We all love oatmeal, no matter if its quick oats, steel cut or rolled. Oatmeal is a diverse food that delivers a great source of fiber, iron, magnesium and energizing B vitamins. Not too mention it’s also been shown to help with digestion, and have heart health benefits. The best part of oatmeal is that you can add many different ingredients to add even more benefits, not to mention create many different flavors! Try these 8 healthy ingredients to help pump up your oatmeal!
Pumpkin puree is a great source of fiber, low in carbs and sugar. It’s also high in the antioxidant vitamin A, providing 170 percent of your daily value, as well as vitamin C, and energizing B6. Antioxidants are critical to muscle recovery and a healthy immune system. In a just 100-gram serving, pumpkin provides only 26 calories and 7 grams of carbs. Mix half a cup of pumpkin puree with a one-fourth cup of oatmeal, half a cup of almond milk, a dash of cinnamon and honey for some sweetness.
Chia seeds can be made into a pudding on their own due to their water-absorbing properties, but when added to oatmeal they can help provide a great source of good-for-you fats and fiber. In one ounce serving, chia seeds provide 7 grams of polyunsaturated fats, 10 grams of fiber and 4.7 grams of protein. They also deliver a whole lot of calcium at 17 percent of your daily value, 12 percent of your iron needs and 23 percent of your daily value of magnesium. Add a tablespoon of chia seeds to your oatmeal, to help keep you full and energized.
Flax can be found as ground or whole, either way they can provide an added fiber benefit. They’re low in carbs, gluten free and are rich in good-for-you fats and protein. They also provide 6 percent of your daily value of magnesium and 10 percent of your daily value of selenium, an important mineral needed for healthy thyroid function. They’re also rich in the antioxidant lignans and are great for digestive health. Lignans can bind to excess estrogen and package it for removal out of the body, helping keep your hormones balanced. Mix one tablespoon with your morning oats!
This yogurt boosts the highest amount of protein per serving at 10 grams of protein in 100 grams serving. It also provides 11 percent of your daily calcium needs, and has a rich and creamy texture due to removing its whey content. Mix half a cup of this yogurt with one-fourth cup of oats, your favorite nuts, seeds and berries. Pop it in the fridge, overnight and enjoy in the morning.
Not a fan of dairy? Almond milk is a low fat dairy alternative that has a creamy texture, and is of course lactose free. It’s also rich in the antioxidant, vitamin E, B-Vitamins, Riboflavin and Iron. Almond milk is also low in calories, providing about 40 calories per 1 cup serving and only 2 g of carbs. Choose unsweetened almond milk, or unsweetened almond with coconut milk. Add a half a cup almond milk, to one-fourth cup of oats, along with your other favorite ingredients, mix in a mason jar and sit it overnight in the fridge.
Shredded coconut adds fiber and texture, plus delicious taste of coconut and the benefits of coconut oil. Coconut oil provides a source of medium chain triglycerides, which are digested and used as a quick energy source similar to carbs. Shredded coconut provides about 71 calories per one-fourth cup, along with 7 grams of fat, and 2 grams of fiber in a one-fourth cup serving. Make a tropical overnight oats by mixing 1 or 2 tbsp shredded coconut, one-fourth cup oatmeal, half a smashed banana, and half a cup of almond milk. Blend, put in the fridge and enjoy in the morning.
Adding nut butter can provide a source of fiber, and good fats including monounsaturated fats. Nuts can help stimulate thermogenesis, the amount calories you burn, because they take more energy to digest versus other foods. Choose from almond, peanut or even cashew butter. Each provides about 100 calories per 1 tbsp serving and are high in vitamins and minerals. Mix with your oatmeal to help bind the oatmeal, or place on top!
Bump up your protein by adding a scoop of your favorite whey protein powder. Choose a whey protein that is blended, and not a straight isolate. A blended protein will provide more texture and creaminess versus an isolate. Per serving whey will deliver 25 to 30 g of protein. Mix one-fourth cup of oats, with 1 scoop of whey protein, half a cup of almond milk, sit in the fridge overnight, and add your favorite berries and nuts.