Ever wondered if that granola breakfast, or mid-day snack had any health benefits?
Spoiler: It does!
Adding a little granola to your breakfast, or trail mix, no longer has to be a guilty pleasure, but a healthful decision. Granola has a plethora of health benefits including lowering cholesterol, improving digestion, aid in weight loss and improving heart health, energy levels, and improving the immune system.
But that’s not all!
What makes granola… granola?
Granola is usually made up of rolled oats, and a few additional ingredients depending on the brand, recipe and flavor. Some people like to make granola with oats, honey and nuts, while others go for a more generic mixture of oats, sugar and an oil to coat and glaze the oats. The mixture is baked to a crisp and is then ready for munching.
Granola can be used in a trail mix, breakfast bowls or as an ice cream topping. Many love to pack granola in a bag, and go, because they don't have to worry about it losing shape and coming to pieces (because it already started in pieces!) For a healthier granola batch, mix your granola with nuts, dark chocolate, fresh fruit like strawberries and bananas, or add granola to your cereal for a boost in early morning nutrition.
Now onto those benefits!
Health benefits of granola
Because granola is rich in fiber, it aids in digestion and can sometimes aid in weight loss. Granola contains both soluble and insoluble fibers which work at regulating digestion. The soluble fibres help alleviate symptoms of constipation while the insoluble fibers hardens the digestible food for a better bathroom experience (we think you know where we’re going with this.)
The high fiber content in granola is actually what aids in heart health. The fiber in granola can clean the arteries of LDL cholesterol and omega-6 fatty acids, which are the main links to severe heart conditions.
Granola is low in cholesterol and sodium, and instead gives the body that full and satisfied sensation through its high fiber content. It is also believed to inhibit the release of ghrelin, which is the hormone responsible for sending off the signals that you’re hungry and should keep eating.
Granola can also increase energy levels, which is certainly an effect we’re looking for in the early hours of the day. Because granola encourages healthy digestion, you don't end up wasting energy on a sluggish and imbalanced digestion during the day.
Furthermore, granola can improve the condition of your skin with its abundance of vitamin E. Vitamin E is responsible for your skin’s health. It is responsible for protecting your skin cells, and is one of the main reasons why natural skin advocates promote oatmeal masks for cleaner, glowing skin.
And lastly, granola is a great source of protein, for vegans and meat eaters alike. If you’re simply a vegetarian then you can get your protein from the milk or yogurt. For a complete protein add granola to soy yogurt or a bowl of cold soymilk.
Hungry for granola? Us too!