Oatmeal is incredibly filling and can make a great breakfast to keep you satisfied for hours without a need to snack. This article takes you through the 11 Amazing Health Benefits of Oatmeal based on facts and how you can incorporate it into your diet.
It’s high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamins, and essential minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, and folate.
It’s also a great gluten-free whole grain alternative for those on gluten-free diets.
Besides, it’s a versatile ingredient that you can enjoy in different recipes.
Research shows that oatmeal is packed with health benefits, including better blood sugar control, reduced cholesterol, weight loss, and more.
What Is Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is a porridge made from milled, steel-cut, or rolled oat grains to improve texture and fasten cooking time.
Also known as old-fashioned or whole oats. They are oat groats that have been dehusked, steamed, and rolled into flat flakes to shorten their cooking time.
Rolled oats can be cooked into porridge and are often used in muesli, granola, flapjacks, and oatcakes.
Also referred to as Irish or Scottish oats, steel-cut oats are oat groats cut into smaller pieces using a steel blade.
They are the least processed with a slightly higher amount of fiber compared to the other types.
They are also very low on the Glycemic index compared to the other categories. This makes them the best choice for blood sugar control.
You can use steel-cut oats in breakfast bowls, cakes, bread, and protein shakes.
These oat groats have been ground into various sizes, from coarse grind to meal to flour or powder.
Ground oats are great to include in desserts and other baked goods, especially gluten-free.
Which Oats Are Healthier?
All three categories offer almost the same benefit, with steel-cut oats being slightly healthier than rolled oats since they are less processed.
Your main concern should be the additives often included in certain types. For instance, instant oats often contain sugar, salt, and preservatives, making them the worst kind of oats to eat.
Another thing is to ensure your oats are organic, as most grains have been genetically modified.
What Are The Health Benefits of Oatmeal?
1. It’s high in nutrients
Oatmeal is highly nutritious with a cup serving (234 grams) containing:
- Calories: 166
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Fat:5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 32 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
- Manganese: 68 percent of the daily requirement
- Phosphorus: 18 percent of the daily requirement
- Selenium: 18 percent of the daily requirement
- Magnesium: 16 percent of the daily requirement
- Zinc: 16 percent of the daily requirement
- Iron: 12 percent of the daily requirement
- Potassium: 5 percent of the daily requirement
2.Promote weight loss
The high fiber content in oatmeal has been shown to slow digestion, regulate energy levels, and keep you feeling full longer. This will help prevent overeating, unnecessary snacking, and lower your daily calorie intake, causing you to lose weight.
In one study, daily consumption of oatmeal increased satiety, suppressed appetite, and reduced energy intake more than a ready-to-eat breakfast cereal.
But to enjoy the weight loss benefits, ensure you’re staying away from sugary toppings or instant oats since they are loaded with sugar and preservatives.
3. Reduces cholesterol
High cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease, but regular consumption of oatmeal may help improve your levels.
It contains a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan, which increases the elimination of cholesterol-rich bile out of the body.
A 2014 meta-analysis involving 28 controlled trials found that consuming at least 3 mg of beta-glucan in the diet reduces total cholesterol and LDL without any change in HDL.
In another study, combining beta-glucan with vitamin C was shown to prevent LDL oxidation which increases the progression of heart disease. To benefit from this combination, always include fruits in your oatmeal.
4.Regulates blood sugar
The high fiber content in oatmeal slows digestion and allows for a slow and steady release of glucose into the blood. This helps maintain normal glucose levels and prevent glucose spikes associated with processed carbohydrates.
Oats have also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes.
5. It’s rich in antioxidants
Oatmeal is rich in antioxidants, including phytic acid, vitamin E, phenolic compounds, and Avenanthramides which fight inflammation, prevent itching, and improve blood flow.
These antioxidants also work to neutralize free radicals in the body that may cause oxidative stress, causing cell damage that may lead to chronic diseases.
6. Improves bowel movements
Fiber is a key component in a healthy digestive system. The fact that it moves through the gut undigested means it adds bulk in stools which prevent constipation and aid regularity.
In one review, increasing dietary intake improved stool frequency and consistency and relieved painful defecation in individuals with constipation.
7. May improve skin
Oatmeal-based skin products create a healthy skin microbiome that protects against harmful UV rays and harmful bacteria.
They also restore dry skin, reduce irritation, fight inflammation, improve appearance, and fight skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and eczema.
8. Reduce blood pressure
Elevated blood pressure significantly increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Avenanthramides antioxidants in oatmeal have been shown to increase nitric oxide production, which dilates and relaxes blood vessels, causing a drop in blood pressure.
Including oatmeal in a heart-healthy diet may help improve your levels and lower your risk for complications.
9. Lowers the risk of colon cancer
The bran and germ in oats are rich in vitamin E, copper, selenium, and zinc, which are anti-carcinogenic compounds.
Also, oatmeal is rich in dietary fiber. According to research, the high fiber content in whole grains can help reduce insulin resistance which is one of the culprits in the development of colon cancer.
10. Boosts the immune system
The beta-glucan in oatmeal stimulates the functioning of white blood cells, which helps fight infections in the body, thus boosting the immune system.
It also enhances the activities of other immune cells like neutrophils, macrophages, and natural killer cells which help get rid of parasites, bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Selenium and zinc in oatmeal also help fight infections.
11. Promotes better sleep
Most people are used to having their oatmeal in the morning, but a bowl in the evening may help you sleep better.
Oatmeal contains tryptophan, an amino acid that the body uses to make melatonin, a sleep hormone that regulates your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
When it’s dark, more melatonin is produced to signal your body to prepare for sleep. On the other hand, light decreases the production of melatonin, signaling your body to be awake.
Also, oatmeal contains magnesium and calcium, which have been shown to promote good quality sleep.
Oatmeal is a preparation made from oats that have been cut, ground, or rolled to improve texture and reduce their cooking time.
It’s high in essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber which are beneficial to the body.
The top benefits of consuming oatmeal include healthy weight, improved blood sugar, reduced cholesterol, improved skin health, reduced blood pressure, strong immunity, better sleep, improved digestive health, and reduced risk for colorectal cancer.
Take note of highly processed oatmeal as they are often full of additives and preservatives and thus not suitable for you. Learn to Make Your Own Oat Flour.
Other Amazing Recipes With Oatmeal
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