Oatmeal can help lower your weight and your risk of chronic disease.
Reduce your risk of disease and slim down by starting your day with this easy
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but even knowing that many of us are starting things off on the wrong foot morning after morning. We grab high-calorie breakfast sandwiches, sugary pastries, and enormous coffees that are more dessert than a drink, leaving us hungry again before the clock strikes noon.
While the never-ending supply of unhealthy breakfast foods may beckon you from their shelves in the supermarket, inexpensive and easy-to-prepare oatmeal can set you up for a better morning and a healthier life. This popular grain is so much more than just another cereal, it’s a powerhouse food for both weight watchers and the health-conscious alike. Oatmeal has been linked to lower rates of asthma, heart disease, and colon cancer, but it’s pretty unlikely you could say the same about your average bagel.
It’s time we take control of our morning meal.
With 150 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber per one-cup serving, oatmeal is an easy way to fill up without filling out your waistline. Oatmeal is also a low-glycemic food, preventing insulin spikes that can trigger hunger pangs and food cravings.
Reduced Heart Disease Risk
A healthier heart starts with the right foods. Fortunately, each cup of oatmeal you eat packs 15 percent of your magnesium RDA, as well as plenty of heart-healthy fiber, reducing your risk of heart arrhythmia and cardiovascular disease each time you dig in.
Make your cardiovascular health a priority with the 42 Foods For a Healthier Heart
Think dairy is the only way to meet your calcium requirements? Think again! Oatmeal is a great source of calcium, packing 18 percent of your RDA per cup. Unlike dairy sources of calcium, which studies have linked to increased rates of bone demineralization, oatmeal’s bioavailable calcium is an easy way to improve your bone strength.
Improved Blood Oxygenation
Oxygen in your blood keeps every vital organ in your body working as it should, both preventing tissue decay and increasing your ability to heal from injury. Fortunately, enjoying sufficient iron in your regular diet can help reduce your risk of iron deficiency anemia and low blood oxygen levels. Even better, you don’t have to turn to red meat to add iron to your diet; oatmeal packs 77 percent of your RDA per cup.
Get healthier in no time by discovering the 45 Protein Sources You Should Be Eating — But Aren’t!
Lower Blood Pressure
A single elevated blood pressure reading may not seem like a big deal, but over time, high blood pressure can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other chronic diseases. Those who start their day with a bowl of oatmeal are well on their way to better health, however, thanks to oatmeal’s blood pressure-lowering potassium and healthy fiber
Reduced Anemia Risk
Dizziness, weakness, and fatigue you just can’t shake are all part and parcel of an anemia diagnosis. The good news is that adding oatmeal to your diet can help. Every cup of cooked oatmeal packs more than 2 milligrams of iron per cup, reducing your anemia risk and keeping you feeling strong and healthy all day.
Anxiety can affect every aspect of your life, from the personal to the professional, but the right foods may be able to get you back on track. Potassium-rich foods, like oatmeal, may help keep that nagging anxiety at bay. In fact, researchers at the University of Cambridge found that patients who had higher serum potassium concentrations before surgery reported less anxiety than their low-potassium counterparts.
Improved Electrolyte Balance
Skip those sugary electrolyte replacement drinks and opt for some oatmeal instead. Oatmeal packs 164 milligrams of magnesium per cup when prepared, making it easy to improve your energy, fight arrhythmia, and reduce your risk of post-workout fatigue.
A sluggish digestive tract can make anyone feel less-than-well, but oatmeal can help keep things moving at a steady clip. With 4
grams of fiber per cup, you can kiss constipation goodbye if you’re enjoying
oatmeal on a regular basis.
Make high cholesterol a thing of the past by adding some oatmeal to your regular meal plan. Oatmeal is a rich source of soluble fiber, consumption of which researchers at Tulane University have linked to lower levels of LDL cholesterol.
If you’re feeling wiped out by your usual activities, an iron deficiency could
be to blame. Luckily, oatmeal just so happens to be a vegan-friendly and highly
bioavailable source of iron, making those energy lulls disappear as fast as
Reduced Breast Cancer Risk
1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, as will close to 1 in 1,000 men. While these statistics can be scary, diet may play a role in reducing your risk. Researchers at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center have discovered a potential link between vitamin B6 intake and a reduced risk of invasive breast cancer, so if you have a family history of the disease, it might be worth making B6-rich oatmeal part of your regular routine.
Decreased Stroke Risk
Lowering your stroke risk starts with the right food. The potassium in oatmeal can help lower your chances of developing heart arrhythmia while keeping your electrolytes stable, decreasing your stroke risk every time you dig in.
Worsening vision doesn’t have to be a foregone conclusion just because you’re getting older. Research suggests that foods rich in B6, like oatmeal, can help stave off macular degeneration, keeping those eyes healthy and bright well into your golden years.
Decreased Asthma Risk
Don’t let wheezing and breathing difficulties keep you from the active life you
want to lead. Research from the University of Tampere reveals that early
introduction of oats in a child’s diet is linked to lower rates of asthma, so
if you’re eager to keep those lungs healthy and clear, oatmeal might just be your best bet for breakfast.
Reduced Colon Cancer Risk
Chronic constipation has been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer, but oatmeal may be able to turn things around. Thanks to its high fiber content — 4 grams per cup — oatmeal is an easy way to fight minor digestive issues as well as the big ones.
Problem: our metabolisms tend to slow as we get older. Solution: adding some oatmeal to your diet. Not only can the fiber in oatmeal help perk up a sluggish digestive tract, the manganese found in the mighty oat plays a crucial role in the metabolism of protein and carbohydrates, helping you digest effectively while keeping the excess pounds off.
For more ways to shed those unwanted pounds, turn to the 40 Ways to Jumpstart Your Metabolism!