Don’t Look Down on Oatmeal!

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It may be mushy, but it’s good for you!

Viewed through the lens of childhood ignorance, I was long of the opinion that oatmeal was just breakfast cereal with clinical depression. It was hot instead of cold, mushy instead of crunchy, and not the slightest bit sweet, at least on its own. Of course, as has often been the case with things we liked and disliked as children, I had it backwards; most breakfast cereals are absolutely awful for you, while oatmeal is one of the best things you can have for breakfast.

Oatmeal’s naturally hearty nature makes it great for fortifying your body and improving your general health. Just to give you a few examples, oatmeal is high in gut-healthy prebiotics, beta glucans, a dietary fiber that both keeps you regular and helps your body to better regulate its supply of glucose, and avenanthramides, an antioxidant that’s good for lowering your blood pressure and boosting your nitric oxide levels.

If you’re on a diet, oatmeal is also great for shedding some pounds and keeping them off. Oatmeal’s fibrous makeup helps it to really stick to your ribs, keeping you satiated and away from the snacks for longer after breakfast. Studies have also shown that those who regularly consume oatmeal often have a better diet in general, including the aforementioned satiation as well as more even nutrient intake. All those factors together make for healthier body, which in turn leads to a longer life.

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If you’re hung up on oatmeal’s taste and texture, and that is a fair hang up, there are lots of healthy ways to make it a little more interesting. Fresh fruit like blueberries and bananas can give your bowl a little sweetness and diversify its nutritional profile without taking anything important away, or you could try some seeds or nuts for a little extra crunch. Trust me, you’ll never think of cereal again once you’re on the oatmeal bandwagon.