9 Reasons to Eat More Oatmeal

Try adding warm cinnamon apples and a splash of milk to your oatmeal for a tasty, filling and nutritious breakfast. (Image courtesy of FreeDigital Photos.net)

Try adding warm cinnamon apples and a splash of milk to your oatmeal for a tasty, filling and nutritious breakfast. (Image courtesy of FreeDigital Photos.net)

As National Oatmeal Month draws to a close, we share 9 great health benefits of this breakfast staple (via Care2 Healthy Living):

  1. Oatmeal stops cravings. Oatmeal and other complex carbs digest more slowly than simple carbs, keeping you feeling full longer, and for a fraction of the calories of other foods.
  2. It’s a high-protein food. Oatmeal contains one of the highest protein levels of any grain, aiding muscle building and recovery.
  3. It stabilizes your blood sugar and reduces diabetes risk. Oatmeal’s fiber and complex carbohydrates slow down its conversion from whole food to simple sugars, helping maintain steady blood sugar levels. Oatmeal is also rich in magnesium, which helps maintain the body’s ability to properly process glucose.
  4. It lowers your bad (LDL) cholesterol. Research shows that beta-glucan, a unique fiber in oatmeal, can lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol without affecting your good (HDL) cholesterol.
  5. It’s safe for people with gluten sensitivities. While people who are truly gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease should stay away from oatmeal, it is a great choice for those who have a sensitivity to the prolamines (proteins) found in wheat (gluten). Just be sure that the oats you eat do not contain gluten from processing facilities or nearby wheat fields.
  6. It may protect your body from cancer. Oatmeal contains lignans, one of which is called enterolactone. Studies suggest that this lignan may protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers.
  7. It reduces heart disease risk. Oatmeal contains unique antioxidants called avenanthramides, which prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol, and in doing so, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  8. It defends against heart failure. A Harvard study found that men ages 19 and older who had a morning bowl of unrefined whole grain cereal had a 29 percent lower risk of heart failure.
  9. It powers up your immune response to disease. The unique beta-gluten fiber in oatmeal also has been shown to help neutrophils (a type of white blood cells) travel to the site of an infection more quickly and eliminate the bacteria they find there more effectively.

 

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