Oats and Honey–A Nutritional Galaxy
Oats and honey together creates a nutrition galaxy. As I stirred a spoonful of honey into my breakfast oatmeal, I smiled in anticipation of the deliciousness I was about to enjoy and the incredible health benefits I was getting from all that good flavor. Honey and oats are each nutritional stars on their own. Putting them together in a bowl or mixed into a recipe, produces a nutritional galaxy.
Oats have more dietary fiber than any other grain. They contain manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. They are also rich in Vitamin E. Oats have been proven to lower the risk of heart disease, coronary artery disease, cholesterol levels and the risk of colorectal cancer. Oats do not contain gluten, but since they are often grown with or near wheat, people who are gluten-intolerant should be careful and try out a small quantity first. Of course, the health benefits of the oats you eat, depend on what type they are.
If you are eating instant or quick-cooking oats, most of the oat bran has been stripped off, removing most of the fiber, vitamins and minerals and leaving a powdery product that has a thin consistency when mixed with water. The healthiest oats that are still convenient to cook are rolled oats (which cook in 8 minutes) and steel cut oats (which cook in 25-30 minutes).
Many cold cereals feature oats and honey in their names. Study the nutrition labels, however, and you will see the product is loaded with sugar. Honey is only a minor ingredient except in the cereal’s name. We can, however, substitute honey for sugar in our own cooking. That bowl of oatmeal I wrote about is a REAL honey and oats cereal!
Honey contains a balance of fructose and glucose that can help regulate glucose levels. It is the best choice for sweetening, though it, too, should be used in moderation. Honey boosts energy levels, builds up the immune system with anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties, and helps prevent and fight cancer.
Oats and honey—a nutritional galaxy indeed!