Oats – so pale, so small, and so easy to ignore. Some people look at a bowl of oatmeal and say, "blah!" Others gaze upon a lumpy mush of hot oats, with steam clouding their dreamy eyes, and sigh, "ahhh…" Are you an oat-lover? Here's why you should take the oat oath and eat more of these oh-so-wholesome whole grains.
In my capacity as the self-pronounced #1 leading authority on breakfast in the whole entire world, if you eat more oatmeal you can drastically improve the quality of your life.
10 Amazing & Surprising Health Benefits of Oats !
1# Protect against Heart Disease and Cancer:
Oatmeal, like many whole grains, contains plant lignans, which are converted by intestinal flora into mammalian lignans. One lignan, called enterolactone, is thought to protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease.
2# Promotes Antioxidant Activity:
Oatmeal is loaded with antioxidants called avenanthramides, which are unique to oats. Antioxidants are important because they protect your cells from free radicals, which are molecules you produce through metabolism and exposure to environmental toxins. Free radicals increase your risk for cancer and heart disease because they are unstable.
3# Lowers Cholesterol:
Oatmeal is a rich source of soluble fiber, which is also found in apples, pears, prunes and barley. Soluble fiber inhibits the body’s absorption of low-density-lipoprotein, or LDL, which is known as the bad cholesterol. One-and-a-half cups of oatmeal contains more than five grams of fiber, which is enough to reduce your cholesterol level.
4# Stabilizes Blood Sugar:
The benefits from fiber don’t stop with cancer prevention. A high fiber diet will stabilize blood sugar levels and won’t cause the mid-morning slumps, which comes from eating a lot of sugar and carbs in the morning.
5# Reduce Risk Of High Blood Pressure:
Since oatmeal is high in fiber, which is heart-healthy, it offers many cardiovascular benefits, including a reduced risk of developing high blood pressure. It’s recommended that postmenopausal women, who tend to develop high blood pressure, should eat six servings of oatmeal or other whole grains on a weekly basis. Studies show that men can also reduce their risk of heart failure if they eat one bowl of whole grain cereal or oatmeal, per day.
6# Shields your Skin:
If you look closely on the labels of some of your lotions or face creams, you probably will see oatmeal in there. At some point in history, someone discovered how great oatmeal is for dry, itchy, irritated skin. The starchiness of oats creates a barrier that allows the skin to hold its moisture, while the rougher fibrous husk of the oat acts as a gentle exfoliant.
7# Enhances Immune Response to Disease:
The unique fiber in oatmeal called beta-gluten also has been shown to helps neutrophils travel to the site of an infection more quickly and it also enhances their ability to eliminate the bacteria they find there
8# Protects against Heart Failure:
A Harvard study on 21,000 participants over 19 years showed that found that men who enjoyed a daily morning bowl of whole grain (but not refined) cereal had a 29 percent lower risk of heart failure.
Guess what grain is most easily found and prepared unrefined – oats.
9# Athletic Performance:
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned how beneficial oatmeal was in giving me energy before my swimming practices while on the National Team for my town. Oatmeal, is a great carbohydrate and protein source, providing calories and energy for energy needs. Oats have been shown in scientific studies to favorably alter metabolism and enhance performance when ingested 45 minutes to 1 hour before exercise of moderate intensity.
10# Prevent Weight Gain:
Eating food to not gain weight sounds like the perfect kind of diet, right? Because oatmeal is so rich in fiber, it will make you fuller for a longer period of time. Fiber will increase the viscosity of the stomach’s contents so that it will take longer to empty. Feeling full for a longer period of time will also prevent the need to snack on sugary or salty foods throughout the day. Research has linked a lower risk of obesity to children who regularly eat oatmeal.
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