No suspense: oatmeal is the king of breakfasts.
If you didn’t already know that, well . . . it’s time you found out. 🙂
Oatmeal can be the healthiest meal of your day – it delivers more nutrition than most Americans eat all week.
Plus, it’s hot and filling in winter, yet light enough for hot summer days.
Of course, by itself, oatmeal is healthy but bland. Here’s how to make it exciting and even healthier.
Old Fashioned Oatmeal
Personally, I like to keep things easy and inexpensive. Therefore, I buy “old-fashioned” oats.
All oatmeal is made from oat groats. If you buy “steel cut” oats, the groats have been cut in two or three pieces. They cost a lot more and take longer to cook, so the choice is up to you.
Old-fashioned oatmeal is made by steaming and rolling oat groats so they cook faster than whole oats.
Quick oats have been sliced more thinly than old-fashioned oats, so they supposedly cook even faster. Therefore, they spike your levels of insulin and blood glucose faster and higher than old fashioned oats, and you’ll feel hungry again more quickly. Studies show you eat more food in the hours following a meal of quick oatmeal than when you eat old-fashioned oatmeal.
Therefore, old-fashioned oatmeal is healthier.
Avoid any done-for-you oatmeal cereals with added sugar and sodium.
Health Benefits of Oatmeal
Three servings a day of whole grains reduces your risk of heart disease by 30%, according to the Harvard University Nurse’s Study.
Oatmeal reduces inflammation, lowers your bad LDL cholesterol and contains antioxidants that protect your LDL from being oxidized, which is when LDL becomes dangerous. On top of that, oats contain phytonutrients that help maintain the health and functioning of your arteries.
The soluble fiber in oatmeal forms a sort of gel in your stomach and small intestine. This makes you feel full for a longer time, helping you control your weight.
In one study, eating oatmeal reduced the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease – which is now more common than liver disease caused by alcohol.
Oatmeal contains high amounts of nutrient beta-glucan. That has two major health benefits.
Beta-glucan lowers total and LDL cholesterol. Plus, it strengthens your immune system, making your killer cells and T cells more effective at detecting and destroying cancer cells.
Mix in one tablespoon.
In one study, eating ground flaxseeds over six months dropped high blood pressure by ten to fifteen points – comparable to prescription drugs.
Lignans are a special polyphenol and phytoestrogen, and flaxseeds are the most concentrated source of lignans. In one study, women who began eating flaxseeds had a 20-30% lower risk of breast cancer.
Flaxseeds also lower breast cancer risk by blocking the inflammatory effects of interleukin-1.
The lignans in flaxseeds also may protect men from prostate cancer. In one study, men with high PSA levels lowered their PSA in six months just by eating flaxseeds every day.
Blueberries and/or Raspberries
These berries contain an extraordinary amount of powerful antioxidants.
Blueberries and raspberries contain anthocyanin, which in particular is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. That’s because they lower insulin resistance by as much as walking one hour a day, seven days a week.
The antioxidants in these berries are powerful enough to protect you against DNA damage. Remember, DNA damage can lead to aging and cancer.
Ordinary cinnamon contains a compound toxic to your liver in high quantities, so eat Ceylon cinnamon instead. It contains large amounts of antioxidants
Cloves is one of the most powerful antioxidants in your local supermarket.
According to one scientific study, cloves had a huge anti-inflammatory impact on the blood of volunteers who ate it for a week. That’s based on how much it lowered tumor necrosis factor, which plays a major role in inflammatory diseases.
You don’t want to pile on the cloves, but just a few pinches will dramatically increase the antioxidant power of your oatmeal.
Pure Powdered Cacao
Yes, chocolate – but without any unhealthy additives such as milk and sugar, and with the saturated fat removed.
Pure chocolate is packed full of antioxidants and phytonutrients. It’s so powerful one study found it relieved chronic fatigue syndrome.
It also raises your nitric oxide, letting your arteries relax and widen, therefore lowering high blood pressure.
It also lowers bad LDL cholesterol and boosts your good HDL cholesterol.
This is my personal preference. You may choose almond, cashew, hemp or oat milk instead.
Observational studies show that men who eat a lot of soy have much lower rates of prostate cancer – up to 70%.
Soy also seems to be similarly protective against breast cancer.
It contains phytoestrogens which block the harm caused by real estrogen and the xenoestrogens (fake estrogens) we’re all exposed to in the environment, such as pesticides and the bisphenol A found in many plastic products.
Almond and cashew milk gives you the benefits of the phytonutrients found in those nuts.
I’ve never tried hemp or oat milk. I’m sure both are healthy, but putting oat milk on oatmeal seems redundant.
Five Healthy Foods Plus Two Healthy Spices
According to the ingredient information on the packages, my oatmeal breakfast is around 34 grams of fiber. That’s a little over what the government recommends you eat per day – and twice what Americans on average actually do consume.
There’s no way to accurately measure the overall antioxidants, but every ingredient is packed with them.
Oatmeal gives you the power to perform at your best throughout your day.