A 16 week look at Superfoods
This Week’s Featured Superfood: Oatmeal
I hated otameal as a kid, but as an adult I really love it and find it to be a comfort food, soothing and warm. I also enjoy the flavor possibilities, every day something different, if I want. Understanding that oatmeal is rich in vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and protein, which makes it even better and a great brainy breakfast!
- Oatmeal is a whole grain! You can buy rolled or steal cut, but they still have the bran/germ
- Eaten three hours before working out some studies show it may help improve endurance
- A daily bowl of unrefined whole grain cereals has been shown to reduce heart failure by 29%
- The Ancient Greeks were the first people to make something similar to the oatmeal we eat today, a type of warm porridge
- 75% of all US families have oatmeal in their homes right now
What’s in it for me?
Beta Glucan , a soluble fiber that binds with cholesterol to help keep it from being absorbed in the body. Beta Glucan also helps fight certain cancers, infections, stabalizes blood sugar,
Avenanthramides- Antioxident properties as well as anti-inflammitory benefits. Helps with cardiovascular health. Help prevent free radical damage, May help prevent atherosclerosis.
Protein – 4 grams. Protein serves as building blocks for muscles, bones, cartilage, skin, hormones, and enzymes. They increases satiety helping us feel more full.
Manganese – Benefits bone formation, balance of sex hormones, important in thyroid function, absorption of calcium, metabolism of fat and carbohydrates, helps the immune system, and is important to function of connective tissues.
Fiber – fiber is an important and necessary part of our diet and most of us don’t get enough. Known as roughage or bulk it is the parts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes that our bodies can’t digest. We need both soluble and insoluble fiber to be health. soluble fiber dissolves in water and becomes gel like and helps our glucose levels and cholesterol. insoluble fiber helps our digestive system move along and bulks up our stool. fiber helps our bowl movements be regular, lower cholesterol, maintain blood sugar levels, and provide satiety which can help control our weight.
Summary: A nice warm bowl of oatmeal is a filling choice with studies showing that it keeps people more satisfied for longer than many other choices. It a meal that can help lower cholesterol, improve both HDL and LDL, reduce cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and help prevent certain cancers. Combined with a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables oatmeal is a great tool to add to your self care regime!
As easy as it is to make oatmeal try to use whole oats or steel cut oats and avoid the instant to get the most nutrients possible.
Refrigerator Oatmeal – Kitchen Confidential (use the basic recipe and try your own flavors)
Try making an oatmeal bar for your family one Saturday morning. Let everyone make there own creation and then tell the family about it over breakfast.
What is a Superfood?
A superfood is defined as a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being – Mcmillian Dictionary.
Dr. William Sears, in his book Prime Time Health, describes Superfoods as:
- Nutrient Dense
- Nutrients that have proven benefits
- Made by nature, not a factory
- Taste good & satisfying
- May be able to be prepared in a variety of ways
- Contains no ingredients harmful to health
While we receive vitamins, minerals, proteins, and essential fats from our foods, some foods have been proven to provide extra health benefits, these foods are the superfoods. They have properties that may be anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and anti-Alzheimer, lower highs, and raise lows in our body.
Let’s be clear, when I say superfood I do not mean magical foods that cure-all, nor do I mean a diet consisting of one food, like the old “Grapefruit Diet”. The truth is, that these foods work best when part of a healthy, whole food, plant-based diet full of variety and by diet I mean lifestyle eating habits, not a short-term solution. Just eat food that rots, but eat it before it does!