As you’ve no doubt heard before, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Properly nourishing yourself can enhance your mood and energy levels well into the afternoon. What you may not know is that oatmeal is an ideal breakfast food and one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Let’s examine why:
1. Oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain. Soluble fiber can reduce your risk for heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels. It also makes you feel fuller, which can lead to you eating less overall and thus aid you in losing weight.
2. Oatmeal is high in complex carbohydrates. These types of carbs stabilize your blood sugar levels and give you sustained energy throughout the day. This is a healthy alternative to energy drinks, which can have up to 102 grams of sugar (we won’t name names). That’s like eating 25 sugar cubes!
3. Oats are also high in B vitamins. This vitamin group is responsible for many bodily functions, including the rate of metabolism, skin and muscle tone, and normal functioning of the immune and nervous system.
Store-bought oats come in many varieties, but the healthiest is perhaps steel-cut oats, which undergo minimal processing. This type of oat has a glycemic index that is 36% lower than rolled oats, which you find in instant oatmeal packets. This further ensures your blood sugar levels remain steady and you go about your day with sustained energy and focus.
If you’re looking for a way to prepare steel-cut oats, try this recipe from VitaClay:
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 to 2 hours
1 cup steel-cut oats
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, to your taste
Pinch of salt
2.5 cups water, or a combination of water and apple juice
1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium-sized apple or pear: peeled, cored and chopped
In a cooking pot:
Bring the water to a boil and add the oats. Reduce the heat to medium and add the additional ingredients. Cook for 30 minutes and stir the pot occasionally to prevent burning.
In a slow cooker:
Combine all the ingredients into the pot. Cook for 1-2 hours on a low to medium setting – until you think it’s done.
You can serve the oatmeal with milk or cream stirred in.
Now that you have a great recipe, give oatmeal a try for the next week. You may notice feeling fuller, more alert, and more energized than you do with a cup of coffee!