If oatmeal is nothing more to you than morning mush, it’s time to think beyond the bowl. As a food, oatmeal is full of the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you need to keep your heart happy through the years. Oats can also rejuvenate your skin, as well as spruce up your living space. Here are ten ways that just one canister of oatmeal can work wonders for your well-being:
1. Help your heart and curbs cravings.
One reason why oatmeal is prized as a health-booster: it’s loaded with soluble fiber, a major weapon against high cholesterol. The soluble fiber in oatmeal also helps slow down digestion, leaving you with a longer-lasting feeling of fullness so you’re less likely to overeat. To start your day off, choose an oat-packed breakfast cereal or oat-enriched nutrition bar. And when that sweet tooth kicks in, use toasted oats as a topping for crisps, and explore your oat-flour options when it comes to baking scones, cookies, muffins, and other treats.
2. Help banish belly fat
Did you know that people who eat oats every day may have less belly fat than those who go oat-free? To get your daily fill, try sneaking oatmeal into soups, using oats as a substitute for breadcrumbs, and opting for oat flour when making bread or pancakes.
3. Supercharge your stamina
Include oatmeal in your pre-workout smoothie to walk or bike longer and burn more calories. Beta-glucan, a soluble fiber found in oatmeal, may help pump up your endurance during exercise sessions.
4. Ease sleep troubles
Oatmeal might help you snooze better: it’s rich in melatonin, and it’s got plenty of vitamin B6 (a nutrient often found at low levels in people with sleep problems). Shake off your insomnia by making a nighttime snack of oats, yogurt, berries, and a drizzle of honey.
5. Freshen up your kitchen
To keep your fridge free of strong food odors, place a small bowl of oats at the back. Like baking soda, oats help soak up bad odors. It also tackles tough cooking stains. For help cleaning your cast-iron skillet, scrub the pan with ground oats to get rid of grease and stubborn food particles.
Known as avenanthramides, certain compounds in oatmeal can help stop skin inflammation and irritation. So the next time you’re dealing with a sunburn, rash, or eczema flare-up, find relief by soaking in an oatmeal-infused bath. And it’s not just for humans – oatmeal baths are a great solution for your dog’s itchy skin, too.
7. Quench dry scalp
Here’s a super-hydrating home remedy for dandruff: slather your scalp with a cooled quarter-cup of moisture-replenishing oatmeal, let it sit for about 20 minutes, then rinse away and shampoo.
8. Get your glow back
One of the most surefire ways to liven up your complexion: exfoliate once or twice a week to slough away dead cells and restore your radiance. For an ultra-gentle do-it-yourself cleanser, simply blend ground oats with ingredients like applesauce, avocado, yogurt, or milk.
9. Mix up playtime
Help your grandkids whip up a batch of homemade clay by mixing a cup of oatmeal with a half-cup each of flour and water. After kneading the mixture until it’s smooth, kids can shape the clay into their own creations and then paint them once they’ve dried and hardened.
10. Tidy your counters
Get out your wrapping paper, ribbons and hot glue for a fun craft project – decorate an empty oatmeal container and turn it into a storage solution for your kitchen (dry foods like pasta and rice) or your bathroom (cotton balls and hair accessories). It can even take the place of your junk drawer and hold pens, batteries and other odds and ends.
So, next time you’re shopping the cereal aisle, be sure to stock up on oatmeal so you can try out some of these great tips.
More benefits of oats from the Whole Grain Council
Fun inspiration from Pinterest for reusing empty oatmeal canisters
Ideas for using oatmeal with your pets from Pet 360