What Makes Oatmeal A Good Breakfast
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Oatmeal is one of the most commonly consumed and preferred cereals for breakfast. All you need to prepare oatmeal is instant oats, milk, hot water, or other preferred liquid. Although they are easy to prepare, oats are a rich source of essential nutrients required for healthy growth. Outlined below are some of the reasons and benefits of having oats for breakfast.
They Are Nutrient-Dense
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A good breakfast will not only help you start the day energized but should also provide the body with most, if not all, essential nutrients. Oats are nutrient-rich, with a half-cup serving of instant oats containing approximately 5g plant protein, 150 calories, 27g carbs, 4g fiber, essential B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and other nutrients. With just half a cup of oatmeal with milk, you will have enough fuel to keep you going for the rest of the morning. There’s thus no reason to grab those unhealthy foods when oatmeal gives you most of the nutrients your body and mind need every day.
Oatmeal Is Rich In Antioxidants
According to a study published in the Food Research International journal in 2018, oats are rich in polyphenols, potent antioxidants that play a crucial role in keeping free radicals at bay. Oats specifically contain avenanthramides antioxidants that help keep blood vessels dilated for easier blood flow and increase nitric oxide concentration in the body. With improved blood flow in the morning, the risk of suffering from fatigue and conditions related to inflammation is greatly reduced.
Oats Are Rich In Fiber
Dietary fiber is essential for your overall well-being and digestive health. Insoluble dietary fiber improves digestive health, while soluble fiber goes a long way in regulating blood sugar levels. Fiber-rich foods, such as oatmeal, thus keep feeling full for longer; hence no need to start looking for sugary lunch bars to keep your energy levels up later in the morning. According to research, oats particularly contain beta-glucan fiber, which is excellent for reducing LDL levels, regulating insulin response and blood sugar, and promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
Oatmeal Promotes Weight Management
As mentioned earlier, oatmeal is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Enjoying a bowl of oatmeal every morning makes it easier to keep your weight in check and even shed off a few pounds. The filling effects of dietary fiber lower your craving for unhealthy foods and keeps a steady energy supply throughout the day. If you have been looking to shed a few pounds or manage your physique, then adding oats to your diet plan would be wise.
We have all had our fair share of constipation. If anything, irregular bowel movements can make your day unbearable, especially if you have to go to work or run errands within the city/town. Most cases of constipation occur due to poor diets, especially foods deficient in dietary fiber. However, enjoying a breakfast of oatmeal can help improve digestion and normalize bowel movements. Rich in dietary fiber, oatmeal can help ease symptoms of constipation and even prevent the same from happening.
Does Oatmeal Expire?
Just like dried rice or pasta, uncooked, commercially processed, steel-cut or quick oats will last for about 12 months. If the package remains unopened, it can last up to 2 years as well as if the oats are stored in an air-tight container. Note that, commercially processed oats undergo a steaming process that contributes to their long shelf life.
How Can You Tell If Oatmeal Has Gone Bad?
If you don’t cook oatmeal on a regular basis, you have to store it in a sealed airtight container. It should also be stored in a cool, dry and dark area. Note that, if stored properly, it can last between 1-2 years. Additionally, if sealed in plastic bins, it can last as long as 30 years.
When stored improperly or handled in the wrong way, they can expire very fast and become rancid. The labels on the date are a recommended guideline but you should be able to smell it if it has gone bad. The look and smell alone should let you know if your oatmeal has become bad. You can also taste it to determine whether or not it’s safe to consume.
When raw, oats have a sweet and nutty smell. They also look dry and always taste neutral without a strong foul or bitter flavor. Additionally, if they are fresh, they have a light brown or cream-like color. If there are any dark or bright colors, there is a growth of bugs or mold that have penetrated the container.
It’s easy enough for the moisture to enter the unsealed packaging and cause mold issues. Any exposure to moisture causes the oats to grow bacteria and mold. Note that, if there is any presence of mold, it will spread so fast and contaminate everything inside. You are likely going to notice a strong off-putting smell without the nutty aroma. It may smell bitter or sour. Of course, you should also check if there are critters inside the oats since if the package is unsealed they are likely to create a nest and start multiplying fast. You should be careful when eating oats that have been stored for a long time.
The rich nutritional profile of oats is a reason enough for anyone to want to have oatmeal for breakfast every morning. Adding dried fruits, nuts, cinnamon, seeds, or yogurt should make your oatmeal richer and tastier. Try it today.