Oatmeal is a quick and healthy breakfast known for its heart healthy benefits. It can be eaten plain, with brown sugar or with fruit and nuts added. You can also get flavored varieties that help make it more appealing to kids. It boasts so many benefits that it’s an excellent way to teach your kids to choose a healthy breakfast over a sugar filled cereal. Let’s take a look at all the benefits that oatmeal has to offer.

Oatmeal is a rich source of soluble fiber which inhibits the body’s absorption of low-density-lipoprotein (LDL), also known as the bad cholesterol. One-and-a-half cups of oatmeal contains more than five grams of fiber, which is enough to reduce your cholesterol level. The fiber in oatmeal is what makes it such a heart healthy option because eating it on a regular basis helps reduce and prevent high blood pressure, protects against heart disease and atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the build-up of plaque along the passageways of the arteries, and slowed the progression of stenosis, which causes the passageways of the arteries to narrow. Studies show you can also reduce the risk of heart failure if you eat one bowl of whole grain cereal or oatmeal, per day.

The fiber in oatmeal also helps to keep your bowels moving which helps with weight management and maintaining a healthy digestive system. Fiber also helps with weight control because it makes you feel fuller for longer. Fiber will also increase the viscosity of the stomach’s contents so that it will take longer to empty. Oatmeal contains a certain type of fiber called beta-glucan fiber. Beta-glucan fiber boosts the immune system by helping the immune cells seek out and repair areas of the body that may be fighting a bacterial infection. Numerous studies have found that a high fiber diet reduces your risk of colon and breast cancer.

Oatmeal also contains a special type of antioxidant called avenanthramide. Avenanthramides fight off free radicals that attack high-density lipoproteins, or HDL, which is known as the good cholesterol thus providing protection against heart disease. Avenanthramides not only protect against heart disease, they also prevent the arteries from hardening because they suppress the production of molecules that allow monocytes to adhere to the walls of the arteries. Antioxidants also offer protection against cancer, macular degeneration and other age related diseases.

A high fiber diet will stabilize blood sugar levels which will reduce your risk of developing diabetes and or help control it. Oatmeal is also a good source of magnesium, which regulates the body’s insulin and glucose levels, further reducing your risk of diabetes. Magnesium is an essential mineral for staying healthy and is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It is also key in maintaining transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.

Oatmeal also contains vitamin A, vitamin B6, and zinc. Vitamin A fights cancer by inhibiting the production of DNA in cancerous cells, slows tumor growth, keeps skin and mucous membrane cells healthy, reduces risk of stroke, promotes eye health, protects against heart disease, boosts our immune systems and prevents signs of aging. Vitamin B6 plays a key role in synthesizing antibodies that are needed to fight various diseases., promotes healthy brain function, helps in maintaining normal nerve function, plays a role in the formation of red blood cells and helps in breaking down and digesting proteins.

Zinc helps us maintain proper functioning of the immune and digestive systems, control of diabetes, energy metabolism, reduces stress levels, and offers an increased rate of healing for acne and wounds. It’s also helpful with weight loss, supports healthy liver and kidney function as well as helping us maintain healthy eyes. It also plays a vital role in protein synthesis and helps regulate the cell production in the immune system of the human body.

There are plenty of reasons to include oatmeal in your diet and no matter how you do it-you’re getting all the amazing health benefits it offers.