Oats are among the most nutritious cereals. One serving of instant oatmeal (without sugar) has only 83 calories. Most importantly, oats are rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants, like selenium. Find out more about the health benefits of this nutritious food.
Oats have two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Both are beneficial for your health, but each type has different functions.
Soluble fiberhelps lower LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”)in the blood. This is the fraction of total cholesterol that accumulates as plaques on arterial walls (especially of the ones that carry blood to the heart and brain) so it may increase the risk of a heart attack. In addition, soluble fiber can help manage blood glucose levels and insoluble fiber improves intestinal function, so it may also contribute to prevent constipation.
One serving of oatmeal (1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal) contains around 7 micrograms of selenium,a strong antioxidant. This mineral plays an essential role in the production of antioxidant substances that prevent cell damage in the body. This cell damage can contribute to the development of many chronic conditions, like heart disease and cancer.
You can eat oatmeal for breakfast, or add it to cookie doughs, fruit smoothies, and muffins. Moreover, oats can be a useful ingredient when it comes to thickening a pasta sauce or improving the consistency of a pie crust.
Now that you know some of the health benefits of oats, make yourself a hot bowl of oatmeal and fruits every morning, just like the one we describe below.
½ cup strawberries, finely chopped
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup low-fat milk
½ cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon low-fat strawberry yogurt
1 teaspoon almonds cut into thin slices
In a small bowl, place the chopped strawberries with the honey and let stand for 10 minutes.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk and add the oatmeal, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes soft and thick.
Add the cooked oatmeal to the strawberries and then add yogurt and almonds.
Protein: 12 grams
Fat: 6 grams
Carbohydrates: 59 grams
Fiber: 6 grams
Sodium: 81 milligrams
American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org
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