Did you know that ancient Europeans were the first to cultivate oats in the first century CE? Before that, oats grew as weeds among other crops.
They now can be purchased at your local grocery store in three different varieties:
Steel cut (the least processed, cut into two or three pieces)
Rolled (flattened and steamed or toasted lightly)
Instant (usually precooked and dried, reducing cooking time but causes an increase in glycemic load and often has added sugar and flavorings)
Here’s the nutritional “scoop” on oats:
High in fiber, protein, thiamine, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron
Good source of pantothenic acid and potassium
Contains beta-glucans and antioxidant polyphenols
Reduce total plasma cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels (risk factors for heart disease) according to Nutrition Reviews, 2009
Polyphenols (known as avenanthramides) exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects.
Think about adding oatmeal to your breakfast plans if you haven’t already. Select either steel cut or rolled and avoid the refined instant variety for greater health. Oatmeal with berries and nuts is a great way to start your day!
References: Superfoods, The Healthiest Foods on the Planet by Tonia Reinhard
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