Oatmeal is a low-fat food that is processed from oat – a species of cereal grain. Known as white oats, oatmeal is considered as a heart-healthy diet for being low in fat and rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and water-soluble dietary fiber.
Oatmeal is a whole grain that lowers the risks of diseases including high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes. For a breakfast meal, nothing is better than oatmeal. Full of fiber, oatmeal boasts of numerous healthy benefits.
Some of its healthy benefits include:
1. Lowers bad cholesterol – Oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber that helps lower bad cholesterol i.e. LDL. Oatmeal is also rich in antioxidants called avenanthramide that fight the radicals which attack good cholesterol – HDL. If you’ are suffering from high cholesterol, consider adding oatmeal to your diet.
2. Reduces high blood pressure – Many nutrition experts recommend oatmeal to people who are prone to high blood pressure. The largest risk factor for cardiovascular death is high blood pressure.
3. Around seventy-six million adults, Americans, continue to suffer from fatal heart attack or stroke that are caused by high blood pressure.
4. And according to Dr. Janet Brill; a renowned nutrition & fitness expert; high blood pressure – is both reversible and preventable if you eat heart healthy food and do moderate exercise daily. In her book “Prevent a Second Heart Attack – 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease” Dr. Janet has shared various heart-healthy Mediterranean recipes that are good for your cardiovascular health.
5. Men can significantly reduce their risk of heart failure by having a bowl of oatmeal every day. As postmenopausal women are more likely to develop high blood pressure, oatmeal should be an important part of their diet.
6. Strengthens Immune System – Oatmeal contains beta-gluten fiber that not only protects your heart but also boosts your immune systems. It enhances body’s resistance against pathogens such as bacteria and virus by promoting the production of neutrophils — non-specific immune cells that form the first line of defense of our body. Neutrophils help locate and heal damaged and infected tissues.
7. Oatmeal and Weight Loss – Oatmeal being a rich source of water-soluble dietary fiber stays in the intestine for a longer duration of time. With a feeling of fullness after meals, the person has less desire to consume more food which ultimately cuts down the intake of excess calories. Also, oatmeal is considered as a low-fat food that makes it an ideal weight-control diet.
8. Other health benefits – Due to its high fiber content, having oatmeal balances blood sugar levels and prevents constipation.
9. Besides just like vegetables, oatmeal contains plant chemicals that help prevent various types of cancer such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Oatmeal is also rich in magnesium that helps in stabilizing insulin and glucose levels.
10. Oatmeal as an Ingredient of Heart-healthy Recipes
11. Oatmeal can either be instantly cooked on the stove or baked in the oven or combined with fruit or nuts to make so many heart-healthy recipes. Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg can be used to add great flavor to the recipes.
Most of the nutritionists, however, suggest limiting any sugar as it suppresses the natural taste of the fruits and spices. Dr. Janet suggests different heart-healthy recipes of oatmeal including “Oatmeal Protein Pancakes with Pomegranate Seeds.”