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Oatmeal is a whole grain whose daily consumption can promote the health of your heart. Scientific research has found that oats can help reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.
Eating whole grains is associated with smaller increases in waist size, blood pressure, and blood sugar, according to a new study by researchers at Tufts University (Boston, Massachusetts).
In the study published in The Journal of Nutrition, middle-aged adults who obtained best results ate three servings of grains a day. One serving is usually the equivalent of a small slice of bread or half a cup of a cooked grain product like pasta, oatmeal, quinoa, or rice.
Oats are nutritious and rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. It provides phosphorus, magnesium, thiamine, magnesium, zinc and is also one of the grains richest in protein.
Why is oatmeal so good for your heart?
Fiber helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and promote healthy digestion. Oats are especially rich in a soluble fiber called beta-glucan.
Mayo Clinic explains that high cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease. With high cholesterol, fatty deposits may form in your blood vessels. Sometimes those deposits can suddenly break open and form a clot causing a heart attack or stroke.
The Harvard Nutrition Source shares that a meta-analysis of 18 studies that included primarily cohort studies found that the highest intakes of whole grains (including several types of whole grains in addition to oats) compared to the lowest intakes were associated with a 21% reduction in the risk of heart disease.
“The combination of fiber with B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin), vitamin E, minerals (iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc) provides a number of disease prevention benefits, including lower levels of inflammation and reduced rates of heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and obesity, ”Mary-Jon Ludy, Professor of Food and Nutrition at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, tells Healthline.
Oats also have plant chemicals that help fight inflammation. These are phenolic compounds and phytoestrogens that act as antioxidants to reduce the damaging effects of chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation can affect the entire body, has been linked to health problems such as arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and cancer.
Whole grains healthy substitutes for refined grains
Whole grains are healthier than refined grains, they include all the edible parts of the grain. They offer a higher content of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Highly refined grains are unhealthy, not only are they low in fiber, they are also often high in added sugars. Opt for low-processed natural oats with no added sugar.
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