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kholden

Powerful Plant Foods A-Z: Oatmeal

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I do recommend oats for their many benefits; but this is the first time I'd heard that oats contain melatonin and may help with sleep. Might be a good bedtime snack! -Kathrynne

 

 

 
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In the mid to late 80's, the oat bran craze was sweeping the nation and my family got caught up in the momentum.  We had oat bran muffins, breads, and cookies.  Oat bran would show up in the unlikeliest of places - as a binder in meatloaf or as a coating on chicken.  Eventually I guess my mom got tired of finding new ways to use it because many years later we cleaned out the pantry and found a box of oat bran dated 10 years old.

All of that excitement about oat bran wasn't unfounded.  The high fiber content of oats that comes from the bran is important for our health.  It helps to regulate cholesterol, keeps us full, and keeps our digestive system moving smoothly.  Let's look at some of the benefits of oatmeal in more detail.
 
5 Benefits of Eating Oatmeal
  1. Heart Health:  It isn't just the soluble fiber in oatmeal that has been linked to lower cholesterol, oatmeal is a good source of potassium which is known to lower blood pressure. 
  2. Reduces Diabetes Risk:  Oatmeal contains slowly digesting sugars, offering blood sugar stability that is beneficial for type 2 diabetics and those with insulin resistance. 
  3. Weight Management: Oatmeal contains a compound called beta-glucan which has been found to increase feelings of satiety.  Also, because oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, it takes a long time to digest, helping you feel fuller longer.
  4. Endurance:  When eaten 45 minutes to an hour before moderate exercise, oatmeal enhances energy and performance.  As a great carbohydrate and protein source, oatmeal provides sustained energy for athletes.
  5. Sleep:  Even though we think of oatmeal as a breakfast foods, it might just be a better food to eat at night.  Oatmeal contains melatonin and complex carbs that help tryptophan get to the brain to help you sleep.  Can't sleep? Try a bowl of oatmeal!

If you want to maximize the benefits of oatmeal, try using oats that are more minimally processed like whole oat groats and steel cut oats.  The more refined the grain is (think quick oats), the more easily the sugars in it are absorbed into the system and the less benefit you'll get from it.

 

http://www.mydailyveg.com/blog/powerful-plant-foods-a-z-oatmeal

 

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Oats do contain a small amount of gluten, and if gluten is a concern, then oats must be avoided.

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Hello Kathrynne,  

 

I eat hot oatmeal for breakfast quite often in the winter with a hand full of raisins and sweetened with Maple syrup or brown sugar. I use the minute oats which cook easily and quickly in the micro wave.  Whether oatmeal is cooked as muffins,, boiled as porridge or baked as apple crisp, You just know that it is good for you as it goes down.  Other things like kale, you have to keep telling yourself it is good for you as you eat it.

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Hi Kathrynn,

 

I eat a bowl of Oatmeal 6 days a week before I go for my jog/power walk...

 

It takes 5 minutes to cook the oats on the stove, none of that instant stuff ...

 

It is amazing how it stays with me through the 90 minutes...

 

I use to eat musli and yogurt before I did my activity but found I always had a low spike in my energy...

 

Like my Mom use to say "eat your oatmeal it sticks to your ribs"

 

It's true!!

 

D

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Hello Kathrynne,  

 

I eat hot oatmeal for breakfast quite often in the winter with a hand full of raisins and sweetened with Maple syrup or brown sugar. I use the minute oats which cook easily and quickly in the micro wave.  Whether oatmeal is cooked as muffins,, boiled as porridge or baked as apple crisp, You just know that it is good for you as it goes down.  Other things like kale, you have to keep telling yourself it is good for you as you eat it.

 

Hi jb49, it's always good to hear from you. I too love oatmeal with raisins and honey or maple syrup, heck I even eat it in the summer. And we grind oats and add it to bread flour, so we get a bit of oats in our bread daily as well. (Much, much easier to eat than kale!)

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Hi Kathrynn,

 

I eat a bowl of Oatmeal 6 days a week before I go for my jog/power walk...

 

It takes 5 minutes to cook the oats on the stove, none of that instant stuff ...

 

It is amazing how it stays with me through the 90 minutes...

 

I use to eat musli and yogurt before I did my activity but found I always had a low spike in my energy...

 

Like my Mom use to say "eat your oatmeal it sticks to your ribs"

 

It's true!!

 

D

 

One reason oatmeal stays with us and is satisfying for so long is, as the article states, the soluble fiber, which takes longer to clear the stomach and intestines. This is also why it does not spike blood glucose as quickly as some of the other grains do. And good for you for brisk exercise no less than six days a week! What a great example you set, keep up the great work.

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