Nothing says “good morning” like a warm bowl of oatmeal. Whether slowly cooked and creamy or blended with fresh fruit in a smoothie, oats provide your body with many benefits. If you’re not eating oatmeal for breakfast, you’re missing out on a delicious way to add fiber and nutrients to your body first thing in the morning.
Oatmeal is a whole grain, and eating whole grains can lower your risk for several diseases, including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Oatmeal also contains lignans, a plant chemical that has been found to prevent heart disease. The food label on your package of oats should list one ingredient: whole grain oats. Avoid prepackaged oatmeal that may be high in both sodium and sugar and lower in beneficial fiber. In addition, whole grains such as oats are a source of iron, magnesium and B vitamins.
Eating oatmeal can lower your cholesterol, especially your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. If you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol, consider adding oatmeal to your daily menu.
Oatmeal is a source of fiber. That means when you eat oats for breakfast, you’re going to feel full for a long time. Breakfast foods high in sugar and fat can make you feel full for a brief period, but then you’re hungry again. A breakfast smoothie, consisting of blended oats, fruit and ice, can satisfy your hunger easily until lunch.
If you’ve tried oatmeal before and didn’t like it, reconsider. Combining fruit or nuts with your oats while they’re cooking adds more nutrients. Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg give great flavor to your oats. Limit any sugars and let the natural flavor of the fruits and spices take over. Blend your oats with different fruits into a healthy oatmeal smoothie. Because oatmeal is such a beneficial food, try to find a different way to eat it every day.