Keeping your oatmeal interesting: Additions that will help keep your commitment to a healthy breakfast
01/28/2018 // Janine Acero // Views

Oats (Avena sativa) are whole grains that are commonly eaten for breakfast as oatmeal, which is made by boiling oats in water or milk. Oatmeal is also known as porridge. Oats are often included in the ingredients in making muffins, granola bars, cookies and other baked goods.

Oats are among the most nutrient-rich foods you can eat. They are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. Moreover, they contain more protein and fat than most grains.

Other nutrients abundant in oats are calcium, potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. Additionally, oats are a great source of antioxidants, which help manage blood pressure levels and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Oats can be an excellent part of everyday meal. If you've decided to make it a regular part of your diet, pop some color and flavor to your ordinary, boring oatmeal with these tasty (and nutritious!) additions. (Related: Top 8 Reasons Why You Should Eat Oatmeal Everyday.)

  • Ground flaxseeds, sliced pears and almond butter – Ground flaxseeds are a healthier alternative to chocolate chips. Toss in some sliced pears and a drizzle of almond butter for sweetness, and you have an omega-3 and protein-rich breakfast that will surely give you a boost in energy. Likewise, if you want to try a different take on a PB&J, stir in peanut butter into your oatmeal and top it with fresh grapes.
  • Chopped walnuts, lemon zest and sea salt – Add chopped walnuts, lemon zest, and a pinch of sea salt to your oatmeal for a tangy boost. Walnuts are great sources of omega-3s that fight inflammation, while the delicate mix of citrus and sea salt give your oatmeal a boost of flavor. Make sure to use raw walnuts, and avoid roasted or salted brands to enjoy the full nutritional benefits. Want to add creaminess and fruity flavor to your oatmeal? Top it with Greek yogurt and orange marmalade (or any jam you have on hand).
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  • Toasted sunflower seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes and ground cinnamon – A natural way to sweeten your oatmeal is to add roasted sunflower seeds, a pinch of cinnamon, and unsweetened coconut flakes to your bowl. The cinnamon and coconut flakes are naturally sweet, so you won't have to worry about excessive blood sugar spikes that refined sugar can cause. Another way to enjoy some coconut in your oatmeal is to toss in some toasted coconut and diced fresh mango. Change up your usual sweetener with agave, a low-glycemic mild-flavored nectar, and you have a tropical treat.

Oatmeal is a delicious and highly filling food. Did you know that eating filling foods can help you lose weight? When you eat filling foods, you don't immediately think of your next meal, or worse, think of eating some unhealthy junk food for dessert. This helps ensure that you take in fewer calories, which in turn may help regulate your weight.

Check out other ways of enjoying the benefits of oats and other whole grains by visiting today.

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