Eat oatmeal to help your heart
How do you prefer your oatmeal with fruit or nuts? Eating a bowl of oats as part of a healthy breakfast has long been touted as a great way to start your day.
According the Whole Grains Council, oats contain soluble fiber, which has been shown to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. And now new research shows a bowl of good old-fashioned oatmeal could also benefit the heart even more than originally thought.
The research, presented at the 247th Annual Conference of the American Chemical Society, found that avenanthramide (AVE), a compound found only in oats, may possess anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-itch and anti-cancer properties. The culmination of the studies suggests that oat AVEs may play an important role in protecting the heart.
“While the data to support the importance of oat beta-glucan remains, these studies reveal that the heart health benefit of eating oats may go beyond fiber,” Dr. Shengmin Sang of the Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University said in a press release. “As the scientific investigators dig deeper, we have discovered that the bioactive compounds found in oats – AVEs – may provide additional cardio-protective benefits.”
The research presented found the benefits of oat AVEs include:
- Anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties protect against the formation of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Suppress the production of inflammatory cytokines associated with fatty streak formation in the arteries
- Repress the process associated with the development of atherosclerosis
“There is no question that oats are an important component of a heart-healthy diet,” says Dr. Irina Staicu, cardiologist on staff at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington and with Advocate Heart Institute. “As scientists continue to study oats, even more potential heart-health benefits may be found.”
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Staicu says that while some of the causes of heart disease are beyond ones control, many are not. By following a healthy diet and leading an active lifestyle, she says, it is possible to reduce the risk of heart disease.
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