7 Amazing Benefits of Eating Oatmeal
Is oatmeal as healthy as some people make it out to be? Honestly, yes. Oatmeal is full of all kinds of nutrients that are majorly beneficial for your body's overall health, which is why we decided to break down a few amazing benefits of eating oatmeal. These benefits not only look at the health aspects of eating oatmeal, but also the convenience that this healthy breakfast item provides when you're in need of a quick meal.
We spoke with Kelly Springer, MS, RD, CDN for Mom's Best Old Fashioned Oats to determine a few amazing benefits of eating oatmeal on a regular basis. Here's what she says, and for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
It's full of fiber.
Having a good amount of fiber in your diet is important for weight loss and gut health, and thankfully, oatmeal is full of it. In a simple 1/2 cup serving of oats, you get 4 grams of fiber. The fiber in your bowl of oats will actually help you to feel full for a longer period of time—compared to that sugary breakfast cereal—due to the soluble fiber, which leads to slow digestion and appetite suppression.
It's packed with nutrients.
"Oatmeal also contains important vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and iron, which help increase energy, reduce inflammation, and boost immunity," says Springer.
Plus, oatmeal is packed with protein (5 grams per 1/2 cup serving) and is considered a 25% resistant starch, which means oats can improve your gut health through digestion.
Just make sure to avoid these 6 Oatmeal Mistakes Making You Fat.
It can lower your cholesterol.
Because of the fiber, Springer says that oatmeal can help with decreasing your LDL "bad" cholesterol, while also stabilizing your blood sugar. This is due to the soluble fiber in oatmeal, which according to Mayo Clinic, soluble fiber reduces the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream.
It can help you live longer.
It's true! Oatmeal is one of the best foods in terms of longevity. According to a study published by the Nutrition Journal, oats can help decrease the risk of autoimmune diseases, heart disease, and even gaining more weight. Plus, having a regular intake of whole grains in your diet has actually been proven to inverse mortality rates, according to the American Heart Association.
It's free of added sugars.
Depending on what kind of oatmeal you buy, of course. While there are some unhealthy oatmeal packets on shelves, if you simply buy a container of plain old-fashioned oats to make a bowl yourself, your breakfast is free of any of those added sugars, artificial flavors, and hydrogenated oils.
"[Oatmeal] can be a really fueling, nutrient-packed breakfast, but it's important to choose a quality oatmeal," says Springer. "Most oatmeal packets contain loads of added sugar and flavorings that can dilute the nutrients and won't provide you with all the benefits oatmeal has to offer."
So skip the sugary oatmeal and try one of these 11 Healthy Oatmeal Toppings That Help You Lose Weight instead.
It's a versatile breakfast—or lunch!
Along with all of the amazing health benefits of eating oatmeal, this popular food is also an easily versatile item! You can mix in or top your oatmeal with all kinds of other fiber boosting items, like berries, nut butter, pumpkin, seeds, and nuts. You can also enjoy savory oatmeal with a fried egg on top. Or give one of these healthy oatmeal recipes a try!
It can substitute for flour.
Making oat flour is a lot easier than you think. Skip buying the bag of oat flour and instead, blend up some oats in a high-powered blender and you'll have oat flour in less than 30 seconds. Oat flour can help boost the fiber content of all kinds of recipes including zucchini bread and pancakes.