If you weren't on team oatmeal, you should probably start rooting for it now. Oatmeal is a balanced breakfast filled with complex carbohydrates (including fiber), vitamins and minerals, and can be an ideal medium for nutritious toppings such as fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Keep these four benefits in mind the next time you prepare breakfast and consider oatmeal.
Oatmeal can reduce cholesterol levels
Oats pack a specific soluble fiber, called beta-glucan, notes a review published in Frontiers in Nutrition in November 2019. Cholesterol has been shown to be reduced by the soluble fiber in oats. It acts as a Roto-Rooter in order to stop cholesterol that can build up in arterial walls.
According to a review and meta-analysis of 58 trials published in the British Journal of Nutrition in October 2016, the daily intake of beta-glucan has been found to lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol in control groups. An elevated level of LDL cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease, the American Heart Association (AHA) notes.
Oatmeal is a fiber superstar
A bowl of oats will help you consume the amount of fiber recommended per day. According to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, men under the age of 50 should consume at least 38 grams a day, whereas women under the age of 50 should eat 25 grams or more a day.
According to a report published in The Lancet in February 2019, eating a diet rich in whole grains and other sources of fiber has been shown to be beneficial against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and breast, colon and rectal cancers.
Oats are rich in antioxidants
You often think of fruits and vegetables supplying antioxidants for disease-fighting, but your bowl of oatmeal is overflowing with them. There is a particular antioxidant called avenanthramides in oats. This oat antioxidant is a promising cancer fighter - though more studies are needed - according to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences in September 2019.
Oatmeal is a blank canvas for delicious and nutritious add-ons
A bowl of oats is high in carbohydrates, so you can add toppings which are filled with protein and healthy fat to make your morning meal more balanced. Try nuts such as pecans, almonds or walnuts; nut butter such as almond or peanut butter; or seeds such as ground lax, hemp or chia. These add protein, unsaturated fats, and fiber.
Fresh fruit is another option, according to the National Institute on Aging. Try raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries for additional nutrients and even more fiber.