Oatmeal might just be the most unassuming superfood out there. It’s less buzzy than other more trendy breakfast foods like Greek yogurt and chia pudding, but this seemingly plain morning meal actually boasts an abundance of health benefits.
Need a refresher? Oats are a type of whole grain and have been shown to boost many of the body’s functions, from digestive health to blood sugar levels and beyond. How, exactly? One reason they’re so good for you is that oats are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which help keep you full in between meals, as well as regular.
Here’s the difference between the two: soluble fiber—which can be found in foods like barley, beans, fruit, and avocado—is a sticky substance that lines the inside of the digestive system and adheres to sugars and fats to prevent them from entering the bloodstream. Insoluble fiber is the tough material found in the stalks, skins, and seeds of foods that adds filler waste (or “roughage”) to the digestive system, so you don’t become constipated.
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Other oatmeal perks you need to know about: The breakfast is super satiating, meaning it keeps you full for longer and stops you from grazing mid-morning (pro tip: a doughnut for breakfast won’t do the same). It’s also full of good-for-you nutrients, like folate and potassium. And while it’s best to skip the packaged varieties that frequently come with a sky-high sugar content (think: brown maple sugar, warm apple cinnamon), adding your own healthy toppings is a great idea and can help you control portions.
In this video, we highlight six reasons to incorporate oats into your breakfast routine. Not sure how to make them? Here are easy oatmeal recipes for every day of the week.