by Reda Elmardi: Bodybuilders and those looking to increase their lean muscle mass and strength levels will often find…
that when it comes to getting their bodies looking the way they want them to look, lifting weights and training are the easy part, with the difficult part coming in the form of getting their diet and nutrition right on point. As well as consuming protein and nutrient dense foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, bodybuilders should also consider where their carbohydrate sources will be coming from. From a bodybuilding point of view, oatmeal is by far considered one of the most beneficial foods when it comes to diet and exercise which is why we’ll be looking at the nutritional value of oatmeal by providing 8 great benefits of this food.
It helps to keep you feeling full – Let’s face it, when you’re training and dieting properly, you’re going to be looking to burn off as much fat as possible, whilst retaining as much muscle as you can. You will therefore need to keep your calorie consumption, low when cutting, which is tricky if you find yourself constantly feeling hungry. Oatmeal is ideal because it is a slow-digesting food source that is rich in soluble fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full for longer. If you feel full for longer, you’re going to consume less calories and so you can help watch your weight.
It’s a great source of energy – Another great benefit of oatmeal is the fact that it is a fantastic source of energy, which when you’re training intensely is going to be a real blessing. Not only is it a great source of energy, as it’s a slow-digesting food, it is considered a slow-release source of energy, which will help keep your body fueled up and energized for several hours after the food has been consumed.
It’s rich in nutrients – As well as being low in calories and fat, and a fantastic source of energy, another great benefit of oatmeal is the fact that it is so rich in healthy nutrients. Not only is it a great source of soluble fiber, which as well as helping to suppress appetite and helping to keep you full, can also lower harmful cholesterol levels and promote great digestive health, but it is also rich in B vitamins which help to strengthen the immune system, protecting against a number of illnesses and diseases including cancer. Finally, oatmeal is also rich in minerals including zinc and iron, which help promote immunity and optimal blood health respectively.
It’s convenient and versatile – Another fantastic benefit of oatmeal, and a reason why bodybuilders tend to adore this food is the fact that it is so convenient and versatile. Oatmeal is cheap to purchase in bulk, it can be eaten with warm milk or water, it can be blended into protein shakes, it can be used to replace flour and make protein pancakes, as well as being used to make cereal bars, protein flapjacks, protein bars, and much more. What’s more is the fact that it can be prepared in less than five minutes.
It lowers harmful cholesterol – In our bodies, we have two different forms of cholesterol. One is known as HDL cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein) whereas the other is known as LDL cholesterol (Low Density Lipoprotein). HDL cholesterol is healthy and beneficial for us, whereas LDL cholesterol is very bad for us. LDL cholesterol can coat the walls of our arteries with fatty deposits and build up, which eventually cause conditions such as hypertension, poor circulation, heart disease, strokes, blood clots, and even heart attacks.
The natural fiber found in oatmeal however, has been found to significantly lower lipids (fats) within the bloodstream. This means that LDL cholesterol actually decreases, making you much fitter and healthier as a result.
It helps to regulate blood sugar levels – Another fantastic reason to add more oatmeal to your daily diet is the fact that it has been found to help stabilize and regulate blood sugar levels within the body. The carbohydrates found in oatmeal are complex carbs of a very high quality, which means that they are digested and broken down much slower than simple carbs such as sugar. This in turn means that you don’t suddenly receive a huge spike in blood sugar levels, which would then cause the pancreas to panic and secrete more insulin to help regulate the blood sugar levels. This means that you are less likely to suffer from diabetes and insulin sensitivity by consuming oatmeal on a regular basis.
It can protect against breast cancer – As if all of the above wasn’t reason enough to get more oatmeal inside your systems, studies have also found that oatmeal could help provide numerous benefits and protection against breast cancer. This is because oatmeal is packed full of natural phytochemicals such as enterolactone and lignans. These phytochemicals provide protection against a variety of hormone-based cancers, including breast cancer.
It helps reduce stress and anxiety – Yes, we aren’t done yet, the benefits of oatmeal just keep coming and coming. Experts have also recently discovered, that there are a number of ingredients and compounds found within oatmeal, that can help keep away stress, anxiety, and even depression. The main reason for this is that it contains compounds that communicate with the brain, convincing it to produce more serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter chemical that helps make us feel calm, relaxed, and tranquil. It also helps to promote sleep, rest, and relaxation in the process, as does the magnesium found in oatmeal. All of this means that, when it comes to stress and anxiety, due to the fact that you feel happier, calmer, and more relaxed, stress and anxiety soon become things of the past. For the ultimate comfort food that is actually healthy and beneficial, instead of unhealthy junk food, why not grab yourself a creamy bowl of oatmeal instead?