Unfortunately, endothelial function often deteriorates in folks who are overweight or obese or who have glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. But in a 6-week study of overweight adults, a daily bowl of oats helped improve the way endothelium -- that thin layer of cells lining the inside of blood vessels -- functioned. Researchers speculate that the phytoestrogens and beta glucan in oats had something to do with the effect.
Maintaining good endothelial function helps reduce the risk of heart and coronary artery disease down the road. And overweight adults aren't the only ones who need to be concerned about it. Normal-weight people can have impaired endothelium, too. So whether you're big or little, oatmeal is a smart breakfast choice. Here are some clever ways to yummy-up your oatmeal:
- Time strapped in the morning? Make this Overnight Oatmeal recipe before you go to bed.
- Need a little something to chew on? Try this Maple Crunch Oatmeal recipe.
- Are you a chocolate lover? Indulge your craving with this Cocoa-Date Oatmeal recipe.