Wellness

Incredible Benefits Of Including Spirulina In Your Diet

Learn About the Incredible Health Benefits of SpirulinaYou might have seen Spirulina at the food outlets. It is nothing but a biomass of cyanobacteria which comprises blue-green color algae. Even though the algae are good for health, many individuals may not be keen in consuming the biomass.
If we have to describe the algae item in a better way, then it’s nothing but a freshwater plant which grows across different regions from Africa to Hawaii. Apart from being a rich source of vitamins and nutrients, the plant contains high amount of protein and is quite similar to chlorella.

As an individual plans to consume the biomass, he would always be in a better position to restore as well as revitalize health. Rather than eating it directly, the algae can be included in smoothies and juices. You can also think about sprinkling it on soups and salads. Vegetarians can always enhance the iron intake by enjoying the biomass every day.
In case you are not sure to include the biomass in your diet, then you should certainly check out the health benefits you can reap.

Curbs the growth of Candida

Naturally present in the body, Candida is a fungus that absorbs and digests nutrients. In case the growth is not controlled, the fungus can release toxins into the bloodstream and alter the pH balance. As the chronic condition becomes serious, Candida can be the root cause for weight gain, unconsciousness, and damage to the small intestine. Moreover, it can lead to diseases like Crohn’s disease, Hashimoto’s or lupus.

In case you are unable to deal with the condition, then the algae serve to be beneficial. According to studies, the plant not only helps to slow down the growth of bacteria but also keeps the body away from serious ailments. Moving ahead, the plant promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines. This helps to control Candida in the best possible way.

Reduces blood pressure

Spirulina helps in reducing the blood pressure and minimizing the risk of heart attacks. The pigment, Phycocyanin aids in reversing endothelial dysfunction and in maintaining a good balance in the contraction and expansion of the heart’s membrane. The effect is also observed when veins and capillaries are playing the role of circulating the blood. As the blood pressure is reduced substantially, the biomass helps the individual to control diabetes. Once the person starts consuming the algae regularly, he can observe the results without taking any medicines or going through a chiropractic treatment.

Reduces Cholesterol

Apart from other health benefits, the biomass prevents plague buildup in the arteries. While high-density protein is reduced, the algae promote ‘good’ cholesterol and lower down the HDL levels. To feel the difference, it’s recommended to add the biomass along with algae that lower cholesterol.

Prevents Cancer

It’s interesting to know that a smoothie with the biomass as the ingredient can help to prevent Cancer. This eventually increases the production of antibodies, strengthens the immune system and combats chronic illnesses. As per a study, the biomass has the potential to curb Cancer cell growth in addition to the ability of controlling blood cholesterol.

Accelerates weight loss

Once you include the protein-rich biomass in your diet, you are sure to help yourself reduce weight. Since protein is known to contribute to the overall development of the body, the nutrient aids to build muscles, regulate blood sugar level, and enhance concentration. You would soon be burning fat once body gains energy and it is utilized for the metabolic activities. The algae also control hunger and stop food cravings over a period of time.

Based in Florida, Decuypere Chiropractic has always been proud in helping people to lead a healthy lifestyle. Besides taking care of numerous health issues, the team offers help in enhancing the nutritional goals and increasing the body’s ability to function efficiently. The practitioners provide a wide range of therapeutic options when people are seeking to reduce weight.

Image credit: Nouchkac

Posted in Health, Healthy living, Nutrients, Weight loss, Wellness | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Signs that You Must See a Chiropractic

6 Signs You Should See A ChiropractorMany people decide to go and see a chiropractor only when they feel pain at the back or neck, but they forget that these are not the only signs that prove one must see a chiropractor. In fact, there are many other signs that our body shows that calls for one to go and get a check-up from a chiropractor. Here are signs that should alert you that you need to visit a chiropractor.

1. You have chronic headaches and migraines

Headaches arise from several issues. Most familiar to this is the muscle tension that originates from the neck. Primary headaches occur due to joint irritation as well as muscle tension. Also, the sedentary lifestyle that many people choose to live. But, with the help of chiropractic adjustments it can help reduce the tensions that arise in your head. Remember too that headaches are different and before choosing to get the treatment of chiropractic it is essential you consult with your doctor first.

2. You experience sudden sharp pains

If you ever experience sudden severe acute pain, then you need to consider another option. Severe pain is a sign that something is not ok with your body. Perhaps you need a spinal adjustment to assist balance your body to allow your ligaments, tendons and muscles move in their right position.

3. Pain Medication

While a lot of people don’t know how beneficial chiropractors are, they indeed don’t depend on drugs to ensure that you remain healthy. Instead, they solely depend on results to treat the origin of the problem. If you are fond of taking pain medication so that you function okay then it’s time to think of walking to see a chiropractor for a natural treatment.

4. Lower back pain

We have suffered from lower back pain at one point in our lives. Probably you know how uncomfortable and painful it feels. Sometimes the pain doesn’t persist but it comes and disappears on its own. There are few possible explanations for this condition. If you fear that the pain might lead to a worse situation then it’s good to get the help of a chiropractic.

5. You experience chronic pain in the muscles or joints

The pain you experience in the muscles and joints might just be as a result of a muscle alignment issue. So, stop taking those painkillers. Our bodies are designed to function as one and if there is a problem with a single part then the entire body system is affected. Chiropractors are trained to help align all your body parts in their correct position so that it can work as designed.

6. Involved in a car accident

If you have been involved in a car accident, whether it’s a minor injury or you weren’t hurt, you must see a chiropractor. Any damage that you might have got via the crash might not show up immediately; instead, it might get worse the longer you stay. Even if you aren’t sure whether you need to see a chiropractor, it’s crucial to get a check-up.

Don’t forget that a chiropractor is there to help you determine what pain can be dangerous and what can’t be. If you have questions related to pain or you need to get the services of chiropractic, consult Decuypere & Family Wellness Chiropractor.

Image credit: ijmaki

Posted in Back Pain, Chiropractic, Chiropractic, Chropractor, Health, Migraine, Neck Pain, Wellness | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Best Breakfast Foods

The Best Foods to Eat for BreakfastWe are what we eat. This famous proverb is especially relevant for breakfast, which sets our food rhythm for the whole day. Therefore, it is very important that it is not only tasty and satisfying, but also useful and balanced. It is not difficult to prepare a healthy breakfast, and it will not take so long as it may seem at first glance. The main thing is to know the basic rules of a healthy breakfast.

According to doctors, breakfast should be no later than 10 am, while you should use half the daily calorie rate. It is believed that the eaten for breakfast is completely burned during the day, which means that it is not postponed by the body for future use. Adhering to the rules of a healthy breakfast, you will always be in great shape and a wonderful mood, and stomach diseases will never bother you.

Many complain that in the morning they can not force themselves to eat, limited only to a cup of strong coffee. Say, the body has not yet woken up and rape it with food there is no need. This is a misconception. Firstly, the absence of hunger in the morning often indicates that in the evening you had a dense supper, or even snacked something for a dream to come. Naturally, in the morning the organism still digests your evening diet and does not want to add work to itself. Secondly, if you do not feel hungry, this does not mean that your body does not need useful substances, proteins and carbohydrates, in order to have the necessary energy reserve for the whole day. This means that a healthy breakfast should not be rich in fats, but with proteins and carbohydrates, and carbohydrates should be “slow”.

Based on all the above, you can derive the basic rules of a healthy breakfast.
Your breakfast menu should include cereals, fruits and dairy products. The latter is a valuable source of useful minerals and animal proteins, so necessary for the body. Fruits will supply the body with vitamins, and cereals will replenish the energy reserves.
Useful are only those dairy products that have not been defeated. They should have a low fat content, not a complete absence of fat. Otherwise, the food will be extremely poorly absorbed by the body.

You do not need to eat too much. The excessively hearty breakfast can do almost more harm than its complete absence. By lunchtime you will want to eat even more, and then there will be no more rules for healthy eating. This is because the excess amount of carbohydrates that have got into the body, causes the release of insulin into the blood. He, in turn, eats sugar, transforming it into fat. As a result, the body begins to need even more carbohydrates, and we want to eat even more.

Food and healthy breakfast

The most suitable products for breakfast are bread from wholemeal flour, buckwheat, oatmeal, dry breakfast without sugar. True, this does not mean that you should give up a beloved and traditional buttered sandwich. It’s just not as useful as we would like. Much better properties in this regard have eggs, cottage cheese, cheese, sour-milk products. You can include in your morning ration a small piece of boiled meat or ham, but avoid eating sandwiches with smoked sausages there will not be much benefit from this. All this goes well with different porridges, and you do not need to think that such a breakfast will be superfluous. Instead of the usual cup of coffee, drink freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice or brew tea, in which you can add a small amount of honey.
One of the best products is muesli. If you take raw muesli, refill them with milk and add pieces of fruit, then you will get the most that neither is a healthy breakfast!

Image credit: TesaPhotography

Posted in Health, Healthy living, Nutrients, Weight loss, Wellness | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting married is one good way of keeping dementia at bay

Getting married may keep dementia at bayGetting married and settling down with your partner could go a long way in delaying the onset of dementia as per findings of a recent study. Dementia, a debilitating disease which predominates in people aged 60 and above, can adversely affect the cognitive capabilities of an individual, seriously impeding memory and preventing the person from leading a normal, healthy life. The research focused on a total of 15 studies carried out in the past that attempted to analyze a correlation between the incapacitating disorder and one’s marital status, before arriving at the aforesaid inference.
The previous researches which were conducted had a combined sample size of over 8, 00,000 comprising participants from Asia, Europe, North and South Americas. Following the assertion of researchers who concluded that widows, widowers, and singles were more vulnerable to suffering from the damaging disorder, health specialists attributed the finding to one’s extent of social interfacings. The research made public in the ‘Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry’ highlighted that those persons who held onto their bachelor or bachelorette status all through their lives had a 42% higher risk of becoming demented in comparison to married individuals.
On the other hand, those who had lost a partner were 20% more likely to be incapacitated by dementia in sharp contrast to persons who were married. Surprisingly enough, the findings did not indicate that divorced couples were more susceptible to the age related condition than those who had yet not separated. Social scientists and experts from University College, London who took the initiative of carrying out the study, were of the opinion that married individuals were more sincere about leading healthier lives.
At the same time, married persons also had a greater probability of interacting with others compared to those were still single and staying alone in an apartment or flat. In the meantime, individuals whose spouse had died were subject to a high level of stress arising out of grief and loneliness that greatly contributed towards their developing dementia. However, an individual was also at heightened risks of getting bogged down with the disease if he or she had a personality or cognitive abnormality which considerably undermined his or her wellbeing.
Dr. Laura Phipps who was attached with Alzheimer’s Research, UK’s foremost dementia research charity strongly believed that married people not only lived healthier lives but they lived longer compared to those who were still single. There was persuasive research to corroborate the above generalization. Additionally, those leading conjugal lives also tended to be financially more stable. Being financially established had significant repercussions for one’s wellbeing.
Couples that stayed married inspired their spouses to cultivate healthy habits and stick to them persistently. Furthermore, they were likely to furnish moral as well as social support to each other. Dr Phipps further expressed that interacting socially may help promote cognitive reserve that served as a sort of mental bulwark against degenerating diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, enabling one to retain his or her cognitive capacity for a longer period.
If you are a senior citizen intending to lead a healthy, active, and meaningful life, you can get in touch with Dr. Decuypere who is an experienced and skilled chiropractor. You can also log in at www.decuyperechiropractorclearwater.com or make a call to 727-449-8080.

Image credit: andreahamilton264

Posted in Fitness, Health, Healthy living, Uncategorized, Wellness | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Heart Health Benefits of Avocados

Heart Health Benefits of AvocadosA good majority of health-conscious men and women are of the opinion that avocado, variously referred to as alligator pear, has an unusually high concentration of total fats, rendering the fruit’s consumption unsuitable for heart health. Yes, it’s true-every 100g of the fruit contains 14.66g of fat-but 67% of its total fat content comprises monounsaturated fat in the form of oleic acid, the same type that abounds in oil extracted from olives. Nutritionists, dieticians, and health experts continue to emphasize on the significance of monounsaturated fats for maintaining the health of the heart. Avocados are also endowed with minerals, vitamins, and dietary fibers that make the fruit’s consumption beneficial for cardiovascular health.

Monounsaturated Fats
Avocado, scientifically called ‘Persea Americana’ together with all its known variants and cultivars, release about 670kJ of energy per serving which is much higher than similar servings of most fruits. No wonder then that the fruit is rich in vitamins C, E, and K and numerous B vitamins. However, avocadoes have a very good concentration of total fats, mostly in the form of monounsaturated fats.
Each 100g serving of avocado contains 9.80g of monounsaturated fat and 2.13g of saturated fats. From the perspective of health, especially heart health, monounsaturated fats are most effective compared to polyunsaturated fats and saturated fats. Monounsaturated fats not only help raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels in the bloodstream but also significantly lower ‘bad cholesterol’ or LDL.

Potassium
All varieties of avocado are plentiful in minerals, particularly potassium. Two of the most popular varieties, ‘California Hass’ and the Florida ‘Choquette’ contain 507mg and 351mg of potassium respectively. The amount of salt as well as the type and quantities of dietary fat consumed together with the frequency of physical exertion programs have a considerable bearing on the blood pressure, if the AHA (American Heart Association) is to be believed. It is estimated that about — Americans are plagued with hypertension or high blood pressure.
Following a DASH (dietary approach to stop hypertension) diet, comprising food items and preparations loaded with potassium, calcium, and magnesium will go a long way in effectively bringing down blood pressure. Potassium, along with the other vital minerals, contributes towards muscle relaxation and on its own, counteracts the adverse effects of excessive sodium content in the body.

Dietary Fibers
All food items and beverages imbued with nothing less than 5g dietary fiber in every serving are classified under foods abounding in dietary fibers. In this respect, a 100g serving of Hass avocado in raw form, supplies 6.8g of dietary fiber to the body while an identical serving of the ‘Choquette’ variety delivers 5.8g. An adult female needs about 21g of dietary fibers on a daily basis which implies that a single serving of avocado will cater to approximately 34% of that requirement. Dietary fibers, along with monounsaturated fats, are instrumental in reducing abnormally high LDL levels.

Vitamin E and B-Vitamins
Avocadoes contain copious proportions of the B-vitamins, B-5, B-6 and Niacin (B-3) and Folate and eating the fruit regularly promotes energy metabolism which in turn encourages formation of new cells and DNA. Consuming food items containing an abundance of Folate and B-vitamins also brings down homocysteine levels.
For leading a disease-free and healthy life, you can talk to Dr. Decuypere by dialing 727-449-8080 or log in at www.decuyperechiropractorclearwater.com for more details.

Image credit: coyot

Posted in Health, Healthy living, Nutrients, Wellness | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Healthier Heart Equals A Healthier Brain Later In Life?

A Healthier Heart Equals A Healthier Brain Later In Life?Studies recently published by the American Heart Association in combination with scientific findings by Michael Bancks, Ph.D., of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL have tested and found that how you treat your heart today, can significantly impact your quality of life and your brain functionality as you age.

Anyone serious about maintaining a healthy heart – and mind – should first consider the following seven steps which might “guarantee” a healthier life, you, and increased overall happiness.

1. Firstly, watching and maintaining a healthy blood pressure is at the top of the list. This means not only watching the foods that you eat, but also your physical activity levels (see more below), overall stress levels, and how you manage each.

2. The advice of properly managing your cholesterol is not something new, although it is a piece of health advice that is being pushed on the public and broadcasted more aggressively in recent years. And believe us, this deserves a place at the top of the list, as it can mean the difference between life and death – or your susceptibility to a heart attack!

3. Monitoring and taking care of your blood sugar we know it sounds simple, and unfortunately, a lot of people assume that if they just avoid sweets, coffee, and soda that they’ll be just fine. But the truth is, there are plenty of fruits and other healthy foods that can just as easily raise your blood glucose (sugar) levels to unhealthy heights. Worse, doing so consistently over the years can harm both your heart, and in turn your brain reducing performance, and overall longevity of the human body aging process.

4. Being more active – Who could forget this? Research has shown that those who exercise more frequently, even a simple 15-30 minute walk once a day or every other day will dramatically their overall health, and happiness. Walking also serves as an excellent way to reduce stress or even quit bad habits like smoking and drinking (see more on this below.) Taking care of your muscle and bone growth today can make the aging process and your body all the more happy, and likely to be still properly functioning by the time you’re 40 or 50 years old.

5. Finally, quit smoking. We know it sounds easier said than done, but stopping today can make a world of difference for how you feel, and the ways which you grow tomorrow. Protect yourself from a wide range of various likely cancers you can develop by smoking, and breathe better in just a matter of weeks by quitting today!

Be Happy, and Be Healthy!

Picture Credit: ElisaRiva

Posted in Alternative Treatment, Exercise, Health, Healthy living, Wellness | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Processed Carbohydrates and Cancer Risk

Processed Carbohydrates and Cancer RiskThere is a growing body of literature that shows the damage that carbohydrates can have on our bodies, especially when overconsumed. There is growing concern that it is sugar and carbohydrates that have actually driven the increasing obesity levels in Western countries. This is in stark contrasting to the previous sentiment that fat was the culprit and the implications are tremendous. Carbohydrates are so heavy in many foods, particularly processed foods where high fructose corn syrup is often one of the top three ingredients. Now, research suggests that the detriment of carbohydrates extends beyond just metabolic diseases into potentially cancer risk as well.

A new study shows that people who consumed sugar drinks like soda or even juices had a rate of prostate cancer almost three times that of those who did not drink the same sugary liquids. Furthermore, people who ate processed lunch foods including pizza, burgers, and processed meat had twice the prostate cancer risk as those who did not. People who ate lean meats and healthy carbohydrates like vegetables and legumes, on the other hand, had a much lower risk of breast cancer than those who did not eat these nutritious foods.

NourMakarem, the lead author on the new study, explains that they looked at health records for 3,100 volunteers who offered up information beginning in the early 1970s. Diets began to be tracked in 1991. Makarem and her colleagues looked at the glycemic indices of the foods that were in the diets and used this to calculate the glycemic load in people’s diets. They then look at the retrospective data on cancer in the same patients and were able to assess potential associations between diet and cancer incidence.

The results showed very strong correlations. It should be stressed that this type of retrospective data research while growing in popularity, does have its limitations. In the end, it is only an association that can be drawn and not a causal conclusion. That being said, however, strong associations often have some underlying scientific mechanisms and in this case, the study is hypothesis-generating. Future research including randomized clinical trials (if possible and ethical) should be done to look at the impact that diet and carbs have on cancer risk. One of the other major limitations of the Makarem study was that the vast majority of patients were Caucasian.

Cancer is a very complicated set of diseases and the causes for each type are multifactorial. That being said, certain things seem to really drive the incidence up and trying to adjust our lives to avoid these risks may make sense in the overall assessment of our health prospects. Considering the synergies in avoiding the risk of other metabolic diseases by avoiding too many and bad carbs, it makes sense to cut back. When it comes to the metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, there are many studies that show causal relationships between carbohydrate consumption and the development of disease, so it is wise to cut back even if the cancer hypothesis turns out not to be true.

Image Credit: ArtsyBee

Posted in Fitness, Health, Healthy living, Wellness | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Impact of Sugar on Our Health

The Impact of Sugar on Our HealthSugar has been one of the most misunderstood, yet shockingly abundant parts of the modern Western diet over the last few decades. For a long time, fat was considered to be the primary culprit for rising rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease in the United States and elsewhere. Newer literature suggests that we may have had this drastically wrong with carbohydrates, namely sugar, perhaps being the real detriment to the public health. Coupled with a strong industry lobby, sugar flew under the radar for a long time and even today is still added in many, many products in which consumers would never suspect it- often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (examples include tomato sauce, baked beans, and many processed foods).

Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are everywhere and have numerous detrimental effects on our health. Diabetes is the obvious downstream disease which is most often associated with high sugar intake. In this metabolic disease, patients’ bodies cannot effectively clear sugar from the blood by moving it into cells as healthy people might be able to do. Blood sugar levels get higher and stay high longer than in those without the disease, often leading to numerous sequelae. These downstream effects include, but are not limited to, increased risk of infections, increased incidence of neuropathies, and increased risk of heart attacks.

There is also some thought that the high sugar levels may effectively stimulate the growth of cancerous cells with a virtually unlimited supply of nutrients, although this research is not as conclusive. Increased sugar levels in the blood may also have effects on numerous chemical pathways in the body which we have not yet even studied.

One of the other major concerns with high sugar intake is the potential development of cardiovascular disease. As the rate of heart attacks continues to be worrisome in the United States, this is a legitimate public health concern. Programs to stop sugar consumption or increase education on it may help offset the downside impact. Specifically, some municipalities have turned to Pigouvian taxes such as those on soda in order to discourage consumption of excessive sugar. Many fruit juices even contain tons of added sugar, which is often given to children and starts them off with bad nutritional habits which carry over into adulthood.

As a country and society, there is little arguing that we eat too much sugar. A lot of this goes back to the availability of cheap foods in supermarkets and fast food restaurants which are riddled with the additive, often without people even realizing it. It will really take a significant educational and cultural change to turn the tide, but it is well worth the investment and effort to do so for the sake of the future health of the country and world. On an individual level, educating yourself and minimizing sugar consumption in a balanced diet can be a great start to living a healthier and likely more fulfilling life. As the health food movement continues to gain steam, it may eventually squash the stranglehold of the substance.

Picture Credit: pamula133

Posted in Fitness, Health, Healthy living, Wellness | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Getting A Good Sleep Is All Around Helpful

Getting A Good Sleep Is All Around HelpfulThere’s no underestimating the benefits of a good, sound, sleep.

Rest is essential on multiple levels regarding one’s own well-being, physically, and mentally.

The body has its own repair systems.  When we are at rest, these repair systems perform at maximum efficiency.  Without rest, we end up compromising our health across the board.  The human body and brain are very complex systems that interact with its environment that can introduce harmful agents like toxins and microorganisms.  The body needs rest so it can self-diagnose itself and issue out the proper defenses and rehab.  A proper diet is essential in this.

A good sleep helps the body to regulate itself, reboot systems, and do repair.  We often overtax ourselves in one way or another, and in Western countries like the US, food is the main problem.  Foods aren’t processed properly, toxins, radiation, and more.  It can cause inflammation throughout the system and cause serious damage.  If one plays sports or has a labor intensive job, you definitely need sleep.  For people who use intense concentration like administrators, artists, and such, getting that sleep is essential.

A good sleep first of all repairs body damage.  It regulates the endocrine system, circulatory system, and everything else.

One’s mental health is at issue too.  There are several levels of sleep ranging from none REM sleep to REM sleep.  REM stands for rapid-eye-movement.  When one drifts off to sleep, you first encounter non REM sleep.  You can be awakened easily.  With REM sleep, this is where dreaming occurs.  While in deep sleep the body repairs and grows tissue, tests systems, and importantly, strengthens the immune system.

REM sleep with dreaming allows for the mind to troubleshoot issues that are unresolved.  The mind examines information and processes it. Repairs memory gaps or modifies memory.  It overall relieves mental and physical stress.

Sleep is nature’s way of growing you. During the day you provide nutrition, exercise, protection, and more, but you need time to repair the damage of everyday survival which can be brutal.  We have to flush out toxins, battle diseases, solve mental challenges, prevent further injuries, and more.  Less sleep means the body and brain and mind can’t rehab itself and that leads to dangers in the waking world.

Without sleep you’ll be more vulnerable to diseases, stumbling and falls, your senses will be less than optimum.  Your sight, hearing, sense of direction, and more won’t be spot on.  You’ll be inviting disaster along the way.

To get that much needed rest, there are some simple ways to handle things.  If you’re not suffering from insomnia and you don’t need to see a doctor for the condition, then it’s just a matter of discipline to get what you need.

Try to schedule your sleep time better.  Demand the family to knock off the noise. Get comfortable before getting in the bed.  You want peace of mind and control. Look for the things that help you sleep better.  With some trial and error you’ll find your regimen.  Once you’ve nailed down what works for you, just keep a steady course and see how it goes.

Image credit: choreograph
Posted in Sleeping, Wellness | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Why is Oatmeal Healthy?

Why is Oatmeal Healthy?The wonders of oatmeal are often repeated in literature on good grains, but the short recommendations often do not explain why a hearty bowl of the breakfast favorite is actually good for you. The fact is that oatmeal contains soluble fiber which takes a longer time to leave the stomach and can help you feel fuller for a longer period of time. This alone has benefits when it comes to stopping overeating and controlling one’s weight. With a growing number of people facing issues with being overweight or obese, this is a benefit that should not be overlooked.

Even a half cup a day of oatmeal can be enough to get many of the health benefits associated with it over the longer term. The solubility of the fiber in oatmeal allows it to absorb water to make it even larger and more viscous as it moves through the gastrointestinal system. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, acts as a bulking agent and does not have the same dynamics within the intestines.

The soluble fiber in oatmeal can also help with another related condition to being overweight- hyperlipidemia, or excessive LDL cholesterol levels (LDL is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol). Some studies suggest that the impact may be as much as 10-15% in terms of a reduction in LDL for those who regularly consume oatmeal. The fiber content may also be associated with benefits when it comes to reducing blood pressure and in turn also reducing cardiovascular risk.

Even the American Heart Association recommends a diet that is high in fiber (25-30 grams per day) and oatmeal can help reach that target. Recent data shows that only half of Americans reach that amount currently!

The great thing when it comes to oatmeal is that there are many different types as well as ways in which to consume it, making it more likely that you will find a way that is palatable to your tastes. Steel-cut oats contain the whole oat grain, which rolled oats are dehulled and steamed. Both have a unique taste. Instant oats are similar to rolled oats except that they are steamed for a long amount of time. Whatever you choose, there are many great recipes out there which can make it a delightful treat- just make sure you are not choosing products or recipes that have too much added sugar as that can negate some of the health benefit! This is especially a concern with the instant varieties available in grocery stores, but can be true of any oatmeal dish.

Once you find a low-sugar dish of oatmeal that you like, you can work it into your daily diet and will hopefully start to see results over time. The best time to consume the oatmeal is in the morning from the perspective that the GI impacts will be compounded with consumption earlier in the day. This goes perfectly with the accepted use of oatmeal as a breakfast food. Try adding different fruits to the dish for added flavor and nutrition.

Posted in Healthy living, Nutrients, Wellness | Tagged , | Leave a comment