Oatmeal has come a long way in recent years. Years ago, mothers would spend twenty minutes each winter morning in front of a pot of the cereal, stirring constantly to keep out lumps. Nowadays, this porridge-like cereal, which is made of rolled oats, often is made using the instant variety. While oatmeal purists may disagree, many believe that the instant variety's convenience and good taste makes it a preferable option for getting your fix.
Twenty or 30 years ago, parents would sprinkle sugar over oatmeal or add fruit to make it more attractive to kids. Today’s sweetened varieties look and taste nothing like their predecessors. Oatmeal isn’t just a hot cereal fed to children in an attempt to get something warm into their stomach before sending them out in the cold. Not by a long shot. This food has many benefits.
- Oatmeal is an excellent source of calcium, especially if made with milk. Calcium helps to strengthen bones, teeth and hair and staves off osteoporosis.
- It is a good source of vitamins and minerals.
- Oatmeal is filling. Those who eat it in the morning are less likely to fill up with sugary snacks before lunch.
- The cereal contains high amounts of fiber, keeping you regular.
- Oatmeal is a low-fat food. You can eat a large bowl without having to worry about packing on the pounds. Keep track of the sugar content, however. Some varieties geared towards kids contain high amounts of sugar.
- The water soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol.
- The soluble fiber in oatmeal also deters the consumption of starch. This is especially good news for diabetics, as they won’t experience a rise in insulin after eating.
- Oatmeal is said to have cancer fighting properties.
- It contains plenty of protein.
In addition to providing health benefits when eaten, oatmeal can be used in many home remedies as well. For instance:
- Used in a bath, it can take the itch out of rashes caused by allergies or illnesses such as chicken pox.
- Applying a paste made of the cereal and water helps soothe insect bites, bee stings and the itch caused by poison ivy.
- Oatmeal and water makes a wonderful facial scrub. A mask made of itwill also soften skin.
As you can see, the benefits abound. If bad memories of a lumpy childhood breakfast have steered you clear of the oatmeal aisle, you might want to give it another try. Chances are you won’t be disappointed.