Oatmeal does not have to be boring. It can be easy to prepare and nourishing in myriad ways. I’m not talking about all the sugary, flavored, adulterated types you can find in the grocery store in little packets. I’m talking fresh, whole oats, organic, and gluten-free.
If you have been buying and eating “instant oatmeal” and believe you’re eating a healthy breakfast, think again. Instant oatmeal is one of the worse things you can put into your body. Yeah, start your day off with loads of sugar, preservatives, and chemicals, not to mention pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. “But it’s so easy.” “I don’t have that much time in the morning.” “I need something convenient to take to work.” So many reasons, or should I say, excuses? The possibilities for variety and flavor are many with fresh, organic oats, homemade. You can simmer oats, you can bake oats, you can soak them overnight. Here are several health benefits of oats.
Fiber—a specific fiber called beta-glucan. Numerous studies since 1963 have proven the cholesterol lowering effects of oats. I can’t say enough about fiber. We always need more of it in our diets. Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber that ferments in the gut, feeding essential microbiota that help regulate blood sugars, blood pressure, and balance cholesterol. Oats are one of the most satiating foods due to the fiber, and the beta-glucan can even help aid in weight loss and boost your immune system.
Phenolic phytonutrients/avenanthramides—prevents oxidation of cholesterol and protects arterial walls from certain types of molecules that can attach to the lining of the cells and cause atherosclerosis.
Nutritional analysis for one-half cup uncooked oats:
· Protein: approximately 12 grams of protein
· Folate: approximately 44 grams of folate
· Calcium: approximately 42 mg
· Magnesium: approximately 138 mg
· Potassium: approximately 334 mg
· Zinc: approximately 3 mg
Oats do contain a concentrated amount of “purines,” a substance that certain individuals may be sensitive to. Purines are found in a variety of foods. You can ask your doctor or do your own research to find out if purines are something you need to control in your diet.
What You Can Do to Make Oatmeal Yummy
You can add a variety of flavorful and healthy foods to your oatmeal. I sometimes add fresh blueberries or strawberries, walnuts, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or any of many more options. I’ve also added peanut butter or peanut butter powder along with bananas. You can also add in some flaxseed or coconut oil for additional healthy fats. I often do not even add any sweetener. If I do, I use liquid Monk fruit (with no erythritol, which has some health warnings in some latest research).
I want to share a recent recipe for oatmeal that I made just the other day: Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal, and boy was it good!
1.5 cups cooked oats 2 tbsp. Better Body Peanut Butter Powder 2 tsp. ground flaxseed 1 tbsp. walnut pieces 1 tbsp. organic cacao powder 4 drops liquid monk fruit ¼ cup unsweetened plain almond milk
Protein: 19.5 grams Net Carbs: 41.0 Fats: 13.5
Cacao is a wonder food in itself. I occasionally add it to my coffee also. It is remarkably high in antioxidants. Cacao powder has a very high amount of iron, electrolytes, and minerals. Not only is it beneficial for the cardiovascular system but also for our bones, and it helps aid in metabolism.
If you want to eliminate one small thing that can contribute to diabetes and heart disease, I hope you will consider trashing those instant little packets and start experimenting with making your own oatmeal, fresh, from scratch. You can search for a number of recipes online.