The No. 1 killer of both men and women in the United States, heart disease is responsible for more than 600,000 deaths every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one third of these deaths could be prevented by adopting simple lifestyle changes, including developing healthier eating habits.
A study published in the Nutrition Journal in March showed that adding oats to your diet can go a long way in reducing inflammation, increasing antioxidant protection and, as a result, lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and theUniversity of Minnesota explored the ability of oats to boost antioxidant protection in postmenopausal women and reduce post-workout inflammation. Women between the ages of 50 and 80 were divided into two groups, one of which received oat supplementation. The women performed downhill walking on a treadmill, after which they received the oat supplement and had their blood samples collected.
The study showed that oat supplementation had a notable ability to reduce inflammation after physical exercise. Considering that inflammation can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease, the research into such anti-inflammatory effect of oats can have far-fetching implications. Unlike drugs that reduce inflammation after the workout, oatmeal doesn’t have any adverse effects on the body.
Other research on the benefits of oats
Lots of other studies have looked into various health benefits of oats. The long list of these beneficial effects includes the ability to lower cholesterol levels by as much as 23%, thanks to the beta-glucan fiber present in oats.
This type of fiber is also known to improve the immune system’s response to infections. Oats can stabilize blood sugar level and lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Eating this healthy grain can protect women against breast cancer, lowering the risk of developing the disease by as much as 52% in some studies.
Adding oats to your diet
There are many ways you can enjoy oats and rip the healthy benefits this grain provides. You can start your day with a bowl of oatmeal, mixing it with fruits, nuts and honey. You could also add oat flour to your baking recipes, make oatmeal cookies and add oat bran to your cereal.