Oatmeal: Health in a Bowl
By MELISSA T. CASTRO
It’s one of those old go-to comfort foods for upset tummies or sore throats.
Oatmeal – hulled oat grains that have been milled, steel-cut or rolled – has been around for centuries, and is a hardy and wholesome breakfast food, as well as a nutritious additive for breads and pastries, smoothies and soups.
“Historically, oatmeal has been used as a soothing agent for the stomach and to relieve skin itch and irritation,” explained nutritionist Brenda Salgado at the opening of The Oatery, a pop-up oatmeal-based smoothie shop sponsored by Quaker Oats (the world’s largest cereal producer) in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma Norte on June 5.
“Today, we know that it has incredible nutritional value as a food that makes it an important addition to practically any diet.”
In addition to being a gluten-free whole grain, oatmeal is a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, she said.
Among the medically proven health benefits of eating a bowl of oatmeal every day are weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.
Oatmeal is also a good source of proteins, carbohydrates and fiber, including beta-glucan, which has been shown to help in the treatment of diabetes and associated cardiovascular diseases.
Hulled oats contain iron, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, folate, vitamins B1, B3, B5 and B6.
This makes oatmeal one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat.
Whole oats are also rich in antioxidants and polyphenols that can help lower blood pressure levels, as well as fiber to reduce cholesterol while promoting healthy intestinal bacteria.
And finally, oatmeal is a hardy, filling staple that makes for a quick and delicious meal any time of day.
It is also great for soothing irritated skin and can be added to a bath or skin cleanser to gently exfoliate.