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5 Reasons Cancer Patients Should Love Oatmeal

POSTED BY Pink Ribbon Cooking / December 12, 2013

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Oatmeal is one the most underrated and inconspicuous whole grains.  It is often regarded as a super food because of its ability to affect our health and wellness in a variety of different ways. 

Personally I enjoy steel cut oatmeal at breakfast most days of the week.  I find oatmeal to be satisfying yet not too filling, easy to prepare and it staves off my hunger and snacking triggers throughout my morning.

Steel cut oats (also known as Irish Oats or Coarse Ground Oats) include all three parts of the grain seed; the bran, endosperm and germ.  Processed or refined grains typically lack the bran and the germ, along with these missing elements comes a significant reduction in protein, fiber and nutrients.

Steel cut oats and rolled oats are generally the same things, however, they are processed and behave very differently.  Rolled oats are oats that have been steamed and rolled flat.  This is done in an effort to cut down on preparation time.  Steel cut oats are oats that have been cut across the groat (the whole oat grain seed) but yet are not hydrated in any manner.

Types of Oatmeal

Oats have a sweet, nutty flavor that encourages exploration.  With steel cut oats you get a delicate chewiness and bounce that allows them to replace many other grains at meals apart from breakfast.  I use steel cut oats in a risotto preparation with carrot juice that is a sensational tasting as it is healthy.

5 Reasons Cancer Patients Should Love Oatmeal

  1. Promote appetite suppression and satiety
  2. Boost immune health
  3. Reduce bad cholesterol levels
  4. Lessen insulin production and resistance
  5. Promote regularity

Appetite Suppression and Satiety

There are some epidemiological studies that suggest oatmeal’s soluble fiber, beta-glucan, in conjunction with appetite suppression hormones, might promote appetite suppression longer than other grains.

Oatmeal was ranked the #1 breakfast food in an epidemiological study evaluating the satiety levels and perceptions of those that ate them across 38 different foods.  Satiety is the sensation of being full and satisfied.  This finding is noting new, oatmeal has been widely respected for its ability to promote sating hunger relief and is an excellent food to have for breakfast.

Bolstering Immune Health and Response

The soluble fiber in oatmeal, beta-glucan, is also responsible for bolstering our immune system.  Studies have shown that oatmeal has a stimulating affect on the immune system and supports stronger responses to the defense of disease causing pathogens.

Reducing Bad Cholesterol

The soluble fiber in oats have also shown to lower serum cholesterol levels.  They do this by encouraging an increase in bile acid production and excretion.  Since serum cholesterol is bound to bile it is also excreted.

Less is More

Because steel cut oats contain the bran, germ and endosperm they provided more fiber than refined grains, allowing the carbohydrate to break down slowly, resulting in far lesser amounts of insulin being produced to counteract a spike in blood glucose levels.  This is beneficial since most western diets promote increased insulin production and resistance.

Keep it Moving

Beyond bolstering immune response, the insoluble fiber in oatmeal helps promote regularity and increases the functioning of your digestive tract and promoting good colon health.  The  selenium in oatmeal helps repair DNA and is linked with corresponding lower cancer risk, especially colon cancer.

In addition to the reasons above for those touched by cancer, oatmeal should become a regular in any and every pantry and kitchen because it is a moderate to low calorie whole grain at about 20 calories per dry weight ounce.  Pretty low compared to pasta at 45 calories per ounce.  Additionally, oatmeal, as do most whole grains, contains a good amount of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, making them perfect for a recipe for cancer patients.

Having oatmeal on hand is an easy choice.  Dried oats are very stable and have little risk of spoilage.  When possible store oats in an airtight container in a cool dry place.  Scoop out the required amount when you need to and seal the remaining for later use.

Below are a couple recipes that showcase the versatility, flavor, texture and character of oatmeal in a variety of forms, steel cut and rolled.

Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal Pancakes

Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal Pancakes

Steel Cut Oat Risotto

Oatmeal Risotto

Go ahead and try one of these delicious recipes and begin to build your own oatmeal repertoire.  

If you are touched by cancer please accept our free ebook, Cooking Through Chemo, as a gift to help you during your time of treatment.