Oatmeal: Health Food or Health Gimmick?
A healthier lifestyle not only requires action but research. Whenever I'm researching healthy foods or new recipes, I feel like oatmeal or oats is always thrown in my face — figuratively of course. I recently started a six-week body reboot and decided to do deeper dive into why oatmeal is so beneficial and how I can start incorporating it into my lifestyle. Come along with me as I discuss the benefits of the almighty oats, plus a few recipes to add to your healthy food arsenal. But before we get started, I have an oat joke for you:
How does Reese eat her oatmeal? Witherspoon (don't worry you can catch me at your local comedy club)
Why We Should Add Oats to Our Life
If you are looking to lose a few pounds, getting enough fiber in your diet can be extremely beneficial. Not only does fiber help improve your gut health & mood, oats also contain soluble fiber which is perfect for the person on the go. When you don't have time to eat, eat foods rich in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber has to be broken down by the body meaning it takes longer to digest.
Why is slower digestion a benefit? Two words: Appetite Suppression! The digestion of soluble fiber curbs your appetite becuase you feel full for a longer period of time. Less calories in throughout the day puts you at a calorie deficit which is key for shaving off those pounds.
Insoluble fiber is good too, especially for constipation, and guess what? That's in oatmeal!
Remember that soluble fiber we just talked about? It can also have a positive effect on our cholesterol levels. Turns out soluble fiber decreases the absorption of the artery-clogging LDL cholesterol into the bloodstream. To reap the cholesterol benefits of oatmeal, try to eat 5-10 grams of soluble fiber per day. One serving of oatmeal has about 4 grams. Bonus: this can also help level out your blood sugar, but make sure it's not instant oats.
Did you know that a ½ cup serving of old fashion oats is packed with 5 grams of protein! I have no idea why I'm so shocked by the protein content in oatmeal given that it has so many other benefits. Because of its jammed-packed nutrients like beta glucan, a bowl of oatmeal in the morning can help battle bloating throughout the day.
"Oatmeal also contains important vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and iron, which help increase energy, reduce inflammation, and boost immunity," Kelly Springer, MS, RD, CDN
BIGGER BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
If you are looking to eat clean for cheap, oats is great budget-friendly option. A box of Quaker oats is roughly $4.00 and comes with 30 servings. That is roughly a 13-cent meal — quick math for the win!
Oat Meal(s): Recipes For You To Try
These days there's no question about the importance of including some kind of healthy carbohydrate like oats in our lives. They're easy on digestion with plenty of fiber and protein making them perfect snacks or meals when you need sustenance throughout the day without getting too tired out by caloric overload. If you're looking for something new and delicious that will keep your hunger at bay all day long then try these oat-filled recipes.
- Apple Cinnamon oats
- ½ cup of old fashion oats
- ¾ cup of liquid (Water or Milk)
- Chia Seeds
- Chopped Apples
Take all the ingredients and add them to a sealable container. My go to is a mason jar, for the aesthetic, but really anything will do. Stir it all together to get an even consistency. If it is too thick you can slowly add milk or water to the desired consistency, but if it's too runny you can add more oatmeal. Lastly, seal the container and let them chill in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours. When you wake up you will have some delicious and healthy oats for breakfast, lunch, dinner! or even a healthy snack!
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup oats
- 1 banana cut into chunks
- 14 frozen strawberries
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons white sugar
Once you have gathered these ingredients, throw them in the blender until the desired consistency. I am personally really excited to try this smoothie. I used to work at a smoothie shop in high school and I am getting mouth-watering nostalgia just looking at the recipe.
- 1/2 cup of Soy Milk
- 2 tablespoons Peanut Butter
- 1 whole Banana
- 1/4 cup Old Fashioned Oats
Blend all of the ingredients together until your heart desires. I am a lover of peanut butter smoothies, especially if they have fruit added into them.
If you aren’t a fan of either, try these other oat recipes:
Oats, Oats, Oats, Its Magic, You Know!
Wow — that was quite the journey about oats! No wonder they are always talked about in relation to healthy living. Oatmeal is a super healthy food that would be a great addition to your healthy eating lifestyle. It can help with lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as providing plenty of nutrients including (my new best friend) soluble fiber, protein, iron, zinc - the list goes on! If you're looking for some tasty oat recipes to try out this week then look no further than these delicious ideas above.
I will be trying out the overnight oats first and then on to that peanut butter smoothie — once I have a blender (college student set back). Give them a go and let us know how they turn out in the comments section below or tell us an oats recipe you already enjoy — we'd love to hear from you!
Keep on Muving!