When considering a delicious and nutritious way to start the day, a hot bowl of oatmeal and fruits is an excellent choice. This cereal (scientific name Avena sativa) is able to withstand adverse weather conditions and poor soils in where other crops cannot thrive, and its strength seems to be transferred to those who consume this nutrient-rich grain. There are 8 very good reasons why they should always be present in our table:

1. Low in calories and has great nutritional benefits that make you feel satisfied:

Oatmeal is an excellent source of minerals like manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, chromium, zinc, vitamin B1, soluble fiber, insoluble fiber, and protein. A cup of oats contains 145 calories, less than 1 g of sugar. Its fiber content makes you feel very satisfied and helps preserve intestinal health. Eating fiber helps prevent colon cancer and diverticular disease of the intestines.

2. Excellent source of Magnesium

Remember, his mineral is important for cell function and metabolic processes. It also has a very positive effect on glycemic control as it participates in regulating processes such as the use of glucose in our body as well as the secretion and action of insulin.

3. Beneficial blood sugar level stabilizer

People with diabetes who eat oatmeal regularly experience minor increases in blood sugar levels. Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal, and maintain good fiber intake throughout the entire day (lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and it will guarantee you a control of your blood sugar. For those who do not have diabetes, consumption of oats is a great option for a nutritional plan that can help prevent both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

4. It can help control cholesterol levels

Oats have a soluble fiber known as beta-glucan. The daily consumption of 3 grams of this type of fiber (a bowl of oatmeal) can lower blood cholesterol by up to 20%. Let’s not forget that high cholesterol levels are a major risk factor on the formation of plaques on the walls of blood vessels and later become a risk for stroke and heart attacks.

5. It is gluten free

Oatmeal is gluten free, so it can be ingested by those with celiac disease (gluten intolerance), a relatively common condition in people who have diabetes.

6. Oats contain potent phytonutrients (plant nutrients)

These phytonutrients include phenols, recognized for their anticancer role. In addition, the oat has Lignans, other chemical components derived from plants that is converted in the intestines into a substance that becomes a protectors of the heart and blood vessels, as well as against various types of cancer, such as breast cancer

7. Its regular consumption increases the immune response to bacterial infections.

The beta-glucan is a type of fiber found in oats, which enhances the activity of neutrophils, our immune system’s natural killer cells that protect us against bacteria.

8. Oatmeal has unique antioxidants that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease

Not only do oat fibers protect the cardiovascular system. Scientific studies show that a type of antioxidant called avenanthramide, is able to prevent damage to the walls of blood vessels caused by free radicals, this effect being enhanced when it has vitamin C.

Furthermore, regular consumption of oats and other whole grains has proved to be useful in the prevention of heart failure.

Consuming a portion at least 6 times a week is a great choice for post-menopausal women. They have been shown to contribute to control high cholesterol, hypertension and heart disease.

What is the healthiest way to prepare it?

There are endless possibilities when it comes to ways to preparing this cereal. Overall, a great option is to simply cook it with water and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes in a ratio of two parts water to one part oats. Low-fat milk, a portion of your favorite fruit and some cinnamon could also be added after cooking. It is delicious!

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