Oatmeal deserves to be loved throughout your day, not just for breakfast. Not only is oatmeal a super food that’s super good for you, it also curbs cravings and suppresses your appetite. Show your oatmeal some love at sun-up, sun down or somewhere in between and you’ll show your body some nutritional love too. Oatmeal’s health benefits are so long they read like your grocery or To Do list (whichever is longer). Where to begin? Here are nine reasons to love oatmeal at anytime of day.
1) Oatmeal lowers cholesterol.
High cholesterol at your latest physical? While it’s important to consult your doctor about any medical condition, oatmeal has the potential to reduce high cholesterol when added to your diet. The soluble fiber in oats helps remove LDL or bad cholesterol, while maintaining the good cholesterol that your body needs.
2) Oatmeal reduces your risk of stroke and heart attack.
Not only does oatmeal help with high cholesterol, but studies show the fiber in oatmeal can lower your risk or strokes and heart attacks, too! Oat bran contains even more fiber than oatmeal, making it another great choice to keep your heart healthy.
3) Oatmeal gives you energy.
Oatmeal is a low glycemic food, giving you more energy and helping you feel fuller longer. A study found that people who consumed a low glycemic meal like oatmeal before a run had much better endurance than those who ate a high glycemic meal.
4) Oatmeal helps with high blood pressure
If you want to lower your blood pressure naturally, consider adding a bowl of oatmeal to your breakfast menu. One study found that people with high blood pressure who ate oatmeal were twice as likely to be able to reduce their blood pressure on their own without medication.
5) Oatmeal can keep you full longer.
Oatmeal can keep your cravings away. A new study published in the Nutrition Journal found that eating a bowl of instant oatmeal for breakfast is more satisfying and helps to manage hunger better than the same amount of calories from a leading oat-based, cold cereal, even when consumed in smaller portions. The results showed that when subjects ate oatmeal, they reported less hunger compared to the ready-to-eat cereal. Oatmeal also provides increased fullness and reduces the desire to eat more. Oatmeal can help you with weight loss and weight maintenance by reducing your likelihood to grab a snack or overeat at your next meal.
6) Oatmeal is easy to prep and use.
Both old-fashioned and steel cut oats are whole grains that are minimally processed so they don’t lose the bran or wheat germ. (They only differ in how they are milled.) Short on time? Try quick-cooking oats (also known as instant oats) that have been precooked, dried and rolled. And if you buy any of the individual packets, just be sure to read the ingredient label. Many of the individual packets are loaded with sugar. (My favorite store bought brand of oats is Love Grown Oats.) You can make oatmeal stove top, in the microwave or overnight oats (doesn’t that sound cool?) so you can grab and go. Overnight oats are usually served cold—just soak raw rolled oats in liquid (lowfat milk or almond milk) and use one part oats and one part milk. They come out thicker and fluffier than cooked oats. Plus, you can get added nutritional benefits by decorating up your oatmeal with yummy add-ons like berries, flaxseeds or chia seeds, almonds, cinnamon, banana, raisins or a dollop of honey. Get creative.
7) Oatmeal is a great gluten free option
Oatmeal contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, iron and fiber. If you are Gluten-free, good news … many oats are too! To make sure your oats are good to go if you have a gluten intolerance or if you are gluten-sensitive, read this!
8) Oatmeal is not just for breakfast.
You may have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of your day, and that’s because making the right choice early on can determine your energy level and how eat the rest of the day. (Breakfast skippers, I’m talking to you!) But if you skip that bowl of oats early on, you still have plenty of opportunity to get your oatmeal fix. You can bake with oatmeal, make delicious oatmeal snacks and desserts, and even use it for main meals. Three pepper oat pilaf anyone?
9) Oatmeal recipes are delicious.
Want some banana bread without all the sugar and calories? Try banana bread oatmeal. Yum!
Or try this strawberry banana chocolate baked oatmeal. It’s a dish from my friend at Slender Kitchen and it’s so decadent.
Or mix up your smoothie routine and have a delicious and filling oatmeal smoothie.
Do you have that late afternoon slump where you are yawning, dragging and getting the munchies? Pep up with a yummy and hunger-busting healthier cookie made with oatmeal or try my recipe for peanut butter chocolate energy bars.
Oatmeal is such a superfood, it needs to venture out of your pantry and make its debut beyond your morning routine. What’s your favorite way to get your serving of oatmeal goodness? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!