Judging by the topics of my most recent Spoon articles, it might seem like I’m a little bit obsessed with oatmeal — cold, hot, flavored or of really any variety. Well, that’s pretty much right on point, because I eat oatmeal for breakfast most days and, if not, I often incorporate oat flour (basically oats crushed to a flour-like consistency) into any baking I do.
Why, you might be wondering, am I so obsessed with such a commonplace food? Because oatmeal is the ultimate tasty breakfast staple with numerous long-term health benefits.
If you’re an oatmeal-for-breakfast kind of person, you’re probably already familiar with one of the top benefits of oatmeal: it always keeps you full until lunch. The reason? The insoluble fiber from the oats stays in the stomach for a long time, as it is slowly digested, helping you feel fuller directly after you eat oatmeal and also stay full for a long period of time, according to the Dairy Council of California. This is great if you have a busy job and don’t want to waste time grabbing a mid-morning snack, and it’s also great for weight control — if your breakfast leaves you feeling full for a longer period of time, there’s less room for unnecessary and unwanted munching.
Eating foods like oatmeal that are high in fiber is also beneficial to your daily health, as fiber is essential for a well-functioning GI tract. Oats have been shown to reduce “bad” cholesterol (AKA: LDL or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), as well as the risk of colon cancer, according to Livestrong.com.
If these pros aren’t enough motivation to eat oatmeal, according to a 2010 study, oatmeal may reduce asthma in children. A 2009 study found that not only does the fiber in oatmeal satisfy your stomach and keep you full, but oatmeal actually increases the production of appetite-control hormones. According to the Whole Grains Council, oats may improve insulin sensitivity, help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and improve immune system defenses. That’s a ton of health benefits from a quick and delicious breakfast!
The point, here, is simple. Eat your oatmeal — for a fuller stomach, a happier body or simply because it tastes so good.