When you eat oatmeal every day, this is what happens

People all over the world enjoy oatmeal. Need proof? The world's oatmeal market was valued at $2.31 billion in 2018, and is projected to reach $3.32 billion by the end of 2026, according to Fortune Business Insights. Egypt and China have been enjoying oats for thousands of years, according to KRCU, while America was introduced to oatmeal pretty late in the game. We considered oats to be horse food until Quaker Oats came along in the late 1800s and successfully convinced us otherwise.  

There are many reasons people choose oatmeal as their morning meal over eggs and bacon. Some eat oatmeal out of convenience, some enjoy the taste, and many believe oatmeal is a healthy breakfast alternative, when given a choice. There are several convincing arguments for why you may want to integrate oatmeal into your own daily routine, according to Everyday Health.

You'll benefit from important vitamins, minerals, and protein

Oatmeal provides a mix of important nutrients, such as magnesium, zinc, and iron, plus it's naturally gluten-free. Magnesium is important for heart and brain health, while zinc aids our immune system, and iron boosts energy (via Purity Products). 

You might be surprised to learn a half cup cup of oatmeal actually has the same amount of protein as one large egg (via Self), and there are endless ways to increase the protein in a bowl of oatmeal by adding nuts, protein powder, nut butters, or milk (via Nutritious Life). If you want an even bigger boost of protein, you can mix an egg into your oatmeal. Just finished a hard workout? Oatmeal is also one of the best ways to replenish muscles and refuel your body, according to Food Network.

The fiber content may help you lose weight

Oatmeal contains a good amount of fiber, which is sorely lacking in most American diets. According to GQ, the average American barely eats half of the recommended daily serving of 25 to 29 grams of fiber per day, if they're lucky. Here's the good news: A  cup of cooked oatmeal contains 4 grams of fiber. Adding another fiber-packed food, such as raspberries or blackberries, will boost the fiber content of your breakfast even further, according to My Food Data. The fiber in oatmeal helps you feel fuller faster, and longer, than other foods, thereby helping some people manage their weight more easily, according to Medical News Today

You'll help improve cholesterol levels, and regulate your blood sugar

Has your doctor ever told you that your cholesterol is too high? According to the Cleveland Clinic, eating one and a half cups of oatmeal per day can lower your cholesterol by 5 to 8 percent. Furthermore, one study followed participants for 13 years, concluding that eating oatmeal instead of bread of eggs every day could lower the risk of stroke (via American Heart Association). 

Meanwhile, for diabetics, or anyone else wanting to avoid blood sugar spikes, the soluble fiber in oatmeal helps slow down the absorption of the carbohydrates, according to Diabetes Self-Management. Additionally, oatmeal has a low glycemic index (the lower the GI number, the less likely the food you eat will cause a spike in blood sugar). However, the lower GI only applies to unflavored varieties of oats, not that yummy, processed, flavored, instant oatmeal that contains added sugar.

How to eat more oatmeal

Okay, so how do you go about integrating more oatmeal into your life? The first step is to choose an oatmeal that suits your lifestyle, according to Simply Oatmeal. Steel cut oats for instance require 25 to 30 minutes to cook, while old fashioned oats take five minutes on the stove, quick oats cook in one minute, and instant oats can be done in 90 seconds in the microwave (via Good Housekeeping). 

Don't like the taste of oatmeal? There are plenty of ways to spruce up an otherwise boring bowl of oatmeal. Get creative with the spices in your pantry, add your favorite low-salt, low-sugar peanut butter, throw a fried egg on top, or add fresh fruit. The options are endless, and you'll feel as though you're eating a different meal every time.