As I’m sure you can tell from some of my recipes, I use oatmeal in different ways for quite a few things. But IS oatmeal healthy for you?
Sure, it’s great for using as a breading on chicken wings, fish, and even in some desserts. But more than that, oatmeal has many health and nutritional benefits that not a lot a people know about. (I didn’t either until I started cooking with it and researching it.)
When I really started to cook healthy and make better choices, I wanted to know why certain foods are better for you than others. Might sound crazy, but I wanted to know the what and why behind the foods I was consuming.
Now let me just say one thing… I try very very hard to eat healthy and make the right choices, but from time to time I need to have my pizza, or a McDonalds cheeseburger and many other things that we all secretly love (which you clearly shouldn’t do often).
The problem is, we have no idea whats in that stuff! Long story short, I try my best to be aware of what I’m eating and educate myself on why I should eat certain foods so I can make choices with my nutrition.
/end Quick Rant
Back to the oatmeal…
So right off the bat, when you buy that big oatmeal canister you will see the huge heart on the label. This is the approval stamp of the American Heart Association (which is great)! But there is more… Way more. These little oats are packed with fiber, magnesium and even protein. But I’m sure you want to know – just like I did – the big question… “What do they actually DO for me?”
Let me break it down a bit.
Fiber – To begin with, the fiber in oatmeal has been proven to lower cholesterol. There is a specific type of fiber called beta-glucan which can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke (recommended serving is just three grams a day). That same fiber has also been known to have beneficial effects for people with diabetes and can even reduce the risk of breast cancer for women. Studies have shown that women eating at least 30 grams daily more than halved their risk of developing breast cancer.
Magnesium – Magnesium can benefit you in a numerous ways as well. It helps with your sleep, controls stress hormones (which is a big reason why people have trouble sleeping), and can help ward off depression and migraines. There are other natural way you can get your magnesium and most are found in your everyday foods.
Protein – This is one of the three macronutrients and should be a staple component to everyone’s diet. Protein is great for muscle growth, but is also all-around beneficial to your body and everyday health. It affects everything from blood pressure to brain function, and can even help curb hunger and reduce body fat .
This is was all so unbelievable to me, that you can just incorporate a few things into your everyday diet that can add up to a huge impact on your life. I always thought to myself how I’ve been eating this for months now and I see no change or difference. But the thing is, it may not be a physical change on the outside, but each day you take care of your body it is changing on the inside. That’s a huge difference and if you keep it up it will improve your quality of life.
And now, since we’ve established that oatmeal deserves its place in your diet, here are a couple recipes to try that you may find delicious: