We love to eat good food in Louisiana, and the cuisine is known worldwide as one of the best. However, not all the food is healthy. Sometimes, turning to something simple, like oatmeal is one way to boost your health benefits. That doesn’t mean you should add sugar to it or use it for topping on blueberry crisp or in cookies. To maximize the health benefits of oatmeal, just cook and serve for breakfast without lots of oils, sugars and flour. You can add nuts, fruit and seeds like chia seeds or make overnight oats or baked oatmeal.
It’s all about how the oat is processed.
That instant oatmeal you see in colorful boxes on the store shelves isn’t the best type of oatmeal to choose. The less processed the oatmeal, and the fewer additives when you buy it, the healthier it is. The instant oats with the added sugar may actually wipe out all the benefits by adding ingredients that aren’t healthy. Choose oat groats, the whole oat before any processing. Opt for Irish oats, which are the next in line of the least processed. It’s just the oat groats cut in small pieces. Those two have the most soluble fiber that feeds the healthy microbes in your digestive system and also keep you feeling fuller.
Oatmeal contains a lot of nutrients.
Oatmeal is higher in protein and fat than most grains, which is one reason you feel fuller longer. The other reason is the healthy fiber called beta-glucan that can lower you bad cholesterol level It also reduces your blood sugar level, improves insulin sensitivity and increases the beneficial microbes in your digestive tract. You’ll feel fuller longer and it can aid in weight loss. It contains substantial amounts of manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, vitamin B1 and vitamin B5. It also has a smaller amount of calcium, potassium, vitamins B6 and B3.
Can oats help childhood asthma?
Asthma is an inflammatory disorder that occurs in the airways. Most children with asthma may have recurrent coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Some scientists think asthma occurs when solid food is introduced too early and that it’s an allergic style reaction. However, one thing is certain, the introduction of oats early isn’t part of the problem. In fact, it may actually protect children from asthma. While the research isn’t conclusive, it does indicate that children fed oats before the age of six months had a decreased risk of asthma.
- If you have a problem going, oatmeal may be the cure. While drinking plenty of water is important, if it’s not working, try eating more oatmeal. It’s healthier than chronic laxative use and may be quite beneficial for the elderly or those with reoccurring constipation.
- Healthy oats include Scottish oats, which are ground instead of cut, and rolled oats, which are steamed and then flattened. These are higher on the glycemic index than Irish oats or oat groats, but lower than quick oats or instant oats, which pack on pounds.
- You can increase oatmeal in your diet by simply making a bowl in the morning or opting for overnight oats or baked oatmeal. While all three are delicious, they’re made even better by adding nuts, coconut, berries, bananas or other fruit.
- Baked oats are simply rolled oats with egg, bananas and other additives. You can put the mixture in a blender to create a cake like finished product that tastes almost too delicious to be healthy, but it is.