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Whole Grain Benefits

A Bowl of Oatmeal Is One of the Healthiest Ways to Start Your Day—Here’s Why RDs Love It

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Oatmeal is one of the most versatile breakfast options out there, whether you want something healthy and filling to bridge the gap before a busy morning or healthy carbohydrates for a hard workout. However, it is important to focus on maintaining the nutritional profile by avoiding added sugars. “The most important thing to look out for [if you want to prioritize nutritional value] is the flavored version because it can be high in sugar, “says Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, CDN, a New York City-based registered nutritionist and founder of BZ Nutrition. When properly prepared, oatmeal can offer several health benefits.



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Dietitians break down the best health benefits oatmeal can offer.


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Dietitians break down the best health benefits oatmeal can offer.

TIED TOGETHER: Oats are possibly the most underrated ingredient in your pantry – here’s why

The main health benefits of oatmeal

Oatmeal is high in fiber.

Oatmeal is high in fiber, a huge benefit as it can help alleviate bowel problems when you’re dealing with constipation and other gastrointestinal issues and experiencing troubled toilet visits, says Lauren Minchen, MPH, RDN, CDN, Nutrition Advisor for Freshbit, an AI-driven visual diet diary app. She says you can get around 4 grams of this important fiber from one serving of oatmeal.

“Because oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, their consumption will help increase the weight and size of your stools and make bowel movements easier,” says Amy Gorin, RDN, a plant-based registered nutritionist and owner of Plant- Based Eats in Stamford, Conn.

Oatmeal is rich in nutrients like B vitamins and magnesium.

Oatmeal is a great whole grain product to incorporate into your daily routine, either for breakfast or as an afternoon snack, because it’s high in energy-boosting B vitamins, says Zeitlin, which are key to maintaining healthy cell function, the energy from which it is derived Are food, and more. Oatmeal is also high in magnesium, which helps relieve stress and is a good source of fiber.

“Oats are also rich in iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B6, and at the same time provide some potassium and protein,” says Minchen. “Calcium, magnesium and potassium support nerve and muscle function as well as the correct water balance in our body, while vitamin B6 supports our cardiovascular system, brain health, mood and energy levels, while protein supports our skin, nails and hair , and immunity. “

Oatmeal helps keep you hydrated.

Additionally, oatmeal is great for hydration as it has a high water content when cooked, says Gorin.

How to prepare and enjoy oatmeal

If oatmeal is prepared with healthy ingredients and adhered to daily serving size recommendations, oatmeal is a great breakfast option for you that offers numerous health benefits. To preserve the nutritional value of oatmeal and avoid added sugar, Zeitlin recommends buying the pure, unsweetened version (instant or regular oatmeal or steel-cut oats). Aim for 1/2 cup of dried oats and pair it with your water or your favorite source of milk and add your own flavors and toppings like fruits, nuts, seeds or go hearty with items like pesto, cheese or sun-dried tomatoes. “You can also make overnight oats for a cold version of cereal or the traditional spicy version,” says Zeitlin.

Minchen also recommends adding oatmeal or oatmeal to a smoothie to improve its protein and fiber profile while giving it a thicker texture, if that’s how you prefer your smoothies. “Adding oats to baked goods also increases the fiber and protein of traditionally sweet treats, which can help with serving portions and food cravings,” she says.

Eat oatmeal in moderation

As with most things in life, you can overeat good things, says Minchen. “While oats provide essential calories and nutrients, as with everything, too much can crowd out other foods and nutrients, ultimately leading to nutrient deficiencies,” she explains. Therefore, she recommends limiting your oat intake to 1 cup per day.

Check out these delicious and soothing Real Simple recipes below for some oatmeal inspiration.

Hearty oatmeal with spinach and poached eggs

A simple hearty egg and spinach hearty oatmeal is that breakfast you didn’t know you needed in your life. Pan-frying the oats with the onions gives it a risotto-like texture, and stirring in a generous pile of parmesan makes the oats taste really cheesy and rich.

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Hearty oatmeal with spinach and poached eggs


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Hearty oatmeal with spinach and poached eggs

Overnight oats with strawberries and roasted almonds

If you’re short on time in the morning, you can prepare this bowl of overnight oats in the evening and wake up to a hearty, healthy breakfast treat.

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Overnight oats with strawberries and roasted almonds


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Overnight oats with strawberries and roasted almonds

Baked oat flakes with cranberries and almonds

Like a casserole and biscuit hybrid (and healthier than leftover cake), this whole wheat dish will nourish a lot to cook at home.

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a bowl of food on a plate: baked oatmeal with cranberries and almonds


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Baked oat flakes with cranberries and almonds

TIED TOGETHER: 14 Oatmeal Recipes That Are Really Soothing (and Healthy!)

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Whole Grain Benefits

12 Best Snacks for Weight Loss

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  • Healthy weight loss snacks are nutritious, portioned and balanced.
  • Some examples are an apple with peanut butter, a banana and almonds, or a protein bar.
  • You can also try hummus and carrots, fruit and plain Greek yogurt, and homemade trail mixes.
  • Check out the Insider Health Reference Library for more advice.

If you and your doctor have decided that losing weight is the best course of action for your health, then lifestyle and diet changes are likely needed.

That can mean replacing high-calorie snacks that lack nutrients, like potato chips, with healthy snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Unfortunately, many American snack foods are highly processed, high in calories and low in nutritional value. These types of snacks can make you feel sluggish and lead to weight gain,” says Amber Ingram, a registered dietitian at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

On the other hand, she says that a healthy, balanced snack can boost your energy and provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Ingram says some rules of thumb for healthy snacking are:

  • Nutritious, meaning they contain a nice mix of vitamins and minerals.
  • Portion controlled, like a single apple or orange.
  • Balanced, meaning ideally it contains protein and one complex carbohydrate – which helps to keep you full. A healthy fat can also be a great addition, but it’s not necessary for a balanced snack.
  • About 150-250 calories

Here are 12 healthy snack ideas recommended by nutritionists.

1. An apple and natural peanut butter

  • One medium apple: 95 calories
  • One tablespoon of natural peanut butter: 95 calories
  • Total calories: 190

Snacks that contain protein can help you feel full for longer, which can reduce overeating and subsequent weight gain.

Natural peanut butter is a great source of plant-based protein, and apples are high in soluble fiber, which studies have shown may help promote weight loss and reduce the risk of cancer.


diabetes

, and cardiovascular diseases.

2. Cottage cheese and pineapple

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 2% milk: 90 calories
  • Half a cup of pineapple: 41 calories
  • Total calories: 131

In addition to the protein that keeps you full, cottage cheese is also packed with calcium, which can support bone health.

You can pair it with pineapple, which contains bromelain — a compound with anti-inflammatory benefits that may also aid in digestion, says Ingram.

Plus, a sweet, healthy fruit like pineapple, melon, or mango is perfect for adding a flavor explosion to a snack.

3. Fruit and plain Greek yogurt

  • A cup of strawberries: 53 calories
  • A can of plain yogurt: 100 calories
  • Total calories: 153

While yogurt may seem like a healthy choice, many flavored varieties are loaded with added sugar. Added sugar can easily lead to excess sugar consumption, which has been linked to obesity.

You can avoid added sugars by opting for plain Greek yogurt, says Alicia Beltran, MS, a nutritionist at Baylor College of Medicine.

Add flavor and sweetness by adding your fruit of choice. Berries, including strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, are a great option because they’re loaded with antioxidants that help reduce the risk of conditions like kidney and cardiovascular disease caused by free radical damage.

Plus, Greek yogurt contains probiotics, which may have benefits like maintaining a healthy microbiome and cardiovascular health.

4. Hummus and carrots

  • Two tablespoons of hummus: 60 calories
  • A cup of raw carrots: 50 calories
  • Total calories: 110

This snack has two benefits: First, the hummus is a good source of protein and fiber, both of which help keep you feeling full and satisfied, Beltran says. And second, carrots contain beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by your body. Vitamin A can benefit your eyesight, immune system, and cholesterol.

Eating more vegetables in general can also help


weight loss

because vegetables are more filling, which a 2014 study of overweight adults found may help control hunger.

5. Cream cheese with cashew nuts as a side dish

  • A light mozzarella string cheese: 50 calories
  • A quarter cup of cashews: 197 calories
  • Total calories: 247

The combination of spreadable cheese and cashews packs healthy fats and proteins that don’t cause a blood sugar spike that might make you tired and sluggish later, says Allison Childress, PhD, nutritionist and assistant professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University.

Choosing light or low-fat versions of snacks like cheese is an easy way to cut fat and calories on your weight-loss journey.

Plus, nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts, and macadamias are heart-healthy and can help lower “bad” cholesterol levels.

6. A banana and almonds

  • One medium-sized banana: 105 calories
  • A quarter cup of almonds: 207 calories
  • Total calories: 312

“This snack combines the carbs of bananas with the fat, fiber and protein of almonds for a balanced, filling snack,” says Childress.

The banana is high in potassium, and nutritionists recommend bananas as a weight-loss snack. This is because bananas contain pectin and


resistant starch

, that’s enough.

Note: This snack has a little more calories than the others on this list, so it might not be a snack you want to reach for every day.

7. Wholemeal Toast with Peanut Butter

  • A slice of whole wheat bread: 110 calories
  • One tablespoon of natural peanut butter: 95 calories
  • Total calories: 205

Bread is often vilified in weight loss diets like keto and Whole30 for its high carb content. But if you eat the right type of bread, you can still enjoy a slice every now and then.

In fact, a small 2012 study found that overweight participants who ate bread as part of a restricted-calorie diet were more likely to stick to the diet than those who were told to avoid bread altogether.

Just be sure to avoid white bread and other refined grain options like bleached flour. These typically have little to no fiber. Instead, opt for whole grain breads, which provide more fiber and nutrients like B vitamins, iron, and folic acid.

You should also consider toasting your bread, as research suggests it can lower the glycemic index — a measure of how likely a food is to spike blood sugar. However, more studies are needed to determine how much toasting lowers the GI for whole grain bread and how this might affect weight loss.

8. A protein bar

  • One Quest protein bar: 190 calories

If you’re looking for easy on-the-go snacks, try some protein bars. However, be sure to read the label and make sure they aren’t loaded with added sugar.

A 2020 review found that a high-protein diet can be beneficial for losing weight and preventing weight gain over the course of six to 12 months, whether you’re on a low-calorie diet or not. Additionally, the review found that a high-protein diet may promote feelings of fullness or satiety.

Childress recommends Quest bars, which contain about 15 grams of fiber, 21 grams of protein, and just 2 grams of sugar. Other brands with a healthy balance of fiber and protein and low in sugar include ONE and Alani Nu, says Childress. Experiment with different protein bars and find out which ones are your personal favourites.

Best protein bars

Checking the protein bars


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We test and recommend the best protein bars. Check out our selection:

9. Homemade Trail Mix

  • A quarter cup of trail mix: about 160 calories

Of course, buying pre-packaged trail mix is ​​an option, but Beltran suggests going the DIY route because you can more easily control total calorie count by choosing what’s in it. Beltran says some healthy options should be included:

  • almonds
  • cashew nuts
  • pecans
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • raisins
  • Dried cranberries

Since trail mixes usually contain high-calorie foods like dried fruit and nuts, moderation is key. Make sure you measure out a quarter cup before snacking instead of eating straight from a bag for portion control.

10. Crispy chickpeas and a hard-boiled egg

  • 1/4 cup crispy chickpeas: 161 calories
  • One large hard-boiled egg: 78 calories
  • Total calories: 149

Roasting chickpeas makes them nice and crispy — a bonus if you’re trying to lose weight, as researchers have found that foods that make a lot of noise when eaten lead people to eat less overall.

Also, eggs are good for weight loss as they are high in protein and nutrient dense while being low in calories.

11. Fruit smoothie with protein powder

The total calorie count depends on the ingredients you choose for your smoothie. In general, opt for a mix of fruits and vegetables such as:

  • 1 medium banana (105 calories) and a bunch of baby spinach (27 calories): About 132 calories
  • 1 medium apple (65 calories) and a handful of celery (20 calories): About 85 calories

One thing to keep in mind about smoothies is that they contain less fiber than if you were to eat those foods whole. As a result, your blood sugar may be more likely to rise. To slow digestion and prevent a spike in blood sugar, add a scoop of protein powder to your smoothie.

12. English muffin with avocado

  • One half of a whole wheat English muffin: 65 calories
  • A quarter of an avocado: 81 calories
  • Total calories: 146

Avocados are high in healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats and rich in nutrients that make them good for heart, eye, and skin health. Plus, the fiber in whole grains can help you feel fuller and promote good gut health.

A 2019 study found that among non-obese people, those who consumed avocados were less likely to gain weight than those who did not consume avocados.

Insider snack

There are so many options for delicious and nutritious healthy snacks to eat while trying to lose weight. Be mindful of portion sizes and always remember that moderation is key.

Also, Beltran says you should make sure you’re really hungry before grabbing a snack, rather than just eating out of boredom, stress, or distraction.

The right healthy snacks will keep you full until your next meal and can help you lose weight.

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Whole Grain Benefits

5 Morning Routines Tips for Holistic Heart Health

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By by now you probably know that keeping your heart healthy is just as important as keeping the rest of your system feeling good and working properly. But when it comes to your ticker, it certainly doesn’t hurt to get full advice from a cardiologist on how best to do it. Mona Shah, MD, a cardiologist also trained in holistic integrative medicine, several lifestyle factors play a role in heart health, including diet, exercise, sleep, and stress.

This is why it’s so important to look at all of the factors that affect your heart health, and not just cardiovascular fitness or cholesterol levels. Enter: holistic integrative medicine.

What exactly is holistic integrative medicine?

It is a comprehensive and informative approach to treating the patient because diagnosis and treatment looks at the whole person – their diet, stress levels, sleep intake, exercise schedule, vitamin intake, supplements and more to reduce their risk of heart disease and other complications later in life.

“Often patients are just given medication without really addressing the underlying causes of inflammation, blockages, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more, all of which can lead to heart disease,” explains Dr. shah “There are definitely cases where we need drugs, but what is the best way to integrate these two different approaches? [medication and lifestyle changes] That’s what I believe most strongly.” She not only believes it for her clients, but also practices it herself, beginning her day with specific rituals designed to keep her mind and body healthy.

dr Shah’s morning routine to promote holistic heart health

“Morning is a great way to start habits that can set the tone for the day, because all too often we get out of bed with a list of everything we need to do and stress levels start to rise,” says dr shah “I’m not a morning person at all, but this morning routine was such an important positive change I’ve made in my life that anyone can do.”

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“After dropping my boys on the doorstep of school, I have about 2030 minutes for me before I have to get ready for work,” she says. This is how she spends it.

She drinks water with turmeric and lemon after waking up

“I start with a tall glass of warm water with lemon and turmeric because turmeric has so many health benefits and drinking warm water as a first drink is so calming,” says Dr. shah Additionally, turmeric can promote gut health and kick-start the digestive process, and it is anti-inflammatory, which boosts the immune system.

She practices gratitude

After drinking her water, Dr. List three things she’s grateful for to encourage positive feelings and keep stress levels from rising early in the day. “Stress itself is a big risk factor for heart disease, so simple breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, or journaling can help, even for five minutes a day,” she says. “Writing in a gratitude journal and showing kindness releases a variety of feel-good hormones that can lower your risk of heart disease. Gratitude has been shown to improve quality of life, lower cortisol levels, relieve depression and boost immunity, so don’t skip it.”

Then she meditates for 5 minutes

“I breathe in slowly through my nose and I usually say a mantra like ‘I am’ as I breathe in, and I visualize love coming into my heart before I breathe out,” says Dr. shah “With that exhale I could say ‘at peace’ and imagine love going out into the world.”

She wakes up the body with a short yoga flow

“I then do a few yoga poses, such as the sun salutation, to get my body moving before taking a shower, as yoga has a variety of health benefits, including lowering stress levels, improving blood pressure, and enhancing immunity and inflammation. ” She says.

To start your day soaking up the sun like Dr. Greetings Shah, Check out how to do the following yoga flow:

In general, exercise helps reduce heart disease risk, manage weight, reduce stress and improve our mental state — Shah says even just 30 minutes of walking a day can improve mood, tame stress and protect the heart. So swap out yoga for any workout that makes you feel good. Bonus points if it gets your blood pumping.

She puts off breakfast a few hours

“I typically do intermittent fasting, so along with black coffee with a shot of stevia, I don’t eat my first meal until 11 a.m. or noon,” says Dr. Shah risk of heart disease. I’m a vegetarian, so the night before I usually make overnight oats with sprouted gluten-free oats and unsweetened almond milk, blueberries, chia seeds, hemp hearts, and a pinch of powdered cinnamon and stevia.” Other suggestions include whole wheat toast with avocado, chia seeds, and crumbled feta; smoked salmon and Greek yogurt; nut butters and berries; or hummus with egg and vegetables.

Oh hello! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts on cutting-edge wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Join Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Consume these nutrient-rich, whole foods to glow on your wedding day

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From salmon to beetroot—here’s all you need to incorporate into your diet

Time to have healthy foods! (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

Wedding day is, undoubtedly, one of the most special days for anyone. Thus, people end up spending months to make sure all the arrangements are perfect and in place. However, amidst this hustle-bustle, many tend to forget their self-care routine which is crucial to glow on your big day. You may have the best hair and make-up artist in place but nothing beats the glow that comes from within.

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Wondering how to amp up your fitness and nutrition game? Nutritionist and diet coach Minaschi Pettukola is here to the rescue. This wedding season, incorporate these colourful, varied, nutrient-rich, whole foods suggested by Pettukola and make sure that you shine not just on your wedding day but for days to come.

salmon

Salmon is a powerhouse of essential fatty acids and is very rich in omega. It is the perfect recipe all on its own for glowing skin and shining hair.

Turmeric

Every Indian household is familiar with the benefits of turmeric. It is an age-old staple in our kitchens and is excellent in healing damaged skin and can repair sun-damaged skin.

Garlic

Garlic is known to reduce and fight off any skin infections. It is also recognized for boosting immunity which is of prime importance nowadays.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits can easily be added to your breakfast as oranges and grapefruit. They promote healthy collagen production and can fight inflammation and toxicity.

greens

Greens like spinach, kale, broccoli, mustard and fenugreek leaves are rich in antioxidants, calcium and folate, necessary to keep your skin healthy and glowing.

bedroot

Beetroot is an exceptionally rich source of antioxidant compounds which repair skin cells, promotes new skin growth and younger cells.

Whole grains

Whole grains are rich in fiber and nutrients, especially in these days of highly processed and nutrient-depleted foods. Whole grain foods help tilt the balance towards a healthier diet.

Others

Other foods which make a big difference to enriching your diet are eggs, nuts and seeds, pro and prebiotics, lentils and green tea.

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📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

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