Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday Tips: Another reason to love oatmeal!

I have already professed my love of the grain known as the oat, but I always love reading new research that provides me with yet another reason to love it.

Open Your Arteries with a Bowlful of These
By RealAge (source)

Your heart and arteries will be pretty thrilled if breakfast always has you craving a bowlful of oats.

Regularly eating oatmeal appears to boost people's endothelial function. That's a fancy way of describing their arteries' all-important ability to dilate and keep blood flowing freely to the heart and other body parts.

Relax Those Arteries
Unfortunately, endothelial function often deteriorates in folks who are overweight or obese or who have glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. But in a 6-week study of overweight adults, a daily bowl of oats helped improve the way endothelium -- that thin layer of cells lining the inside of blood vessels -- functioned. Researchers speculate that the phytoestrogens and beta-glucan in oats had something to do with the effect.

Artery Benefits for All
Maintaining good endothelial function helps reduce the risk of heart and coronary artery disease down the road. And overweight adults aren't the only ones who need to be concerned about it. Normal-weight people can have impaired endothelium, too. So whether you're big or little, oatmeal is a smart breakfast choice.

Slightly daunted by the steel cut oats? They're simple! Bring a cup of water to boil in a small sauce pan, add 1/4 cup (40g) of oats and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Put the lid on and go to bed, and when you wake up reheat your oats and top as desired.