Oats are a whole grain food, known scientifically as Avena sativa. Oats are commonly eaten for breakfast as oatmeal, which is made by boiling oats in water or milk. Oatmeal is often referred to as porridge. Have you ever pondered over why oatmeal is regarded as the most ideal breakfast one can consume, and that too, on a regular basis? It’s because oats are amongst the healthiest grains on earth. It is one of the world’s healthiest foods. Oatmeal is a whole-grain powerhouse despite being a one-ingredient (Oats) meal. Whole grain consumption is linked to health benefits such as lower blood sugar and blood pressure, lower body weight, and reduced chronic inflammation.
Oatmeal has soluble fibre and essential vitamins and minerals and research shows that it’s a very good choice for breakfast! Oatmeal fits into a variety of diets and eating patterns, whether you’re vegetarian, gluten-free, trying to lose weight, eating to control your blood sugar, or eating to lower cholesterol or blood pressure.
According to a study published in Nutrients, children who have Oatmeal for breakfast usually have better dietary habits and consume more dairy, whole grains, fruits, and essential nutrients like calcium, fibre, protein, and potassium.
Now that we know the immense value Oatmeal gives for breakfast, let’s further delve into the 8 Expert Reasons Why Oatmeal Is the Best Breakfast and why it stands out as the best choice for starting your day on a healthy and satisfying note.
8 Expert Reasons Why Oatmeal Is the Best Breakfast
Oatmeal is a popular breakfast option that is often recommended by nutritionists and health experts. Not only is it delicious and easy to prepare, but it is also packed with essential nutrients that can provide numerous health benefits. In this article, we will explore 8 expert reasons why oatmeal is considered to be the best breakfast option for health-conscious individuals:
1. Nutrition powerhouse
To begin with, Oatmeal is a power-packed food that is rich in dietary fibre and protein. It is a nutrient-rich food that contains several vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. A half-cup serving of oatmeal provides approximately 64% of the recommended daily intake of Manganese, 18% of Copper, 16% of Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), 13% of Magnesium, 13% of Phosphorus, 13% of Zinc, 10% of Iron, 3% of Folate and 9% of Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). It equally contains smaller amounts of Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and Vitamin B3 (Niacin). Oats have 51 grams of Carbs, 13 grams of Protein, 5 grams of Fat, and 8 grams of Fiber in 1 cup. This same serving has only 303 calories.
2. High fibre content
Beta-glucan, a type of soluble fibre, is abundant in oats. When beta-glucan comes into contact with water, it forms a thick, gel-like solution in your digestive system. Beta-glucan fibre provides various health benefits, such as lowering lipoproteins (LDL) and total cholesterol levels, reducing blood sugar and insulin response, increasing feelings of fullness, and promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. A half cup of dry oats contains 4 grams of fibre, which also helps reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, aid in weight loss and maintenance, promote digestive health, and prevent constipation. Despite these advantages, the majority of people do not consume enough fibre. Women should strive for a minimum of 25 grams of fibre daily, while men require at least 38 grams.
3. Contains Powerful Anti-Oxidants including Avenanthramides
Avenanthramide, a unique antioxidant found in oatmeal, has the ability to combat free radicals that target high-density lipoproteins (HDL), also known as the “good cholesterol”. Additionally, these antioxidant shields lipoproteins (LDL) from oxidation by copper, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies suggest that Avenanthramides could potentially help in decreasing blood pressure by boosting the production of Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide is a gas molecule that promotes blood vessel dilation, leading to improved blood circulation. Avenanthramides have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties.
4. Helps to Stabilize Blood Sugar Level and Reduces the Risk of Type-2 Diabetes
A prevalent health condition, type 2 diabetes is marked by notably high blood sugar levels and typically stems from reduced responsiveness to the hormone insulin. Oats have been shown to potentially decrease blood sugar levels, particularly in individuals who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes. This effect may be attributed to the presence of beta-glucan in oats, which may improve insulin sensitivity. Additionally, the high fibre and complex carbohydrates in Oats may help regulate the conversion of this wholesome food into simple sugars. Furthermore, the abundance of magnesium in Oats may promote the appropriate utilization of glucose and secretion of insulin in the body.
5. Enables Weight Loss
Starting your day off with a nourishing and wholesome breakfast can establish a positive and healthy tone for the day. Oats are high in fibre, which helps you feel fuller for longer, reducing the likelihood of overeating in the morning. Those who consume breakfast regularly tend to have lower body weight and are more successful in their weight loss goals, maintaining their results. However, it is important to be cautious of flavoured oats with added sugars and to consider adding some protein to your oatmeal. Including protein sources like nuts, nut butter, ricotta, Greek yoghurt, or even an egg on top can increase fullness and help you stay satisfied for an extended period of time.
6. Reduces the Risk of Childhood Asthma
Childhood asthma is a prevalent ailment that arises due to the inflammation of the airways, which is responsible for transporting air to and from the lungs. Certain foods may increase the likelihood of developing asthma, while others may lower the risk. Research from the past suggests that introducing oats to children at an early stage can potentially safeguard them from asthma. For instance, a study involving 3,781 children found that those who consumed oats as a part of their initial food intake were less likely to suffer from asthma by the age of 5.
7. Protects against Heart Disease
Globally, heart disease is the primary cause of death, with high blood cholesterol being a significant risk factor. Multiple studies have demonstrated the efficacy of the beta-glucan fibre present in oats in decreasing both total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. This fibre can boost the release of bile rich in cholesterol, thereby lowering the levels of circulating cholesterol in the bloodstream. Moreover, oats may offer protection to LDL (bad) cholesterol against oxidation, a crucial step in the advancement of heart disease. When LDL (bad) cholesterol interacts with free radicals, it undergoes oxidation, which causes inflammation in arteries, damages tissues, and heightens the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
8. Protects Against Cancer
Similar to other whole grains, Oatmeal comprises plant lignans that are transformed by gut bacteria into mammalian lignans. Among these lignans is enterolactone, which is believed to safeguard against hormone-dependent cancers such as breast cancer.
After discussing in-depth the 8 Expert Reasons Why Oatmeal Is the Best Breakfast, you may be curious about which type of oatmeal is the best for consumption. Read on to discover the answer.
First off, there exist 3 types of Oats namely Steel-cut Oats, Rolled Oats, and Quick Oats. These Oats originate as Oat Groats, which are oat kernels with their hard outer shells removed and are then subjected to heat and moisture to increase their shelf-life. Depending on the processing method, the oat groats are transformed into steel-cut, rolled, or quick oats, all of which have unique attributes.
When it comes to choosing oatmeal, there are a few things to consider, such as taste, texture, and nutritional value. In terms of nutritional value, steel-cut oats, rolled oats, and instant oats are all good options, as they are all made from whole grain oats and are a good source of fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
While all the varieties of oats are good, the Steel-cut Organic Oats stand out as the best choice. Steel-cut oats are the healthiest option because they are the least processed and have higher amounts of fibre and protein. Although they require a longer cooking time and have a chewier texture, they closely resemble the original, unprocessed oat groat and have a nuttier flavour compared to rolled or quick oats. Overall, steel-cut oats are the most nutritious and wholesome type of oats.
Ultimately, the best oatmeal for consumption depends on personal preference and dietary needs. If you prefer a chewier texture and have more time to cook, steel-cut oats may be the best choice. If you prefer a softer texture and quicker cooking time, Rolled Oats may be a better option. And if you’re looking for convenience and quick cooking time, Instant Oats may be the way to go.
Benefits of Oats with Milk
Oats cooked in milk offer greater health benefits compared to those cooked in water because milk is a rich source of fats, calcium, and Vitamin D, which complements the nutrients found in oats. Unlike processed oats, milk contains essential nutrients that are necessary for maintaining strong muscles and bones. In addition to enhancing the flavour of oats, milk also provides these vital nutrients that contribute to overall health and well-being.
Here are a few benefits of Oats with Milk:
- Milk has fats, calcium, and Vitamin D that is normally absent in processed Oats.
- Asides adding a flavour to Oats, milk also helps in keeping your muscles and bones healthy.
- Milk adds to the population of beneficial bacteria in the stomach.
What’s better than Oatmeal?
You may wonder if there is anything that could surpass Oatmeal in terms of quality or goodness.
Quinoa, known for its nutty flavour, can serve as an excellent alternative to oatmeal, offering both protein and taste. Not only is it a rich source of protein, but it also contains high amounts of fibre, iron, magnesium, and folate, making it a highly nutritious food. Moreover, preparing quinoa oatmeal can be effortless and quick.
2. Nuts and Seeds
If you are on a paleo diet, nuts and seeds can be an excellent alternative to oatmeal, which contains grains. Not only do they contain heart-healthy fats, fibre, and protein, but they are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and pecans are among the many options that are high in these beneficial nutrients.
3. Brown Rice
Brown rice, being a whole grain, is abundant in fibre, protein, manganese, and selenium, making it a highly nutritious food option. By preparing it as a breakfast porridge, you can create a delicious and satiating substitute for oatmeal.
In conclusion, Oatmeal is an excellent breakfast choice for numerous reasons. It is packed with essential nutrients that are beneficial for our overall health. With its versatility and affordability, Oatmeal is an excellent option for a quick and easy breakfast that can be tailored to suit individual tastes and preferences. Overall, the 8 expert reasons Why Oatmeal Is the Best Breakfast, discussed in this article highlight the many benefits of Oatmeal as a breakfast food, making it a wise choice for those seeking a healthy and nutritious start to their day.