For years, science has backed the importance of a balanced breakfast. By consuming a breakfast paired with carbs and protein, your metabolism receives the jumpstart it needs to keep your body moving throughout the day. Carbs give you the easy-to-use energy needed for cognitive function and protein gives you stamina and keeps you full all morning. One of the best sources of a balanced breakfast is the humble but hearty bowl of oatmeal. It’s loaded with fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and can lower blood sugar. Not to mention it may help promote weight loss. It’s easy to see why doctors have praised oatmeal as a good example of a healthy morning breakfast. Here are some of the key reasons oatmeal is so good for you.
Oatmeal is high in a soluble fiber called beta-glucan. In addition to supporting a healthy gut, this fiber has been shown to reduce cholesterol, reduce blood sugar levels and insulin, and keep you feeling fuller longer. This reduced hunger can help you eat less and stave off weight gain.
Although it looks bland, from a vitamin perspective oatmeal couldn’t be more exciting. Oatmeal contains high amounts of manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin B1 and vitamin B5. It also includes nearly a quarter of your daily percentage of copper, zinc, iron and folate. With all of these vitamins, it’s easy to see how oatmeal is one of the most nutritious ways to start your day.
High in antioxidants
Oatmeal is high in antioxidants, or substances that protect the body against damaging free radicals. Antioxidants help to reduce toxins and cleanse the body from chemicals it’s exposed to from smoke, radiation, etc. They can also decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer. Oatmeal is loaded with one antioxidant in particular, avenanthramides, that increases the production of nitric oxide. More nitric oxide means lowered blood pressure, making oatmeal a great heart-healthy breakfast.
Eating oatmeal in the morning fills you with good carbs. Remember beta glucan? Because of this special kind of fiber that boosts the release of the PYY hormone, or the hunger satiety hormone, you’ll be feeling full long after you put down your spoon.
Lower blood sugar
Thought you heard all the benefits of beta glucans? Think again. This kind of fiber produces a thick gel that also slows down the emptying of the stomach, thus suspending the absorption of glucose in the body. This can help regulate blood sugar levels and provide better type 2 diabetes control.
The fiber found in oatmeal has been proven to decrease cholesterol. With high cholesterol as a leading cause of heart disease, that’s a great health benefit from a bowl of oats. Moreover, antioxidant-rich oatmeal may reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This specific type of cholesterol is known as the ‘bad cholesterol’ from its pattern of causing inflammation of the arteries, damaging tissue and increasing risk of heart attacks. By eating oatmeal that reduces LDL cholesterol in the body, you’re making a healthy choice for your heart.