Although oats are a cereal grain, if grown properly, they do not contain gluten. I thought I’d mention this because my regular readers will probably wonder why a Paleo enthusiast like me would be suggesting that you eat oatmeal.
Have you ever felt happier after eating a good bowl of oatmeal? It turns out that what you eat can have an effect on your mood. How? According to a 2016 study, tryptophan, an essential amino acid, directly affects your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a hormone that helps regulate your mood, anxiety, and happiness. People with depression often have low serotonin levels, along with a genetic or biological factor.
Therefore, adding foods high in tryptophan can put you in a better mood, and oatmeal happens to be one of those foods. The fiber in oatmeal helps regulate your blood sugar and mood and helps you feel full longer than other foods. In addition, the iron in oatmeal can also help put you in a better mood, since iron deficiency anemia is linked to depression, according to a 2018 study.
According to experts, foods with tryptophan can help with mood, depression, learning, memory, cognition, and aggression. But, unfortunately, you can only get tryptophan from foods, as your body doesn’t create this essential amino acid.
It has been shown that a half cup of rolled oats has just 154 calories and is a good source of protein, carbs, fiber, thiamine, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. WebMD reports that one cup of oatmeal has 147 milligrams of tryptophan. One cup of oat bran has 285 milligrams of tryptophan.
Ready to add some oatmeal to your diet? Let’s try it.
How to add oatmeal to your diet
Rolled oats are commonly used for oatmeal, but you can also find oat bran. The more processed the oats are, the fewer nutrients they contain.
The only oats you should stay away from are quick oats, because they are so processed and usually have added sugar and flavorings. They are the ones you typically find in individual packets that are microwave ready. Instead, stick to the rolled or steal-cut oats by checking the ingredients list. Look for ones that list only steel cut oats or rolled oats. That gives you complete control over what you want to add to it.
Try some overnight oats and transform your breakfast. It’s convenient and easy because it will be ready for you in the morning. Grab a container like a mason jar and add a serving of oats and your favorite milk. I suggest coconut or almond milk. You can add some sweetener to taste if you prefer. Two sweeteners you can add to oats are maple syrup and honey. Stay away from sugar. Cover and let it sit in your fridge overnight. Before you eat them, the next morning add your favorite fruits; I prefer blue berries.
Enjoy you breakfast and see if your oatmeal has put you in a better mood.
That’s it for now; see you all the next time.