They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this is the reason why you should not skip eating breakfast, ever. Remember to carefully plan what you are going to have for breakfast. In the rush of things, you might need to skip lunch so a good power breakfast will help you last all throughout the day. Start the day right with healthy food. Say goodbye to cereals loaded with sugar because the sugar rush won’t last long and it will not be able to give you the nutrients that you really need.
A bowl of warm oatmeal is a good breakfast choice – just not those flavored ones because they are packed with sugar. An important reason for you to eat oatmeal for breakfast is its health benefits. Yes, oatmeal is not only delicious, it also offers you a wide range of health benefits as well, one warm bowl at a time. Read on to find out what oatmeal can offer you when it comes to your health.
Why Oats are Good for You
Numerous studies have been conducted on why eating oats is good for you. Although you may not instantly see the results, you will notice an improvement as you regularly consume oatmeal for breakfast. Here are some of the very important benefits that you can get from eating oatmeal:
It has Antioxidants
The antioxidant industry has grown so big that almost all everybody are making claims that their product has more antioxidant activity than the others. Of course, some of these are false claims and because of the size of the industry and the numerous products available today, it is growing more and more difficult to weed out the authentic ones from the fake ones.
Antioxidants are good because they neutralize the ill-effects brought about by free radicals. Free radicals are by-products of the oxidative processes, and they harm the body by stimulating the development of various diseases such as heart disease. These free radicals can attack HDL, or the high density lipoprotein. This is the kind of cholesterol that you would want to keep high. So the free radicals’ attack on the HDL is never a good thing. Healthy HDL levels help keep you free from cardiovascular disease.
Oatmeal contains antioxidants known as avenanthramides which stops the free radicals from making an attack on the good cholesterol.
It is Good for Blood Sugar Control
Natural, plain oatmeal – and not those commercially flavored ones – is good for diabetic patients as it helps control and regulate healthy levels of blood sugar. Because it is rich in fiber, having oatmeal for breakfast will help maintain stable levels of your blood glucose all through the day thereby preventing you from experiences crashes that are typically caused by eating too much carbohydrates and refined sugars. The beta-glucan in oats helps you avoid dramatic changes and spikes in blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of carbs and prolonging its absorption process in the intestines.
It helps fight Cancer
Oats are packed with phytochemicals that have been associated with a reduction in the risk of developing cancer. The lignans found in oats have been related to a decrease in the risk of cancer, especially those that are linked to hormones, such as breast cancer. Other forms of cancer that may be prevented by eating oatmeal include cancer of the ovaries, endometrium and the prostate gland.
It Lowers Diabetes Risk
The last but definitely not the least is oatmeal’s ability to reduce a person’s diabetes risk, specifically type 2 diabetes. Oatmeal is an excellent source of magnesium which is needed by the body to properly utilize sugar and secrete insulin. In a study which went on for 8 years, results showed that women who consume a magnesium-rich diet had a 19% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a 31% reduction in diabetes risk in women who regularly consumed whole grains.
It lowers LDL cholesterol level
LDL, or low density lipoprotein, is a form of cholesterol that you would want to keep low. High levels of LDL in your blood stream can cause serious health problems, such as the formation of fatty plaques in the walls of your arteries. Over time, these fatty plaques pile up and cause a disruption or an obstruction in blood flow. Pressure in the area where fatty plaques are deposited may be high and could cause the vessel to burst leading to hemorrhage. On the other hand, an obstructed artery may cause blood deprivation to the areas distal to that obstructed part. As a result, tissues will die because the important nutrients and oxygen that are being carried by the blood will no longer reach them. A dead tissue is a non-functioning tissue and will thus translate to a non-functioning organ. Imagine if that organ happens to be your heart, or your brain. This may lead to heart disease, or a stroke.
What makes oatmeal special is its fiber content – specifically beta-glucan. Studies have supported these claims that regular consumption of oatmeal can help reduce LDL levels. And because high LDL can lead to cardiovascular diseases and stroke, eating oatmeal may just save your life.
It Boosts the Immune System
Our immune system is our body’s first line of defense. Think of an army going into battle. When something that is foreign enters our body, the cells of the immune system launch an all-out attack on these foreign invaders in order to neutralize them and keep the body healthy. The way your body responds to illnesses is determined by how healthy your immune system is. A weak and compromised immune system will make you more susceptible to various illnesses – especially those that are easily transferred from one person to another. A healthy immune system, on the other hand, can help speed up the recovery process, or you may not get sick at all. This is why it is important that we give our immune system all the help that it needs.
The beta-glucan fiber found in oatmeal is not just good for the heart, but it apparently boosts the function of the immune system as well. It also helps by the body fight off invading bacterial organisms by stimulating specific immune system cells called the neutrophils which readily migrate to the site of infected tissues and then work on their repair.