Yes, oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast anymore. Besides the steamy cup with a plethora of add-ins, oatmeal can be savory, used as a flour substitute and giving a boost to your meat loaf. The health benefits of oatmeal make it a perfect addition to other foods to boost nutrition in baked goods and stuffing.
First a primer on the various kinds of oatmeal: Oatmeal is available in different varieties such as old-fashioned oats, oat groats, steel-cut oats and oat bran. Some quick-cooking varieties include cooking oats and instant oatmeal. The different types of oat products are a result of the kind of processing they undergo, but all retain most of their fiber and nutrient content.
Some of the most prominent nutritional benefits of oatmeal can be summarized as the following:
1. BOOSTS ENERGY
Oatmeal is a carbohydrate and protein-rich source that provides calories and energy. A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found consuming a low-glycemic meal, such as oatmeal, three hours prior to a run gives you better endurance than a high-glycemic meal. Foods such as oatmeal tend to cause a slow rise in glycemic levels, which is ideal for increasing fat-burning during exercise.
2. SUPPORTS WEIGHT LOSS
Oatmeal is an appetite suppressor that can be an integral part of any weight loss diet. Cholecystokinin, a hunger-fighting hormone, is increased with the oatmeal compound beta-glucan. A 2009 study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found satiety increased as a result of eating foods containing beta-glucan.
3. PREVENTS DIABETES
Oatmeal’s low-glycemic index is beneficial when it comes to reducing the risk of diabetes. This helps the stomach empty its contents slowly, which affects blood sugar levels and has a positive effect on our insulin sensitivity. A 2006 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a diet that produces a low-glycemic response is associated with less insulin resistance and a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes than a diet that produces a high-glycemic response.
4. BOOSTS HEART HEALTH
Foods rich in whole oat sources of soluble fiber have been linked to good heart health. Oatmeal contains both calcium and potassium, which are known to reduce blood pressure numbers. A 1999 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found whole-grain consumption was associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease due to its soluble fiber.
5. REDUCES COLON CANCER
A high-fiber diet can be beneficial when it comes to reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. Its soluble fiber and insoluble fiber can help speed up the passage of food and waste, which prevents constipation. This is what promotes good colon health. A 2011 study published in the BMJ found total fiber intake, as well as fiber from whole grains and from cereals, was strongly associated with a reduction in colon cancer.
I am very fond of oats this time of year because they are cozy, filling and delicious. Overnight oats are my favorite because I can prepare ahead of time and have breakfast every day of the week. The best part is you can be creative and add anything your little heart desires. This month, I had a food experience with my favorite flavor this month, S'mores Overnight Oats. This tasty recipe is courtesy of Quaker Oats and you can find the recipe HERE.
S’mores Overnight Oatmeal
½ cup old fashioned oats
½ cup lowfat milk (I love Fairlife milk, more protein!)
1 Tablespoon mini chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon mini marshmallows
1 graham cracker
- Add oats to your container of choice , pour in milk and layer mini chocolate chips, marshmallows, and graham cracker.
- Refrigerate overnight and enjoy in the morning.