Need some healthy breakfast ideas? Look no further than oatmeal. Just a cup of cooked oatmeal contains 4 grams of fiber -- nearly the same amount that's in an apple or a cup of cooked brussels spouts. It's incredibly versatile and you can find it just about anywhere (even the drugstore!) so you don't have to compromise health when your stomach's grumbling and the options are limited. Below, find five reasons why eating oatmeal is an excellent choice for your health.
1. Oatmeal can keep you fuller than some other breakfast foods.
That glorious fiber that oatmeal boasts has the power to keep you from excessive snacking between mealtimes. A 2014 study published in Nutrition Journal showed that participants who ate oatmeal felt fuller for longer than those who ate the same serving size of Honey Nut Cheerios.
2. Oatmeal can help lower your cholesterol.
High-fiber foods famously benefit cholesterol levels, and oatmeal is no exception. The soluble fiber in oatmeal helps to reduce the body's absorption of "bad" cholesterol that can increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes, LiveScience reports.
3. Eating oatmeal may reduce your risk of cancer.
High-fiber, whole-grain foods — including oatmeal — have been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. A 2011 review in the British Medical Journal showed that the risk of colorectal cancer was 20 percent lower for people who consumed an extra 90 grams of whole grains each day.
4. Oatmeal is rich in a heart-protective plant chemical.
Delicious oatmeal is rich in lignans -- a plant chemical protective against cardiovascular diseases. Lignans can be found in other foods, like flax seed, broccoli and apricots.
5. Oatmeal is inexpensive.
You can buy a big container of the stuff for just a few bucks -- and a serving costs less than 20 cents. So it turns out oatmeal can leave both your stomach and wallet feeling satisfied.
Bonus: There are endless ways to eat oatmeal.
If you think oatmeal is boring -- or just a breakfast food -- you are mistaken. You can make savory dishes from the stuff: Top it with some Sriracha and a fried egg, bake it with some bacon or even mix it with some greens (avocado and kale add a really nice texture). And you can get a little creative with your favorite flavors -- try a couple of these recipes and experience the wonders of carrot cake oatmeal, toasted coconut oatmeal, Nutella oatmeal and more.