Scientific studies have confirmed it time and again: oatmeal is good for the heart.
In a recent publication of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, researchers examined the past 10 years’ worth of studies on oatmeal’s nutritional benefits. Their conclusion mimicked all others previously done, noting that the “consumption of oats and oatmeal significantly reduces total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations without adverse effects on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.”
The bottom line: eating oatmeal every day can help your heart beat longer and stronger.
But don’t just stop with the oats. Your morning bowl of oatmeal has the potential to become a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients full of delicious ingredients. Check out the following essentials you’ll want to choose from to build your better bowl of oatmeal.
Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar levels and slow the digestion, benefiting diabetics especially. While two teaspoons may be more cinnamon than any given bowl of oatmeal needs, start with around ½ teaspoon for your bowl, and build up from there.
Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is a favorite among health-conscious consumers as it contains about twice the protein content of regular yogurt with a lower proportion of fat and calories. Spooning a ¼ cup of yogurt into your oatmeal adds a lovely creaminess that may also help fight disease.
Dried fruits: Dried fruits like dates, figs, and raisins were found to be dense in antioxidants, nutrients, and fiber, thus playing a vital role in any health-supportive diet. When crafting your bowl of oatmeal, skip the added sugars altogether and use dried fruits instead. Finely chopped dried fruits add natural sweetness along with all of the nutritional benefits of fruits.
Nuts: Researchers recommend consuming nuts at least four times a week to get these amazing nutritional benefits. To bulk up your morning oatmeal, add one to two tablespoons of finely chopped nuts of your choice.
Fresh berries: The high concentration of anthocyanins, micronutrients, and fiber in fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries make them hard to beat when it comes to power fruits. Add anywhere from ¼ to ½ cup of fresh berries to your oatmeal for a whirlwind of nutrition, as well as unbeatable color and sweetness.
Andon, M. B., & Anderson, J. W. (2008). State of the art reviews: the oatmeal-cholesterol connection: 10 years later. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 2(1), 51-57. Retrieved from http://ajl.sagepub.com/content/2/1/51.short