Health Benefits and Tasty Recipes Make Oatmeal a Hit

Many children have fond memories of childhood breakfasts—mornings of pancakes, bowls of sugary cereal (with the much-anticipated cereal box prize), or eggs. For many children, though, breakfast consisted of a dense, and often bland-tasting bowl of oatmeal, the likes of which may have left them with oat-tinged mental blocks about the food. If this sounds like you and you’ve been avoiding oatmeal ever since childhood, you might want to consider some reasons for giving the food another chance.

Heart health

High cholesterol has been linked to heart disease and eventual heart attack or stroke. Studies have shown that regularly eating the amount of soluble fibre found in one bowl of oatmeal can cut cholesterol by 8-23%. Oats also help prevent heart failure. One Harvard study showed that men who consumed whole grain cereal on a daily basis had reduced their risk of heart failure by 29%.

Immune system support

Besides keeping your ticker functioning properly, oats have also been shown to aid in immune system responses. The beta-glucan found in oats can help ward off infection by sending our immune cells straight to the source of unwelcome bacteria and eliminating them. What a great way to start the morning!

Breast cancer prevention

In one study conducted in the UK, pre-menopausal women who increased their fibre intake to 30 or more grams a day, had cut their risk of developing breast cancer by 52% compared to those who ate 20 or fewer grams daily! Lower risk is fantastic news for all women, but especially for those with a genetic predisposition to the illness. After all, every little bit helps.

While the preceding arguments may not be enough to convince the staunchest oatmeal-hater to give it a chance, many have found that oatmeal is not only healthy but delicious! Overnight oatmeal, for instance, has recently become popular and can be served cold (find a recipe here). Yum! Brown sugar, fruit, raisins, and nuts are all additions that can make the food more appealing as well. With an open mind and a few tasty recipes under your belt, oatmeal may surprise you by becoming your new favorite food.

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