I had my first bowl of oatmeal for breakfast this morning and it hit the spot. I have been on a smoothie kick, making a protein drink most every morning – especially following teaching or working out. This morning, between classes I wanted something different. It just felt a little too chilly for an iced drink, so I whipped out the oatmeal.
It’s such a quick, filling and satisfying meal. Why do I forget to eat it? I’m assuming it will be back in the rotation now that the weather is changing. I always seem to have certain foods in my rotation depending on the Season and weather. In the warmer months I eat more salads, smoothies and shakes. When it gets cooler I tend to want more soups, chillis, eggs, oatmeal or warmer foods.
This morning all I did was boil a small pot of water, add in 1/2 cup oatmeal and 1 T PB2, powdered peanut butter, for a creamy peanutty taste and topped with blueberries. Soooo quick and easy. In case you aren’t the biggest fan of the oatmeal bowl of goodness, here are a few good reasons to add it to your menu.
- Lowers Cholesterol:
Oatmeal is a rich source of soluble fiber, which is also found in apples, pears, prunes and barley. Soluble fiber inhibits the body’s absorption of low-density-lipoprotein, or LDL, which is known as the bad cholesterol. One-and-a-half cups of oatmeal contains more than five grams of fiber, which is enough to reduce your cholesterol level.
- Reduces Risk of High Blood Pressure:
Since oatmeal is high in fiber, which is heart-healthy, it offers many cardiovascular benefits, including a reduced risk of developing high blood pressure. It’s recommended that postmenopausal women, who tend to develop high blood pressure, should eat six servings of oatmeal or other whole grains on a weekly basis. Studies show that men can also reduce their risk of heart failure if they eat one bowl of whole grain cereal or oatmeal, per day.
- Lots of Antioxidants;
Oatmeal contains a special type of antioxidant called avenanthramide. This fights off free radicals that attack high-density lipoproteins, or HDL, which is known as the good cholesterol. They also protect LDL cholesterol from oxidizing from copper, which reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
- Helps Prevent Artery Hardening;
Avenanthramides not only protect against heart disease, they also prevent the arteries from hardening. Those antioxidants suppress the production of molecules that allow monocytes to adhere to the walls of the arteries.
- Stabilizes Blood Sugar:
The benefits from fiber don’t stop with cancer prevention. A high fiber diet stabilizes blood sugar levels and won’t cause the slumps, which comes from eating a lot of sugar and carbs.
- Helps Prevent Diabetes:
Aside from fiber, oatmeal is also a good source of magnesium, which regulates the body’s insulin and glucose levels.
- Boosts Immune System:
Oatmeal contains a certain type of fiber called beta-glucan fiber. This fiber protects against heart disease and also revs up the immune system. It helps the immune cells seek out and repair areas or the body that may be fighting a bacterial infection.
- Prevents Weight Gain:
Eating food to not gain weight sounds like the perfect kind of diet, right? Because oatmeal is so rich in fiber, it will make you fuller for a longer period of time. Fiber will increase the viscosity of the stomach’s contents so that it will take longer to empty. Feeling full for a longer period of time will also prevent the need to snack on sugary or salty foods throughout the day. Research has linked a lower risk of obesity to children who regularly eat oatmeal.
Check out more here.
Oatmeal doesn’t have to be bland or blah. Add your choice of fruit, like blueberries, strawberries, banana, a little honey or agave, sprinkle with nuts, chia seeds or flax seeds or dried fruit to dress up your oatmeal.
If you aren’t familiar with PB2, this is what it looks like. Look for it at your grocery. Get the taste and benefit of peanut butter with 85% less calories and fat!
How does your diet change with the weather? What changes do you make? What are your cold weather breakfasts? Warm weather breakfasts? What are you loving these days?
Have a GREAT week!