Oats have grown in popularity in recent years as they are rich in beneficial nutrients such as fiber, protein, magnesium, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Nutritionist Victoria Taylor explained that oats, regardless of type, shape or size, are whole grains and contain soluble fiber. This helps lower cholesterol levels if taken regularly, which reduces the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Cooking porridge in the microwave in the morning can be a convenient way to eat healthy food. As long as you stay away from the “flavored or sweetened varieties,” oatmeal porridge can be both nutritious and delicious.
Taylor cautioned that “even seemingly healthy flavors like apple and raspberry generally contain added sugars.”
He suggested that it is best to add “low fat milk or water” to mix with oats to reduce calories and saturated fat.
She recommends refraining from adding maple syrup, sugar or honey to the oatmeal porridge, and instead opting for fruits, nuts and seeds.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) suggests adding options such as banana, raisins, nutmeg, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, chia seeds, cinnamon, almonds, dates, walnuts, ginger, sliced pears, and more.
Given these suggestions, there are many varieties that you can enjoy with a meal of oatmeal.
The different ingredients can be mixed to ensure you get a variety of minerals, vitamins and fibers.
A research paper published in the National Library of Medicine evaluates the antihypertensive effects of whole oats.
For six weeks, 18 participants with high blood pressure or insulin resistance consumed oatmeal for breakfast or one of the “low-fiber” cereal options.
The oatmeal group recorded a 7.5 mm Hg decrease in systolic blood pressure, mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure.
Meanwhile, in the placebo group, those who were assigned a low-fiber breakfast cereal at breakfast did not notice a drop in blood pressure at all.
In addition to lowering blood pressure readings, the oatmeal group also improved insulin sensitivity.
Moreover, people who consumed oatmeal also experienced significant reductions in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol.
Lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels and improving insulin resistance are three health benefits that porridge oatmeal can provide.
Other research from the University of Manitoba, in Canada, indicated that eating oats reduces a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This is because daily consumption of soluble dietary fiber reduces “bad” cholesterol by up to 10%.
Research has consistently shown a positive relationship between wholegrain oats and cholesterol levels.
Lowering cholesterol levels in the body can prevent blood vessels from narrowing and blocking.
This in turn reduces a person’s risk of heart problems or a stroke, which means that you have a greater chance of living a long life.