People often say that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and these people are absolutely correct. We spend hours upon hours sleeping, and as we’re sleeping, we aren’t eating or drinking and are therefore not taking in any energy or nutrients. Now, obviously we don’t require anywhere near as much energy when we sleep as we do when we’re awake and physically active during the day (unless you work nights) but even so, we still require energy and we also need to wake our metabolisms up in the morning. Our metabolisms begin to decrease and slow down throughout the day, just as the battery on your smart phone begins to decline as the day goes on. When we go to sleep our metaphorical batteries are near empty, and we recharge them whilst we sleep. However, as our metabolism slow down when we sleep, in order to kick start them and really wake them up in a morning, we require energy, which is why breakfast is so beneficial. When it comes to breakfast, one type of food that has proved incredibly popular, especially amongst people looking to improve their health and fitness, is oatmeal, and it is oatmeal we’ll be looking at here. In reality, though it is commonly consumed at breakfast, oatmeal can be consumed anytime. Oatmeal is packed full of natural goodness and it provides a variety of different benefits for the body, five of which we’ll be looking at right now as we list just six great reasons to eat more oatmeal.
It’s a fantastic source of fiber
Dietary fiber is incredibly healthy and beneficial for the body as it helps to regulate blood sugar levels, it aids in digestion, it helps to lower cholesterol, and it helps to promote healthy bowel movements. The fiber itself is beneficial as it helps to lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels which can lead to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, blocked arteries, heart attacks, strokes, and much more on top of that. According to recent studies, as little as ¼ of a cup of fresh oatmeal per day could help to lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels within a matter of months. Not only does the fiber help to remove LDL cholesterol, it also helps to improve and re-establish HDL cholesterol, which is known as “good” cholesterol as it reduces LDL cholesterol further. When combined with a healthy and balanced lifestyle, oatmeal has been found to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, and that alone is worth taking note of.
It aids in weight loss
Another fantastic benefit of oatmeal is the fact that it helps to aid in weight loss, making it ideal for people looking at losing or maintaining their weight. There are a few reasons for this, one of which is the fact that it is extremely low in fat, and contains virtually no saturated fat whatsoever. Another way in which oatmeal can aid in weight loss is the fact that once again, the dietary fiber it contains really makes it presence known as it actually helps to keep us feeling full for longer. The reason for this is that as the soluble fiber contained within the oatmeal begins to dissolve in natural waters in the stomach, it forms a thick gel-like paste, similar to wallpaper paste, which expands and coats the stomach lining. This slows digestion and absorption of the oatmeal and as it stays in the stomach for longer, we feel full for longer. As you know, if you aren’t hungry, you’re much less likely to binge eat or eat unnecessary calories which could cause you to gain weight.
It contains a wide array of natural goodness
Oatmeal is actually one of the most nutritionally dense grains in the entire world as it is literally packed full of goodness that the body simply adores. Oatmeal is rich in multiple vitamins, including B vitamins, vitamin K, and vitamin E. It also contains numerous minerals including iron which helps promote healthy haemoglobin levels within the blood. Potent other natural antioxidants are also present, which help to strengthen and boost the immune system, which in turn helps to protect against illness and disease. Oatmeal has been found to be particularly useful at helping to protect against certain digestive-related cancers such as bowel cancer, stomach cancer, and even prostate cancer.
It provides a great source of slow-release energy
Oatmeal is a fantastic source of complex carbohydrates, which already means it’s a great source of slow release energy as complex carbohydrates are absorbed and broken down much slower than simple carbohydrates you would find in sugary processed foods. Add to this the fact that the soluble fiber also slows down digestion and absorption of the oatmeal as well, and you have all of the requirements needed for a nutritionally dense food that provides a lasting supply of energy that lasts for hours upon hours. Oatmeal is ideal for breakfast as it will keep you firing on all cylinders until lunch, and it is also a great pre-workout food as it will supply a steady feed of glycogen into your muscles whilst you exercise, without exhausting natural glycogen energy stores too quickly.
It tastes pretty darn great as well!
Finally, as if the thought of enjoying a healthier digestive system, a stronger immune system, healthier blood and major internal organs, a reduced risk of suffering a stroke, a heart attack, or suffering from numerous cancers wasn’t enough to sway you into eating more oatmeal, how about the fact that it simply tastes great? Yes, we now know how healthy it is and how it can benefit our bodies, but sometimes we simply want a food that we can enjoy quickly, with minimal effort, without having to cook a three course meal and work our way through mountains of pots and pans. Oatmeal is simply mixed with milk, water, or other milk substitutes, before it is then gently heated until it begins to thicken. Here you can add a pinch of salt, some sugar, a small knob of butter, jam, whey protein, chocolate spread, peanut butter, dried fruits, toasted nuts, toasted seeds, or anything else you can think of, before you then tuck into a bowl of delicious goodness that is warming, sustaining, healthy, and yummy!