5 Surprising Health Benefits of Oats
The title of this post may surprise you. After all, oatmeal is never lumped into the list of on-trend superfoods. Most health and foodie bloggers are more preoccupied with jackfruit than oatmeal right now. However, this unassuming staple of your grandparents’ diet has a lot more to offer than you might think.
Better Heart Health
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in America. A diet high in whole grains can help by providing essential soluble fiber which regulates blood sugar and boosts the immune system. Additionally, soluble fiber protects circulatory health by preventing cholesterol from entering the bloodstream. Just ½ cup of quick oats provides 2 g of soluble fiber. Oats go the extra mile, too, by adding Vitamin E into your diet, which helps to protect your heart, and is best obtained from dietary sources. Oats also provide one of the only dietary sources of avenanthramides, a special group of antioxidants that protect the heart and skeletal muscles.
Oatmeal is most famous for its fiber content. However, oatmeal also contains surprising micronutrients that contribute to overall health. These include…
- Phosphorus: Helps maintain bone health.
- Manganese: Regulates metabolism, essential for health brain function.
- Iron: Assists blood flow throughout the body to deliver oxygen.
- Magnesium: Essential for biochemical (hormonal) regulation within the body.
- Selenium: An antioxidant that supports a healthy thyroid, and DNA production, especially important for developing babies.
- Copper: Most western diets are deficient in copper, but it’s largely believed to be important for heart health.
Build Muscle with Protein
You probably know oats best as a carb. However, oatmeal can also provide a boost of protein to your diet, which helps you develop muscle as well as strengthening and repairing bones, skin, and blood. Just ½ cup of steel cut oats provides 5 grams of protein, which is roughly 10% of your recommended daily amount, depending on your weight and fitness goals.
Keeps You Feeling Full
One of the biggest reasons that oats are great when you’re trying to eat healthy is that unlike many diet meals, oats keep you feeling full as the hours go by. This makes it so much easier to avoid unhealthy snacks between breakfast and lunch, and keeps your energy levels sustained through the day. So, if a salad or an omelette just isn’t keeping you going until lunch, look into oatmeal. This can be especially useful for individuals embarking on an endurance-focused fitness routine.
A Happy Digestive System
Part of the reason that oats are good for your heart is because they regulate your digestive system. The fiber found in oats comes as both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, and both of these work together to aid digestion. Soluble fiber creates an ideal viscosity in your digestive tract (especially in the oft-neglected small intestine) that allows you to better absorb nutrients from your meals. Insoluble fibers act as bulking agents and help things move along.
Lean Lifestyle Offers Healthy Breakfast Options
Ready to start benefiting from the powerful health effects of oatmeal? Check out our protein oatmeal breakfast with paleo granola, and explore all of our dishes to assemble the meal plan that works best for you. Contact us today to get started on our healthy meal delivery program.