Oatmeal, soups, and tea oh my! These three foods can bring a plethora of vitamins and minerals to your body. The best part is that they are easy to make and the recipes are endless. Let’s break them down and review the health benefits of each.
First up: Oatmeal
Believe it or not, oatmeal is wonderfully nutritious. Oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber which helps keep you healthy in many ways. Soluble fiber helps reduce cholesterol levels and reduces blood sugar levels. Individuals with diabetes or prediabetes can improve their insulin response by eating oatmeal due to the fiber. The soluble fiber helps you feel full and satisfied which ultimately helps keeps the hunger pains away. When you’re feeling satisfied it makes it easier to concentrate during class, you’ve heard the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal” so do yourself a favor and have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Oatmeal is fairly low in calories compared to other alternatives and is packed with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body.
Oatmeal is customizable and easy to make. You can add fruit, nuts/seeds, or honey to add even more health benefits. Stop by the Convenience stores in Drumlin & Esker to pick up some instant oatmeal and make them in your dorm! Check out these recipes:
Runner up: Soup
What could be better than a warm cup of delicious soup to give the immune system a good boost during this cold season? The health benefits of soup depend on exactly what you decide to put into your soup but none the less you can easily make an array of flavorful soups. You can pack a lot of vegetables in soup which helps add fiber as vegetables are packed with fiber. Adding vegetables and legumes to your soup helps keep your digestive system healthy and can also help reduce bloating and constipation. Making a big pot of soup can last the whole week which is always helpful when the semester kicks into full swing and the thought of cooking is on the back burner. Have no fear soup is hear! And it’s in your refrigerator ready to heat up. When making soup, all the nutrients from the vegetables, meat, legumes, or rice end up in the broth instead of being wasted down the drain. Drinking the broth in your soup helps ensure you get all the health benefits from the ingredients you have chosen.
Try these superfood recipes and curl up with a warm bowl of soup, don’t forget your homework!
Too busy to make homemade soup? Pick up a bowl of soup to-go at our many campus locations! Soup is now being offered in Freshens.
Last but not least: Tea
You have probably heard that tea is good for you and is full of antioxidants but what else does it do for your health? Evidence shows that tea helps keep the heart healthy due to the antioxidants that are in tea, specifically for black tea. Green tea, however, has been associated with helping lower your cholesterol and helping increase your good cholesterol. Oddly enough, Japanese researchers looked at the benefits of tea in relation to oral health. Their studies showed that the odds of tooth loss were significantly decreased. Who knew!
A personal favorite morning tea includes the following:
- 1 green tea bag
- ½ – 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon honey (preferably from farmers market or local farmer)
- ½ lemon
Use a coffee mug and add your water and tea bag. Heat in microwave for 2 minutes. Be careful as the cup may be extremely hot. Let sit for 1 minute so the tea can permeate the water. Discard of green tea bag, add your honey and stir, then squeeze the lemon into your tea. Once you have squeezed the lemon juice out, take the lemon and put it into your cup of tea. Let that sit for 10-15 minutes or longer while you get ready for the day. When you are ready to drink your delicious cup of tea, remove the lemon half and enjoy.
This specific concoction helps boost your metabolism and digestion for the day. It helps detoxify your body and enhance your liver function. To read more about the benefits of this honey/lemon tea click here: http://www.zestaceylontea.com/blog/benefits-of-lemon-tea-with-honey/
Stay warm this winter season and increase your health while you are at it. Don’t forget to stop by Willie’s coffee shop at the UC to enjoy a fresh cup of tea!
Written By: Rachael Omdoll, Campus Dietitian