If breakfast is the most important meal of the deal, should we start with something that is really nutritious and healthy? Yes, of course and oats are one of the greatest breakfast foods.
Oats are a whole-grain food, known scientifically as avena sativa. Commonly eaten for breakfast as oatmeal, which is made by boiling oats in water or milk, oats are very nutritious and contain a good source of carbs and fiber, including the powerful fiber beta-glucan. Oats also contain more protein and fat than most grains.
Also often included in muffins, granola bars, cookies and other baked goods, oats are loaded with important vitamins such as B1, B5, B6 and niacin as well as minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, and iron. Whole oats are high in antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols. Most notable is a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, which are almost solely found in oats.
Avenanthramides may help lower blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide. This gas molecule helps dilate blood vessels and leads to better blood flow. In addition, avenanthramides have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects.
Oats contain many powerful antioxidants which may help reduce blood pressure and provide other benefits. For example, it contains large amounts of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber. Beta-glucan partially dissolves in water and forms a thick, gel-like solution in the gut. It helps reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels as well as blood sugar levels and insulin response. It can also help promote healthy gut bacteria in the digestive tract and increase feelings of fullness.
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