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and thus reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, and heart attack.
You probably know that fruits and veggies are full of antioxidants. But oatmeal is also rich in these substances. Antioxidants are vital for your body since they protect against free radicals. Free radicals are reactive molecules that damage your cells. High levels of free radicals in the body are called oxidative stress. An imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants can lead to many health issues such as:
Many types of cancer
Arthritis and inflammatory disease
Oats contain an antioxidant called avenanthramide. It’s considered a promising cancer fighter but more studies are needed. Other antioxidants also have anti-cancer effects while soluble fiber might prevent rectal and colon cancers. Other amazing benefits of antioxidants include anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
Soluble fiber can aid with weight loss and might reduce your visceral fat. This type of fat is especially dangerous since it raises your risk of heart disease and stroke even if your body mass index is deemed normal.
The fiber found in oats is extremely beneficial for your overall health. it’s especially important for a well-functioning digestive system. Soluble fiber possesses prebiotic properties, meaning it’s an ideal food for your gut bacteria. It can contribute to a healthier microbiome.
Your microbiome plays a vital role in your health. It helps control your immune system, improves brain and heart health, and reduces the risk of many health conditions like diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. The signs of an unhealthy microbiome include:
If you have the aforementioned symptoms, see a gastroenterologist for an accurate diagnosis. These symptoms might indicate other conditions like IBS, Crohn's disease, or ulcerative colitis.
Oatmeal is rich in B vitamins, minerals such as manganese, iron, magnesium, and zinc that play a big role in immune health. Iron gives your body energy and activates the process of carrying oxygen through your body from your lungs. Zinc is also crucial for immune function.
A bowl of oats can provide your body with the recommended amount of fiber per day. If you’re a man you should consume at least 38 grams (g) of fiber per day. If you’re a woman consider eating 25 g or more per day.
Following a diet high in whole grains and other sources of soluble fiber has been shown to protect the cardiovascular system, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, breast, colon, and rectal cancers.
As mentioned above, fiber helps control blood sugar levels. That’s because it slows down the digestion of fast carbs, which can protect you against blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance. Eating oatmeal is especially beneficial for diabetes sufferers.
The high content of minerals makes oats healthy for your bones. Phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and copper play an important role in bone health. But keep in mind that instant oatmeal contains much lower doses of essential minerals. Oats also contain silicon that’s responsible for bone formation and maintenance. Silicon can be helpful in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.
The amino acids and other nutrients contained in oats help your body produce enough melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your natural sleep-wake cycle and helps you fall asleep. When mixed with milk or honey, oats become a great bedtime snack.
Whole grain oats also foster insulin release that helps the neural pathways get tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that has sedative effects. Oats are high in vitamin B6. This vitamin can lower stress levels. Constant stress is a common reason for poor sleep.