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By now we all know that eating more oats and oatmeal can help lower cholesterol, as well as providing a wide range of important nutrition and health benefits. But new scientific research is also revealing exciting new information about the benefits of oats– some of it surprising, some of it delicious, and some of it that will enhance our looks and athletic performance.
- Diet helper — Replace all-purpose flour with homemade oat flour (grind in a food processor), for baking cookies, pancakes, and quick breads. You’ll get twice the fiber and fewer calories.
- Blood pressure — A daily serving of whole oats rich in soluble fiber can reduce hypertension, or high blood pressure, and possibly reduce the need for anti-hypertensive medication. Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has high blood pressure. It usually has no symptoms, but can cause serious problems with the heart and blood vessels, leading to other complications.
- Cancer fighter — Oats, like other grains and vegetables, contain hundreds of phytochemicals (plant chemicals). Many phytochemicals are thought to reduce a person’s risk of getting cancer. Phytoestrogen compounds, called lignans, in oats have been linked to decreased risk of hormone-related diseases such as breast cancer. Most of the research has been focused on breast cancer, but similar effects are expected on other hormone-related cancers such as prostate, endometrium and ovarian cancer.
- Athletic performance booster — Oats, like other cereal grains, are valued primarily as a source of carbohydrates which provide calories for energy needs. Oats have been shown in scientific studies to favorably alter metabolism and enhance performance when ingested 45 minutes to 1 hour before exercise of moderate intensity, and trigger the body to burn fat more quickly to fuel muscles.
- Pore refiner — Try this mask from a New York City dermatologist. Mix ½ cup oatmeal, ½ cup hot water, and ¼ cup honey in a food processor. Let cool, and apply. Wait 10 minutes and rinse. Your skin will be glowing.
Oats also have a higher concentration of well-balanced protein than other cereals. Oats contain phytochemicals and contain a good balance of essential fatty acids, which have been linked with longevity and general good health, and also have one of the best amino acid profiles of any grain. Amino acids are essential proteins that help facilitate optimum functioning of the body.
So don’t delay and start eating more oats today!