Oatmeal has come a long way from the days when it was a lumpy mass of tasteless goop children choked down before trudging off to school. With many tasty recipes ranging from sweet to savory, oatmeal can now be enjoyed as a delicious treat that fills the belly and starts your day off right. In addition to great flavor, oatmeal has wonderful health benefits that make it a great choice for breakfast, a snack, or even a nighttime treat. Read on for 12 ways oatmeal can be a healthy addition to your day.
The antioxidants found in foods are prized for their ability to prevent free radicals in the body from damaging cells and tissues. Oatmeal has an abundance of antioxidants, with studies showing they contain more than 20 plant polyphenols. Avenanthramides are the polyphenols found solely in oatmeal. In addition to preventing oxidation by free radicals, the avenanthramides are effective in fighting inflammation, itching, and abnormal cell growth. Top your morning oatmeal with blueberries to enjoy an extra dose of antioxidants and flavor
Oatmeal is a great source of fiber, which is important for many of your body functions. The two types of fiber found in foods are soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which means the fiber is water-soluble and absorbs water during the digestive process. This keeps food moving through your digestive tract. The American Heart Association states that oats have a larger ratio of soluble fiber than any other grain. The recommended dietary allowance for daily fiber is 25 grams. One cup of cooked oatmeal usually contains around 5 grams of fiber.