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Whole Grain Benefits

9 Health Benefits of Eating Oats and Oatmeal

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Oats are one of the healthiest grains on earth.

They’re a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits.

These include weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and a reduced risk of heart disease.

Here are 9 evidence-based health benefits of consuming oats and oatmeal.

What are oatmeal and oatmeal?

Oats are whole grain foods scientifically known as Avena sativa.

Oat groats, the most intact and complete form of oats, take a long time to cook. For this reason, most of the people prefer rolled oats, rolled oats, or steel cut oats.

Instant (fast) oats are the most processed variety. Although they take the shortest time to cook, the texture can be mushy.

Oats are often eaten for breakfast as oatmeal, which is made by boiling oats in water or milk. Oatmeal is often called porridge.

They’re also often found in muffins, granola bars, cookies, and other baked goods.

Bottom line:

Oats are whole grains that are often eaten as oatmeal (porridge) for breakfast.

1. Oats are incredibly nutritious

The nutritional composition of oats is balanced.

They’re a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, including the powerful fiber beta-glucan (1, 2, 3).

They also contain more protein and fat than most grains (4).

Oats are loaded with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds. Half a cup (78 grams) of dry oats contains (5):

  • Manganese: 191% of FDI
  • Phosphorus: 41% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 34% of FDI
  • Copper: 24% of FDI
  • Iron: 20% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 20% of the RDI
  • Folate: 11% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 39% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 10% of the RDI
  • Lower amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B3 (niacin)

This comes with 51 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 8 grams of fiber, but only 303 calories.

This means that oats are among the most nutritious foods you can eat.

Bottom line:

Oats are high in carbohydrates and fiber, but also more protein and fat than most other grains. They are very rich in many vitamins and minerals.

2. Whole grain oats are high in antioxidants, including avenanthramides

Whole grain oats are rich in antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols. Most notable is a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, found almost exclusively in oats (6).

Avenanthramides can help lower blood pressure by increasing the production of nitric oxide. This gas molecule helps widen blood vessels and leads to better blood flow (7, 8, 9).

In addition, avenanthramides have anti-inflammatory and antipruritic properties (9).

Ferulic acid is also found in large quantities in oats. This is another antioxidant (10).

Bottom line:

Oats contain many powerful antioxidants, including avenanthramides. These compounds can help lower blood pressure and provide other benefits.

3. Oats contain a powerful soluble fiber called beta-glucan

Oats contain large amounts of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber.

Beta-glucan partially dissolves in water and forms a thick, gel-like solution in the intestine.

Some of the health benefits of beta-glucan fiber include:

  • Reduced LDL and Total Cholesterol Levels (1)
  • Reduced blood sugar and insulin response (11)
  • Increased feeling of fullness (12)
  • Increased growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract (13)

Bottom line:

Oats are rich in the soluble fiber beta-glucan, which has numerous benefits. It helps to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, promotes healthy intestinal bacteria and increases the feeling of satiety.

4. They can lower cholesterol and protect LDL cholesterol from damage

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. An important risk factor is high blood cholesterol.

Many studies have shown that the beta-glucan fiber in oats is effective at lowering both total and LDL cholesterol levels (1, 14).

Beta-glucan can increase the excretion of high-cholesterol bile, thereby lowering circulating cholesterol levels in the blood.

The oxidation of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol, which occurs when LDL reacts with free radicals, is another critical step in the progression of heart disease.

It causes inflammation in the arteries, damages tissues, and can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

One study reports that antioxidants in oats work along with vitamin C to prevent LDL oxidation (15).

Bottom line:

Oats can lower the risk of heart disease by lowering both total and LDL cholesterol and by protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation.

5. Oats can improve blood sugar control

Type 2 diabetes is a widespread disease that is characterized by significantly increased blood sugar levels. It usually results from a decreased sensitivity to the hormone insulin.

Oats can help lower blood sugar levels, especially in people who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes (16, 17, 18).

They can also improve insulin sensitivity (19).

These effects are mainly attributed to beta-glucan’s ability to form a thick gel that delays gastric emptying and the absorption of glucose into the blood (20).

Bottom line:

Due to the soluble fiber beta-glucan, oats can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.

6. Oatmeal is very filling and can help you lose weight

Oatmeal (porridge) is not only a delicious breakfast meal, but also very filling (21).

Eating filling foods can help you eat fewer calories and lose weight.

The beta-glucan in oatmeal can increase your feeling of fullness by delaying the time it takes your stomach to empty (12, 22).

Beta-glucan can also promote the release of peptide YY (PYY), a hormone made in the gut in response to food. This satiety hormone has been shown to reduce caloric intake and may reduce your risk of obesity (23, 24).

Bottom line:

Oatmeal can help you lose weight by making you feel full. It does this by slowing down gastric emptying and increasing the production of the satiety hormone PYY.

7. Finely ground oats can help with skin care

It is no accident that oats are found in many skin care products. Manufacturers of these products often list finely ground oats as “colloidal oatmeal”.

The FDA approved colloidal oatmeal as a skin protecting substance back in 2003. In fact, however, oats have long been used in the treatment of itching and irritation in various skin conditions (25, 26, 27).

For example, oat-based skin products can improve uncomfortable symptoms of eczema (28).

Note that skin care benefits apply only to oats applied to the skin, not what is eaten.

Bottom line:

Colloidal oatmeal (finely ground oats) has long been used to treat dry and itchy skin. It can help relieve the symptoms of various skin conditions, including eczema.

8. You can reduce the risk of childhood asthma

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children (29).

It’s an inflammatory disease of the airways – the tubes that carry air to and from a person’s lungs.

While not all children have the same symptoms, many have recurrent coughs, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Many researchers believe that introducing solid foods early can increase a child’s risk of developing asthma and other allergic diseases (30).

However, studies suggest that this does not apply to all foods. For example, introducing oats early can actually be protective (31, 32).

One study reports that feeding oatmeal to infants before 6 months of age is linked to a reduced risk of asthma in children (33)

Bottom line:

Some research suggests that fed oats to young children may prevent asthma in children.

9. Oats can help relieve constipation

Older people often suffer from constipation with infrequent, irregular bowel movements that are difficult to pass.

Laxatives are often used to relieve constipation in the elderly. However, while effective, they have also been linked to weight loss and reduced quality of life (34).

Studies show that oat bran, the high-fiber outer layer of grain, can help relieve constipation in the elderly (35, 36).

One study found that the well-being improved in 30 elderly patients who consumed a soup or dessert made with oat bran every day for 12 weeks (37).

In addition, 59% of these patients were able to stop using the laxatives after the 3-month study, while the total laxative consumption in the control group increased by 8%.

Bottom line:

Studies suggest that oat bran can help reduce constipation in the elderly, greatly reducing the need to use laxatives.

Here’s how to incorporate oats into your diet

You can enjoy oats in a number of different ways.

The most popular way is simply to have oatmeal (porridge) for breakfast.

Here’s a very easy way to make oatmeal:

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water or milk
  • A pinch of salt

Put the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the oatmeal, stirring occasionally, until tender.

To make oatmeal tastier and even more nutritious, you can add cinnamon, fruits, nuts, seeds, and / or Greek yogurt.

Oats are also often found in baked goods, muesli, muesli and bread.

Although oats are naturally gluten-free, they are sometimes contaminated with gluten. That’s because they can be harvested and processed using the same equipment as other gluten-containing grains (38).

If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, choose oat products that are certified gluten-free.

Bottom line:

Oats can be a good addition to a healthy diet. They can be eaten as oatmeal (porridge) for breakfast, added to baked goods, and more.

Oats are incredibly good for you

Oats are an incredibly nutritious food full of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

In addition, they are high in fiber and protein compared to other grains.

Oats contain some unique components – notably the soluble fiber beta-glucan and antioxidants called avenanthramides.

Benefits include lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, protection against skin irritation, and reduced constipation.

In addition, they are very filling and have many properties that should make them a slimming friendly food.

At the end of the day, oats are among the healthiest foods you can eat.

Whole Grain Benefits

Running 3 Miles a Day: Benefits and Starting Out

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No matter where it is on your list of favorite exercises, running is a great way to get in shape and meet fitness goals.

But if you’re not a marathon runner, you’re probably looking for a distance that is achievable without missing that window of effectiveness. 3 miles a day can be considered a nice sweet spot, even for moderate runners.

Here’s a look at the potential benefits of a regular running routine and what 3 miles a day can bring you.

Even if you HATE running, you have to admit that there are some nice benefits to it.

Cardio endurance

Running is a top class cardiovascular endurance activity. It helps you maintain increased breathing and heart rate for an extended period of time. Over time, this can increase endurance, reduce fatigue, and improve heart and lung function.

Also, there is a chance that running with the Reg can extend your lifespan. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. According to a 2015 study, running for 5 to 10 minutes a day is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death. So making a habit of 3 miles a day can’t hurt if you are able to.

Strength training

Cardio gets a lot of recognition, but running also offers restorative benefits. It activates a whole host of leg muscles, including your quads, hamstrings, and calves. You will also feel the burning sensation in your buttocks, back and stomach.

You should also consider adding some resistance training to your workout. Research has shown that it can help improve your running performance and reduce your risk of injury. So it should gradually get easier to do your 3 miles every day.

Strengthens the bones (maybe)

Running is a stress exercise, which means it can help bone health. According to a 2019 study, running is more effective than walking for increasing bone density in healthy adults and children. But we definitely need more research to prove this 10/10.

Basically, your 3 miles a day can put real strain on your bones to promote strength.

Burns calories

Running is a super effective way to burn calories. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 154-pound person burns about 295 calories if they jog at 5 mph for 30 minutes. A very general rule is that you are burning around 100 calories per mile. However, the exact amount of calories burned depends on:

All terrain containers affect the amount of calories you burn on your runs. In general, you burn more calories on harder terrain than on clean, flat surfaces due to the amount of energy you have to exert. Your joints and muscles work extra hard to keep your body upright and in balance.

The incline is also very important. According to a 2018 study, walking on an incline promotes peroneal strength, which could help with weaker ankles. You can also burn more calories while walking uphill.

Dwight Schrute says, “If you want to win, you have to fuel up like a winner.” And NGL, Dwight is right. If you stay hydrated and keep track of your diet, you can get the most out of your runs.

Before your run

Try to have a balanced meal 3 to 4 hours before your 5 mile run. The ideal meal should be high in carbohydrates, low in protein, and low in fat. By the way, the ACSM recommends drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water with this meal. But you might want to drink more when it’s super hot outside.

Snack attack: You should have a snack about 30 minutes before your run. Just be sure to keep it small to avoid indigestion or nausea. A banana, peanut butter crackers, or half an energy bar are good choices.

During your run

Studies show that your glycogen stores can be depleted within 1 to 2 hours of running. For longer runs, you should refuel with snacks such as energy drinks, protein bars, energy gels, nuts or dried fruits.

Since your run is 3 miles long, you should have a good idea of ​​how much fuel you are using pretty quickly. But no matter how long your run is, always stay hydrated during your workout. Dehydration is not a joke!

After your run

Post-workout diet is critical to recovery and results. A mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins is best. Here are a few delicious examples:

One of the greatest advantages of running is that you don’t need fancy gear. But you still have to equip yourself.

Your ongoing shopping list should include:

Running off the beaten track should always have a way to get in touch with someone in an emergency. To be on the safe side, you should also have a portable GPS tracker and whistle with you. For more information, see our guide to trail running.

SPF PSA: Don’t forget sunscreen (even on cloudy days)!

Running 3 miles in the regatta is a great way to burn calories. It will also help you increase your strength and cardiovascular endurance. Keep in mind that it can take you some time to develop enough stamina to hit the 3 mile mark. So be patient with the process and stick with it. You can do it.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Should You Eat or Avoid Peanut Butter Before Bed?

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If you’re craving a midnight snack, peanut butter is a tempting choice because of its rich taste, creamy texture, and sweet and salty taste.

Thanks to its impressive nutritional profile, some health advocates recommend eating peanut butter at night to support muscle growth, stabilize blood sugar levels, and improve the quality of sleep.

However, it is also high in calories per serving, so you might be wondering if consuming this filling food before bed leads to weight gain.

This article explains whether eating peanut butter before bed leads to weight gain.

Peanut butter is a high-calorie food that is high in heart-healthy fats. Just 2 tablespoons (32 grams) provides 204 calories and 16 grams of fat (1, 2).

Therefore, it is a great food item for a healthy balanced diet, but large amounts can increase your daily caloric intake. If you eat more calories during the day than you burn, you can gain weight in the long run (3).

Even so, weight gain depends on many factors including age, height, activity level, health status, and total caloric intake.

In fact, you can eat peanut butter as part of a diet for either weight loss or weight gain, depending on what else you eat during the day.

Summary

Peanut butter is high in heart-healthy fats and calories, which means overeating before bed can lead to weight gain.

Research into the relationship between eating late and weight gain has produced mixed results.

Weight gain possible

Some studies suggest that eating large amounts of food late at night interferes with weight loss and increases body weight. However, other factors may also play a role, including overall diet quality, how long you sleep, and other habits such as skipping breakfast (4, 5, 6).

On the flip side, some research suggests that eating at night may not directly lead to weight gain, but may be linked to eating habits and lifestyle behaviors that contribute to weight gain, including increased snacks, skipped breakfast, and decreased dietary diversity (7, 8, 9.). ).

Benefits for muscle growth and metabolism

Interestingly, several studies have found that consuming a healthy snack like peanut butter before bed can have health benefits.

According to one review, consuming a small, high-protein nighttime snack may improve overnight muscle protein synthesis, morning metabolism, and feelings of satiety in healthy men (10).

Another small study of active college-aged men found that consuming a good source of protein before bed increased their metabolism the next morning (11).

Still, specific research on peanut butter is needed.

Summary

The results on the effects of eating late at night have been mixed. While this habit may be linked to weight gain, studies also show that having a healthy snack at night can increase fullness, muscle growth, and metabolism, especially in men.

Peanut butter is a good source of many nutrients, including niacin, magnesium, heart-healthy fats, and vitamins B6 and E (1).

Its antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease (12).

It’s also high in protein, containing over 7 grams in every 2-tablespoon (32 grams) serving (1).

Increasing protein intake can reduce food cravings and regulate your appetite. In addition, adequate protein intake supports muscle growth, wound healing, and healthy growth and development (13, 14).

Peanuts are also a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that can improve the quality of sleep (15, 16).

Also, your body uses tryptophan to produce compounds like serotonin and melatonin, both of which are also important in regulating sleep (17, 18).

Although there is no research on the effects of peanut butter on sleep, studies link foods rich in tryptophan with improved sleep quality (19, 20).

Therefore, eating peanut butter or other foods containing tryptophan before bed can help reduce sleep problems.

Summary

Peanut butter is very nutritious and high in protein, which reduces food cravings and promotes muscle growth. It also contains tryptophan, which can improve the quality of sleep.

The next time you crave a midnight snack, think about your health goals before reaching for that jar of peanut butter.

If you’re trying to lose weight, consider lower-calorie snacks like hummus, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, or fresh fruit instead.

However, if you’re trying to gain weight, build muscle, boost your metabolism, or improve the quality of your sleep, a snack with a spoonful of peanut butter can be a good choice as it provides essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals, and a healthy heart, fats and Tryptophan.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Dietitian shares the ‘power nutrient’ she eats to live longer—that 95% of Americans don’t get enough of

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The benefits of fiber

As a nutritionist, I always tell people that fiber – the kind you get from foods rather than supplements – is an essential fuel.

Adequate fiber intake has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain gastrointestinal disorders, and type 2 diabetes, researchers have found.

There is also evidence that the benefits of fiber go beyond a specific disease: eating more of it can lower people’s death rate. Even the diets of residents of the Blue Zones, the places on earth where people live longest, include fiber as a basic nutrient, especially in foods like black beans, chickpeas, and lentils.

A study by the National Institutes of Health found that people who consumed more fiber, especially from grains, had a significantly lower risk of death over a nine-year period than those who consumed less fiber.

The analysis included approximately 388,000 participants who were in a larger NIH-AARP diet and health study and who were between 50 and 71 years old at the start of the study.

How Much Fiber Should You Consume?

How to Increase Your Fiber Intake

The body does not break down fiber. Instead, it passes the body undigested and helps regulate the body’s sugar consumption and helps keep hunger and blood sugar in check.

According to researchers at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, there are two types of fiber: soluble fiber, which can help lower glucose levels, as well as lowering blood cholesterol, and insoluble fiber, which can help move through your digestive system , promotes regularity and helps prevent constipation.

While you can easily take a fiber supplement, you will end up missing out on all of the other vitamins and minerals that whole foods provide.

The best sources of fiber are whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and nuts.

Here are five high fiber foods I include in my diet for healthier, longer lives – along with simple ways to enjoy them:

1. Avocados

Fiber: 10 grams per cup, sliced

Avocados

Loren Klein | Twenty20

In addition to their fiber content, avocados are high in healthy monounsaturated fat, which has been linked to improving heart health.

Avocados are so versatile and their uses extend beyond simple dishes like guacamole. I usually add something to my smoothies, which creates a creamy, thick texture. Or instead of butter or mayonnaise, I smear a few slices on toasted bread.

2. raspberries

Fiber: 8 grams per cup

Raspberries

Katherine | Twenty20

Raspberries also provide a handful of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also have a lower glycemic index, which means they don’t raise blood sugar levels.

A 2017 study found that consuming fresh fruit, especially raspberries, every day can lower your risk of developing diabetes by 12%.

You can have a handful as a quick snack or get creative and add some acid to your salads. And to satisfy my sweet tooth, nothing beats yogurt with raspberries and crispy oats.

3. Lenses

Fiber: 21 grams per cup

lenses

Ilona Shorokhova | Twenty20

Lentils have an impressive amount of fiber per serving and are also an excellent source of protein (around 47 grams per cup), making them an ideal choice for filling meals.

Research suggests that consuming 150 grams of lentils daily may help improve blood lipid levels, blood pressure, and inflammation.

Lentils are delicious in a hearty soup or stew, but I think they go as well as protein in salads and tacos. If I want to reduce my meat consumption, I make lentil cakes for lunch or dinner.

4. Oats

Fiber: 8 grams per cup

Oats are a gluten-free whole grain that contains fiber and other important nutrients, including iron, zinc, and magnesium. They can also help you manage your blood sugar, heart health, and even weight, studies have shown.

For breakfast, oats can be used as a grain substitute in muffins and pancakes. For heartier dishes like meatballs, I like to use them as breadcrumbs.

5. Chia seeds

Fiber: 10 grams per ounce

Chia seeds

Anna | Twenty20

Even a small amount of chia seeds has many health benefits. They’re also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improvements in brain and heart health.

These tiny seeds can be sprinkled in smoothies, oatmeal, and salads. They gel when placed in liquid so you can easily make homemade jam with the berries of your choice.

Lauren Armstrong is a nutritionist and nutrition coach. She was also a nutritionist for The Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program. Lauren received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Western Michigan University and has written for several publications, including Livestrong and HealthDay.

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