Let’s talk about oats shall we? I’ve been on an oatmeal kick since my college days because it was the easiest, healthy breakfast I could throw together in a dorm room with limited space. Back then I had a tiny fridge, a tiny microwave, and a hot water maker. I am an avid tea drinker so this came in handy but come mornings, I needed some warm water to make my instant oats.
Fast forward a few years later to grad school and advancing my nutrition studies, I’ve learned a thing or two more about my beloved oats. For one: oats are an excellent source of “soluble fiber” which is fiber that acts to lower cholesterol and helps with weight management and energy. What it does is forms a gel in our digestive tract which in turn slows digestion and helps keep us satiated and energized after the meal.
Another thing I learned about my beloved oats is that instant oats are not the same as those made on the stove top. What makes oats such a great breakfast is the fiber content and the glycemic index that helps us metabolize our breakfast at a slow and steady rate helping to manage energy levels. Instant oats don’t have these same effects. In fact, instant oats metabolize much faster since they are processed. This can make us hungier and less satisfied after our meal. In conclusion- be smart about choosing your oats when opting for the healthiest option.
I definitely recommend topping your oats with proteins and fats that will add more staying power and nutrients. Today I am all about fresh strawberries and chunky peanut butter- who wouldn’t be! These pack not only fiber but healthy fats and antioxidants, as well.
Strawberries: Choose strawberries that are firm, plump and have a shiny, deep red exterior. Both underripe and overripe strawberries have been show to have lower vitamin C and phytonutrient content compared to their ripe counterparts.
Peanut Butter: These legumes boast biotin, our skin and hair vitamin which plays several essential co-enzymatic roles including metabolizing our food into energy. Additionally they are rich in monounsaturated fats, a healthy fat that our hearts love.
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