The Benefits Of Oats And Creative Ways To Consume Them

By Juliane Kristine Morris

Some people consider eating oatmeal a comforting and delicious experience, but other people just don’t care for the texture and taste of traditionally cooked oatmeal.  Whether you are an oatmeal flavor cheerleader or you do not really care for oatmeal, being aware of these three known oat health benefits and these new ways to try oats can help you harness oats health for your best living.

Dense in a variety of nutrients
Rich in nutrients, a half a cup of dry, quick-cooking oatmeal has five grams of plant protein, 27 grams of carbs with four grams as filling fiber and only 150 calories. 

Oats offer vitamins and minerals including iron, magnesium, B vitamins, selenium and zinc, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory polyphenol elements to reduce oxidative stressors and help reduce effects of aging, protecting against heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

The nutritional benefits in the range from dense steel cut to lighter rolled oats is the same.

The kind of fiber in oats is special 
Oats contain a fiber called beta-glucan which is especially protective, defending the immune system, reducing bad cholesterol and helping regulate blood sugar.  Beta-glucan is also an antioxidant that helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and hardening of the arteries.  Beta-glucan also works as a prebiotic to feed good gut microbes and reduce gut inflammation.

Oats assists weight management efforts
Oatmeal carb content is a whole grain (not a refined grain) that counts as a healthy starch—intact, fibrous and nutritional, not stripped of the bran and germ.  Studies have revealed that those who regularly consume oatmeal have a lower body mass index, a smaller waist circumference and a lower body weight.  The feeling of fullness or satiety that can come from eating oats helps reduce temptations to snack between meals. 

Creative ways to get your oats 
Add-ins to oatmeal add flavor, and sometimes even more health benefits.  Try adding cinnamon, maple syrup, ginger, fresh fruit or dried fruits, nut butters, whole nuts, pumpkin, sesame or other seeds you like. 

Rolled oats can be added to baked goods like muffins, breads or even pancakes, or included in burger patties, meatballs and casseroles.

Savory add-ins like an egg, lentils, sliced avocado, shredded zucchini or pesto work well too.  You can also try your oatmeal combination chilled. 

Enjoy the oat benefits and make it work well for your taste buds.

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