7 Reasons Why Oatmeal Should Be Your Favorite Superfood

Lately, exotic grains like quinoa, freekeh and spelt have gotten a lot of attention. But let's not forget about oatmeal, the easy-to-pronounce breakfast staple that's just as nutritious.

In 1877, Quaker Oats was registered as the first trademark for breakfast cereal. (See what the Quaker Oats man looked like in real life!) Since then our love for oatmeal has not slowed down. In fact, if you search #oats and #oatmeal on Instagram, you will find that there are more than five million posts tagged. The images range from quick breakfast recipes to desserts and even savory dishes.

Don’t let trendy exotic grains trip you up; oats are still wildly popular because they’re versatile, inexpensive, packed with nutrition.

7 Powerful Health Benefits of Oatmeal

1. It Controls Weight 

A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that oats help stave off hunger. Study participants experienced longer periods of fullness compared to a breakfast of ready-to-eat cereal with the same calories. If you are trying to slim down, try this 5-star Oh-So-Good Oatmeal recipe.

2. It’s Good for Your Gut

Oats can act as probiotics, which help feed the growth of helpful bacteria in our gut. These healthy bacteria can help boost the immune system and promote gastrointestinal health, especially in people with GI disorders.

3. It Keeps You Moving

The soluble fiber in oats creates a gel when it comes in contact with water, which helps guard against constipation and diarrhea. To help relieve constipation, increase fiber intake slowly so that you will avoid bloating, gas and diarrhea.

4. It Controls Blood Sugar

The high fiber in oats helps slow down the rate that carbs are absorbed into the blood. That’s good new for people with diabetes, since this high-carb food won’t cause blood sugar to spike the same way refined carbs can.

5. It Slows Aging

Polyphenols in oats are antioxidants that can help slow the aging process by protecting cells from damage. (Want more foods to help you look younger?)

6. It Lowers Blood Pressure

Including whole grains as part of a healthy diet is just one way foods can help reduce blood pressure, which is important because high blood pressure can lead to strokes.

7. It Decreases Cholesterol

Studies have shown that oats can help to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), and may also boost levels of HDL cholesterol (the good, protective kind).

Don’t let the hype around “new” ancient grains keep you from good ol’ oats. That humble bowl of oatmeal that our grandparents ate for breakfast every day was a superfood before superfoods were a thing!

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Cheryl S. Grant
Cheryl S. Grant has reported & written for Reader's Digest, Cosmo, Glamour, Latina, Yoga Journal, MSN, USA Today, Family Circle, Brides, HGTV, Examiner, Details, Beach Body, Spa Weekly, You Beauty, Scoop Post, FitBit, Spice Island, and Health Daily. She investigates trends and targets profiles subjects using a combination of deep background research (database, periodicals, preliminary interviews, social media), write and edit compelling stories in a variety of beats including beauty, health, travel, nutrition, diet, law, medicine, advocacy, entertainment, the military and various social issues.