Saturday, January 31, 2015

Oatmeal and Cinnamon

I am addicted to hot oatmeal (whole oats, not instant) topped with a thorough coating of cinnamon.   I've tried oatmeal with bananas, peanut butter, nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, and even a few chocolate chips that melt all over the bowl.   I've also tried many combinations of the above items.

 I've decided that my new favorite way to eat oatmeal is with just the cinnamon, which I choose most of the time, because this combination is quick, easy, and tasty and, as I recently learned, packs a powerful punch of nutrition!

I had already known the health benefits of oatmeal.  It is high in soluble fiber, therefore helping to:  lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar, control weight, boost the immune system and decrease the risk of diabetes.

I wasn't, however, quite aware of cinnamon's power.   All I knew was that it made the oatmeal delicious!  So I did a bit of research and this is what I found:

  • It contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which is what give cinnamon its medicinal properties.
  • It is a potent anti-oxidant, helping to fight inflammation and to lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • It can lower blood sugar levels, by slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates and improving insulin sensitivity.
An effective portion size is .5-2 teaspoons per day.  I'm probably putting 3 teaspoons on my oatmeal, so maybe I will cut back a little and substitute a chocolate chip or two!
 

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