This week the 38 Power Foods blog group is talking about one of my favorite power foods: oatmeal. I read about the benefits of oatmeal in Dr. Dean Ornish’s book The Spectrum (see *note). In his book, Dr. Ornish promotes oatmeal for a healthy heart. With further study, I found that oatmeal is low in calories, high in mineral content, and it’s a good source of soluble fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol. There is particular fiber in oatmeal called beta glucan that when eaten makes a glutinous gel that picks up cholesterol and carries it out of the body.
When my husband was diagnosed with high cholesterol we made a few changes in the diet. A daily bowl of oatmeal became standard for breakfast. We sweeten it naturally with raisins and mashed banana, and flavor it with cinnamon. For added protein we throw on a few nuts. It’s a delicious way to get healthier!
According to The World’s Healthiest Foods , “Studies show that in individuals with high cholesterol (above 220 mg/dl), consuming just 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day (an amount found in one bowl of oatmeal) typically lowers total cholesterol by 8-23%. This is highly significant since each 1% drop in serum cholesterol translates to a 2% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease.”
There are many choices when buying oatmeal. In my article Not All Oatmeal is Alike you’ll see that there may be other things you might be interested in knowing about your oatmeal, such as, Is it GMO free, organic, nut free, Kosher or gluten free?
If you haven’t eaten oatmeal since you were a kid, maybe it’s time you give it another try.
*Note –The Spectrum , Dr. Ornish’s book offers a flexible anti-inflammation diet to deal with many conditions such as high cholesterol, heart disease, type two diabetes, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and so on. I followed, and continue to follow his recommendations, for lessening the effects of RA, and my husband for high cholesterol. To say this is a diet is not exactly correct; it is more about getting into healthy-lifestyle habits.
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped nuts, pecans or walnuts
Cinnamon to taste
1. Place the oatmeal, raisins, milk, and water in a large uncovered 2-quart bowl. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the texture you like, and then stir in the mashed bananas when it is ready. If it is too dry you will need to add more water or milk.
2. Serve the oatmeal in cereal bowls and top with cinnamon and chopped nuts.