Oatmeal Bars: Benefits Beyond Great Taste
They're delicious, filling and available in several varieties, but oatmeal bars aren't just a treat for your taste buds; they're wholesome snacks that come with a host of healthy benefits. You've probably seen television commercials or other advertising that explains how oatmeal benefits your heart, but that's just the beginning. To understand just how good oatmeal really is for your body, take a closer look at its components.
How Oatmeal Supports Your Health
- Oatmeal's biggest claim to fame has always been its high soluble fiber content; this type of fiber inhibits your body's ability to absorb low density lipoprotein, also known as LDL or "bad" cholesterol. A mere one-and-a-half cups of oatmeal contains enough fiber to reduce your cholesterol level. Keeping your cholesterol in check lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. The fiber in oatmeal also helps reduce your risk of high blood pressure.
- The benefits of fiber don't stop with heart health. Fiber aids digestion and helps you feel full faster, so it can aid your weight loss efforts. It also helps regulate your blood sugar and reduces the risk of insulin spikes.
- Oatmeal contains antioxidants known as avenathramides that fight destructive free radicals that attack high-density lipoproteins or "good cholesterol." Avenathramides also prevent arteries from hardening by suppressing the production of substances that allow monocytes to adhere to artery walls.
- Your immune system can benefit from oatmeal's beta-glucan fiber content, which helps your body seek out and repair areas of your body that are fighting an infection. A healthy immune system also helps destroy cancer cells.
- Oatmeal is a great source of essential nutrients such as vitamin E, copper, selenium, zinc, magnesium and manganese. It also contains protein.
- Although oatmeal contains a small amount of gluten, many people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity may be able to enjoy its benefits safely.
Why Bars Are Better
A gooey, hot breakfast cereal is not for everyone. Even if you love eating your morning bowl of whole grain oatmeal, your kids may put up a fight. However, a crunchy or chewy oatmeal bar is another story. Everyone loves them, and you won't even need hot water or preparation time. Oatmeal bars are a great on-the-go food when you're short on time. You can pack them in lunches or keep a few in your work locker or gym bag. Replace candy bars and chips with wholesome oat goodness that supports your health instead of destroying it.