bowl of oats with raspberries, cherries and flowers

This Delicious Breakfast has the Trifecta of Calcium, Protein and Iron

It’s nice to have a habit that’s good for you.

I’ve eaten this breakfast for 15 years and won’t be giving up any time soon.

Rolled oats are one of those foods I eat and hear every cell in my body singing hallelujah.

Why I’m an Oats Evangelist

Oats are cheap, portable, don’t need refrigeration, and they’re satisfying to eat. You could eat them homeless or living in a slum.

For such a simple food, but it’s a powerhouse of minerals, vitamins and fibre.

Oats are packed full of energy and they’re soothing at the same time.

Steel Cut, Rolled and Quick

glass jar with lid open that is fuill of rolled oats

There are different kinds of oats but they all start from the oat kernel, which is wrapped in a stiff outer shell.

The difference between steel cut oats, rolled oats and quick oats is simply the way the shell is removed and how much of it is taken. Different processing also reduces the perishability so they are ‘shelf-stable’.

Steel cut oats are the least processed and chewier. They take the longest time to cook, around 15 minutes in a saucepan.

Rolled oats are steamed and flattened. They are soft and I store them in a glass jar out of the light. I shake some in a bowl, pour in just enough water to dampen them, then cook for one minute in the microwave. My personal preference is rolled oats.

Quick oats are the same as rolled oats but have been cut even smaller to reduce the cooking time. They become mushy and porridge-like quite easily.

All of them are good for you and naturally gluten-free. Check the packaging if you’re concerned about cross-contamination from the equipment used in processing.

The breakfast trifecta: protein, calcium, iron

Most of all, I love oats because they win the elusive breakfast vegan trifecta.

Want to be vegan but concerned you won’t get enough protein? Eat oats for breakfast.

Concerned you won’t get enough iron? Eat oats for breakfast.

Worried about getting enough calcium? Eat oats for breakfast.

A serve in the morning is generally half a cup, which is 40 grams.

If you look at the nutrition panel, you’ll see this little friendly fighter packs a 13.1 g of protein per 100 grams.

Not bad!

If you eat a standard serve, you’re getting 5.25 grams of protein.

But here’s the thing. No one just eats oats by themselves. They taste a bit bland so we add things.

My Rolled Oats Recipe

cut red apple net to white cereal bowl containing oats and chunks of apple

When I say I have the same breakfast every morning, the truth is that it’s never the same. The ingredients (or toppings) change. They are seasonal. And I can adjust it to whatever I feel like.

Rolled oats are the base.

  1. Add some freshly chopped apple, pear, banana, kiwi fruit, whatever is in season. The citrus or apple pieces give me some sweetness. No honey or sugar is necessary.
  2. Add a small handful of mixed (unsalted) nuts. These add even more protein and give it a crunch. I like the crunch.
  3. This is optional, but I like it. I add some plant-based milk like soy, oat, almond, or hazelnut.

Often, plant-milks contain additional calcium, but the oats themselves have around 200 milligrams of calcium, which is more than a glass of milk.

There’s virtually no fat, no salt, and a good shot of beta-glucan, which sweeps away bad cholesterol or LDL.

What’s more, oats are high in iron. As a non-haeme form (or plant-based iron), the addition of the citrus in the fruit makes the iron more easily absorbed.

Oats Fight Diabetes and Cancer

Just because we have multiple sclerosis, doesn’t mean we can’t get anything else. Fortunately, oats help us stave away other bad illnesses and reduce our risks of cancer.

If you’re having an active MS flare-up, oats will help soothe the inflammation.

Oats are anti-inflammatory with 24 phenolic compounds including many unique to oats.

They have free-radical scavenging capability.

Oats improves our good gut bacteria with bifidobacterium, lactobacilli, and akkermansia muciniphila. It’s a mouthful. If you ever require a cancer immunotherapy, these bacteria will help you become one of the 20 percent who respond well to the therapy, as this article in Nature reports.

When it comes to akkermansia, it does some serious heavy lifting. It’s only found in the gut microbiome. It’s like a mucus and it is associated with lower type 1 and 2 diabetes, multiple cancers, fatty liver disease, and intestinal inflammation, as this other article in Nature advises.

We know that 70 per cent of our energy comes from our gut. With a healthy gut microbiome, we start to feel more powerful.

Perfect holiday food

Even when we’re on holidays, I buy a bag of oats wherever we go because it makes the holiday less expensive to self-cater breakfast. I’ll buy a good coffee when we’re out for the pleasure, but the cost of buying breakfast every morning on holidays is eye-watering. No need. A bowl of oats and I’m ready to go walking.

Rolled oats cost usually less $1.60 per 900 g bag. It lasts for about two weeks.

It’s also versatile enough to add to cakes, smoothies, home-made cookies and slices.

Yesterday I made apple and cinnamon mini-muffins with oats and flour. Sadly (or not) no-one noticed them. The kids certainly weren’t bothered. After chomping through about five each, the rest of the batch disappeared into their lunch boxes this morning.

Happy kids, happy life.

The Bottomline

If you have multiple sclerosis, or you think you may, this is what I recommend based on my experience.

Have this breakfast for three days in a row. See how you feel.

Add the fruits you choose. Add the nuts you like. Or seeds.

When you’re sick of it, stop eating it.

I’m still not ready to stop.

Be well xo

green mortar and pestle with textvreadin Food Medcine FDiet for MS on marble bench backgriound with basil leaves

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