Choosing what we are going to have for breakfast is one of the most important decisions we make to start the day correctly.
An option that never fails to obtain many of the nutrients that the body needs is oatmeal. Here we tell you what its properties are, uses, and how to take advantage of it.
Why should we eat oatmeal?
The Avena sativapopularly known as oatmeal, is the cereal with the highest proportion of vegetable fat.
It also has 35% linoleic acid, easily absorbed carbohydrates, minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, fiber, and vitamins, especially those of the B complex (vitamin B1, B2, B3, and B5).
- What are the best breakfast cereals?
For this reason, it is recommended to include it at breakfast and thus take advantage of all its benefits from the beginning of the day:
- Helps control blood sugar: thanks to its composition rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, oats are ideal to be part of the diet of people with diabetes. Also, its glycemic index, a measure of how quickly a food can raise blood sugar, is low (40).
- Helps lose weight: By replacing traditional baked goods with oatmeal bread, you limit excessive caloric intake, which, together with an increased feeling of satiety, allows for better control of body weight.
- Helps regulate cholesterol: when we consume oatmeal, its soluble fiber is transformed into a kind of gel that absorbs “bad” cholesterol and other lipid compounds, and then eliminates them through the stool.
- antioxidant effects: oats contain compounds with antioxidant properties, such as polyphenols and avenanthramides, ideal for fighting free radicals, unstable molecules that affect healthy cell structures and favor the appearance of many diseases, including cancer.
- Improves the immune system: Due to its richness in vitamins, oatmeal is useful for stimulating many essential body functions, including coagulation, fat breakdown and strengthening of defenses.
- Improves digestion: the soluble fiber of oats forms a gel that not only absorbs harmful substances, but also works as an ideal environment for the development of multiple beneficial intestinal bacteria. It also increases the feeling of satiety for a longer period of time, which allows regulating the transit of food.
How to eat oatmeal
The most common way to consume oatmeal is to boil the amount you like in water until it dissolves, mix it and consume it as if it were a porridge. To add flavor and texture you can add cinnamon, honey, fruit or nuts.
However, there are other ways to incorporate it into the diet. For example, you can prepare oat milk by beating oat flakes in warm water (the ratio is one tablespoon of oatmeal for each glass of water).
Once the mixture turns white, strain it and sweeten to taste. It can be taken hot or cold.
One cup of oat milk provides: 130 calories, 2.5 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein, 35% RDA for calcium, and 25% RDA of vitamin D. Compared to cow’s milk it has less protein, but more fiber.
You can also use ground oats to make bread, replacing some of the flour you use during the traditional process, use it as a batter, or add it to your favorite smoothies.
Other uses of oats
In addition to including it as part of a healthy breakfast, you can use oatmeal topically to help combat all kinds of skin conditions, including itchiness, contact dermatitis, purulent eczema, oily skin, or dryness. Here are some recipes to take advantage of it:
- removes impurities: Due to its exfoliating properties, oatmeal can help eliminate the accumulation of dead cells and impurities. To take advantage of it, you just have to mix ¾ cup of dry oatmeal with 1/3 cup of warm water until it forms a smooth paste. Spread it over your face, protecting the eye contour. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes, and then rinse with plenty of warm water.
- Moisturizing: You can prepare a moisturizing paste to have soft and fresh skin. To do this, mix ½ cup of milk with ¾ cups of oatmeal (allow the oatmeal to hydrate for 10 minutes) and a tablespoon of honey until you get a smooth paste. Apply to face and leave for 15 minutes. Then rinse with plenty of cold water.
- for acne: Due to its astringent and exfoliating properties, oatmeal is ideal for combating oily skin, and many of its consequences, such as acne. Mix 3 tablespoons of oatmeal in ¼ cup of water to hydrate for a few minutes. Once you get a paste, apply it to the affected areas, leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse it off.
- Protect the hair: You can use oat milk to moisturize and strengthen hair. To do this, mix oatmeal and water in equal parts, place it in a container on the fire and wait for it to boil. Remove, let cool slightly, strain and apply the preparation to damp hair, from root to tip. You can put on a plastic cap to prevent it from draining and generating heat. Leave it on for half an hour and then wash as usual.
- soften hands: oatmeal can help remove dead cells and restore softness to your skin. To do this, boil it in water over low heat, after 5 minutes, remove and beat until you get a paste. Apply to hands, leave for 15 to 20 minutes and then remove with warm water.
Until there is meaningful scientific evidence from human trials, people interested in using herbal therapies and supplements should be very careful.
Do not abandon or modify your medications or treatments, talk to your doctor first about the potential effects of alternative or complementary therapies.
Remember, the medicinal properties of herbs and supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, other herbs and supplements, and even alter your diet.
Sources consulted: American Heart Association, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, US National Library of Medicine, US Department of Agriculture.