BY MICHELLE SMITH
As your Advocate, I am constantly searching for ways to keep you knowledgeable. Remember lack of knowledge is a disease. If you are from a West Indian background you know all about #OATs, Oatmeal the almighty stamina ingredient, but check out the other great benefits of eating oatmeal. As we move into March, let’s remember that March is National Nutrition Month. One of the most common questions asked is whether oatmeal is gluten free.
Oats do contain some gluten called Avenin, but it is a bit different to the gluten found in wheat. Some people with Celiac Disease, a disease in which the small intestine is hypersensitive to gluten, leading to difficulty in digesting food can tolerate oats. Most oats have been cross-contaminated with gluten at the farm where it is produced cited by many sites however, if you have Celiac disease, you should talk to your doctor first before trying oats. It is very important to always remember to discuss any symptoms that you experience at any time with your doctor or you can talk to you advocate to help you direct your care. Oatmeal is a whole grain and eating whole grains can lower your risk for several diseases, including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Oatmeal also contains lignans, a plant chemical that has been found to prevent heart disease.
Eating oatmeal can lower your cholesterol, especially your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. If you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol, consider adding oatmeal to your daily menu. If you have a family history of high cholesterol stay on top of it. Family history speaks volumes. I’ve known many skinny individuals that have been plagued with the ongoing battle of high cholesterol. Use food as your medicine. Recheck your numbers every three months. Always consult with your Doctor or if you are not sure contact your Health Care Advocate.
Oatmeal is a source of fiber. That means when you eat oats for breakfast, you’re going to feel full for a long time. Breakfast foods high in sugar and fat can make you feel full for a brief period, but then you’re hungry again. Sorry McDonald’s your Sausage Egg Combo otherwise known as Combo #2 is off my meal plan. By the way, we all have guilty pleasures and it is better to recognize what your guilty pleasure is so you can take action.
Oats have an outstanding benefit for your skin. I don’t know about you, but as a child I had eczema so bad that my mother used to make me wear dickies along with all my shirts, LOL.
If you thought that oats couldn’t possibly have any additional benefits, I’ve managed to find some! Not only are oats great for the inside of your body but they are good for the outside too. They are hypoallergenic so they are great for people with eczema for soothing the skin.
Simple Oatmeal Scrub: You can make a great exfoliating scrub with oats. This is very natural, will save you a fortune in expensive facial scrubs and it is very easy to do. Here is a very simple recipe. Ingredients: Oatmeal and warm water. Directions: Put a handful of oatmeal in a bowl and add enough warm water to make up a paste. Apply it to your face avoiding the eye area and gently scrub. Wash it off with warm water. Your skin should feel softer and smoother.
Oatmeal Bath Bomb: If you add oatmeal to your bath, it with soothe and soften your skin in a very gentle way and cost you pennies. Ingredients: Small mesh drawstring bag and oatmeal. Directions: Add the oatmeal to the mesh bag and close it. Add the bag to the running bath water. Have a lovely relaxing soak in the bath and emerge with very soft skin all over.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about oats. If you have any other questions or comments about oats, I’d love to hear from you. What is your favourite type of oats and how do you use them?
Lastly you’re not doing yourself any justice without the ultimate oatmeal smoothie. A breakfast smoothie, consisting of blended oats, fruit, and ice, which can satisfy your hunger easily until lunch. You know the smoothie drill by now, but let me refresh your memory. Step 1. Grab these Ingredients and let’s go! Oats. I recommend old fashioned rolled oats over instant or quick oats as they are less processed and better for you. But, instant or quick oats will work, if that’s what you have on hand. Steel-cut oats aren’t recommended for these smoothies because they don’t blend and soften well. Yogurt if you wish – optional. Milk. I don’t use milk – optional. Fruit juice. This is optional. You can use all milk for the smoothie liquid, or a combination of milk and juice. You’ll see in my six recipes that I did it both ways. Fruit juices can vary a lot in their flavor, nutrition and sweetness. Blender. Mason jars. You can use any two cup container, but mason jars are the perfect size for storing, serving and grab-and-go convenience. They stack and store easily in the fridge and freezer. They can be found at Dollarama.
So what’s next? Always remember to know your numbers when you get blood taken or when you take your blood pressure or blood sugar. Keep moving, exercise combined with great eating is a definite recipe for success. Remember you are the most important part of your health care team.