January is National Oatmeal Month: Oatmeal’s Many Health Benefits
High protein diets and other food fads have been the current trend, with less attention given to the health benefits of oatmeal. Oatmeal is one the most nutritious and quickest meals that can be prepared and packed with necessary nutrients. It is a healthy and versatile food that can served with fruit, chopped nuts, applesauce, and many other add-ins. In addition, whole grain is recommended to individuals who want to live an active lifestyle, maintain or lose weight.
Oatmeal is rich in complex, energy-giving carbohydrates, low in fat, and high in water soluble fiber. Soluble fiber may reduce the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or the “bad” cholesterol. Studies show that 5-10 grams of soluble fiber may decrease the LDL levels by about 5%. Eating 1.5 cups of oatmeal significantly reduces one’s cholesterol levels. Lowering cholesterol levels may then significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Aside from lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, oatmeal also contains selenium. This element works with vitamin E and acts as an antioxidant. Because of this factor, the selenium that oatmeal contains may aid in decreasing asthma and arthritis symptoms, reduce the risk of colon cancer, and prevent cell damage
Other benefits of oatmeal may include the following:
- Oatmeal is a good source of many vital nutrients like vitamin E, zinc, copper, iron, manganese, and protein.
- It is fortified with B Vitamins which are known to reduce stress.
- It is a great source of carbohydrate for diabetics because it raises the blood sugar very slowly by staying in the stomach longer.
- It contains beta-glucan which boosts the immune system and increase its response to fight certain infections.
- It is high in calcium.