Oatmeal "Add-Ins" for an Ultra-Healthy Breakfast
A warm bowl of oatmeal offers a comforting way to start the day, but this satisfying cereal grain also packs a number of important health benefits. Powerful polyphenols in oatmeal provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, and oatmeal fiber, known as beta-glucan, can help lower cholesterol levels. Healthy ingredients added to oatmeal, such as green supplements and fruit powder supplements, can further boost nourishment for an ultra-wholesome breakfast.
Chopped Almonds or Almond Milk
Chopped nuts add crunchy texture and layers of flavor to a bowl of oatmeal, and almond milk can offer nutty flavor and cool creaminess. Chock full of minerals, almonds are one of the healthiest tree nuts. A handful daily can promote good heart health and help to maintain a healthy body weight. In addition, studies suggest that nutrients found in almonds may aid in the prevention of diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
The dried, fermented seed of the cocoa pod, cacao nibs offer an intense chocolate flavor without the sweetness of candy. Oatmeal lovers can add a small amount of all-natural stevia to sweeten the breakfast bowl. Cacao nibs and dark types of chocolate made from them may benefit intestinal health, cardiovascular health and help regulate blood sugar.
Many studies have touted the benefits of cranberries and blueberries, but dark purple berries like elderberry, black berry, black currant, and chokeberry, offer even more antioxidant rich flavonoids. In addition, these berries offer a juicy burst of flavor to a creamy bowl of oatmeal.
Chia seeds are a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. One ounce of these tiny seeds also delivers 18% of the recommended daily requirement for calcium, which is three times higher than a glass of skim milk. Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds do not require grinding for absorption of nutrients.
One serving of Greek yogurt offers significant amounts of potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), and vitamin B12. In addition, creamy Greek yogurt offers live and active cultures of beneficial bacteria. These microbes prevent harmful bacteria from taking over the digestive tract.
Coconut is a sweet and tasty source of fiber, vitamins, amino acids, and healthy minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Coconut in any form (meat, oil, water) also offers antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic and antiviral properties.
Only a small percentage of people in the United States eat enough fruits and vegetables for good daily nutrition. Adding superfood powders like fruit powders and green supplements to morning oatmeal can help.
While butter and brown sugar make tasty complements to a bowl of oatmeal, they don't offer much when it comes to nutrition. Any of the ingredients above can transform oatmeal from an ordinary breakfast into one that is extraordinary when it comes to nutrition.