Here are 5 Reasons Why Oatmeal is Great
By Sara Butler
There’s a good case to be made that every month, not just January, should be National Oatmeal Month because you can savor the flavor of this versatile whole grain all year long by easily incorporating it into your balanced diet. To help you see why oatmeal should have a starring role in your day all year long, The Joint Chiropractic has come up with five reasons why you need more oatmeal (or oats in general) in your life.
Yes, oatmeal is healthy and good for you, but so are a number of other foods that are way more complicated to make. Let’s face it, you’re not sitting down with a perfectly roasted wild-caught salmon every night, but you can easily make a bowl of steaming, delicious oatmeal every morning.
One cup of cooked oatmeal that you can throw together in your microwave or make overnight in your refrigerator has just 150 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber. You can up the nutritional ante by adding in berries, nut butter, or even a little sprinkle of brown sugar (we won’t tell, just keep the added sugar to a minimum).
It Can Be Savory or Sweet
Most people like to pair oats with sweet foods such as fruits or cinnamon, but oatmeal can star in a savory dish if you’re not afraid to get a little creative. The texture of oats is similar to other grains such as buckwheat, with a mild flavor that can support many different spices and seasonings. You can combine oats with vegetables and a cooked egg to create an easy dinner. Sprinkling in a little cheese never hurt, either! Experiment and see what kinds of flavors you enjoy. Most importantly, stop thinking about oatmeal as breakfast food only!
It Supports a Healthy Immune System
The chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic know that for a healthy immune system you need a healthy gut -- and oatmeal can help you achieve that because of the fiber, which works to keep the good bacteria in your gut happy. But there’s a special type of fiber in oatmeal called beta-glucan that takes things even further. This specialized fiber assists immune cells in getting to a site of infection faster and targets any bacteria they find when they get there to better eliminate it. Plus, oatmeal is high in zinc and selenium, two nutrients that help your immune system to fight off infection and help you stay healthy.
It Can Help You Sleep
Oatmeal is ingrained in many people’s minds as a breakfast food, but the truth is that it’s a great choice for a bedtime snack. Oats contain melatonin, which helps you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep. Oatmeal also contains Vitamin B6 that aids in the production of another important sleep hormone, serotonin. So instead of a warm glass of milk at bedtime, you may want to consider a warm mug of oats.
It’s Good for Your Heart
You probably already know that oatmeal is recommended to help lower cholesterol, but that’s not all this amazing whole grain can do.
Oats are full of magnesium and your body uses magnesium to assist in energy production and enzyme function. When you have a serving of oatmeal each day, the magnesium helps to protect your heart by relaxing your blood vessels and helping to regulate your blood pressure. As an added bonus, magnesium also helps your body to properly use glucose and secrete insulin, which can help you avoid diabetes too!
Oatmeal is a food that should be celebrated no matter what month it is. Still, National Oatmeal Month serves as a good reminder that the benefits of oatmeal should be embraced to the fullest!
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