There’s no snow on the ground yet in Toronto but the air is chilly and my feet are cold. What better way to warm up every morning than with a cozy bowl of oatmeal 🙂 Supercharged oatmeal, actually. Check out the benefits of oats below, and some of the ingredients you can add to take your breakfast to a hormone- balancing/weight-losing/stress-reducing sort of place!
Oat is a grain and can come whole, steel-cut, rolled, flaked, or quick-cooking. Each one of these methods describes how the oat was processed. I stick with organic steel-cut oatmeal as they are cut mechanically and still retain their fibre. I use Bob’s Red Mill brand. They also offer a gluten-free oat for those with Celiac as well (oats are naturally gluten-free but are often processed in wheat-producing facilities). Oats are naturally high in protein and fibre to keep your body satisfied. They also contain iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, and are rich in the amino acid lysine which can help combat the herpes virus, AKA cold sores.
Oats are full of beta-glucans, a compound that has been shown to help modulate the immune system (important for cold and flu season). Beta glucans also provide a good dose of soluble fibre, useful for those with high cholesterol or high blood sugar. The fibre attracts water and forms a sticky gel that collects excess cholesterol as it passes through the body. Just look at your bowl of oatmeal pre- and post-water. After adding water, it turns into a sticky but delicious mess!
Finally, oats are a traditional nervine, meaning they restore, balance and calm your nervous system. Oats are safe to eat for any age group, and can even be bought as a dried tea (Green Oat Tea from Clef des Champs is my favourite, and uses the flowering tops of the oat plant) to drink when feeling stressed or experiencing adrenal fatigue.
Good Fats and Fibre – To help balance hormones and keep you feeling full all morning long:
– almond butter, coconut oil, hemp hearts, cashews, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seed meal….
Protein – oats naturally contain protein, around 4g per 1/4 cup. Boost the protein content to help with hair/nail/skin health, weight loss and cravings.
– protein powders – best tasting with oatmeal so far are: unflavoured unsweetened Fermented Vegan Protein, Styrian Gold Pumpkin Seed Powder, or Progressive Harmonized Protein French vanilla flavour
Natural Sweeteners – give your oatmeal some flavour with these natural options:
– mixed berries – blueberries have incredible antioxidant power for good eyesight – just 1/4 cup a day!
– Sliced caramelized bananas – add 1/2 tsp coconut oil to a skillet and put on medium heat. Add sliced bananas. In about 5 min the heat will cause the natural sugars of the bananas to caramelize, becoming nice and golden brown.
– raw honey, maple syrup, stevia leaf powder (I love Organic Traditions Stevia leaf powder. It hasn’t been processed so it’s green, like a true stevia leaf!)