The Herbs of Smoothie Essentials: Oat Bran

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The world-renowned Mayo clinic recommends oats and oat bran as the number one food you can consume to lower your cholesterol level.  This is because oat bran is incredibly high in soluble fiber, one of two types of fiber – the other being insoluble fiber such as wheat bran – we need for a healthy digestive system.

Soluble fiber, so-called because it dissolves in water, reduces the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad”cholesterol we hear so much about.

Famous physician and healthy living guru Dr. Deepak Chopra likens oat bran and soluble fiber to a sponge that soaks up bad cholesterol in your system. Even adding just a moderate amount to your diet can lower you risk of heart disease, and if you already have heart disease, oat bran can slow it’s progression.

He also claims most Americans get less than half of the dietary fiber they should, and that to reap the cholesterol-lowering benefits of soluble fiber most adults need five to 10 grams per day. What’s more, it can also reduce a person’s chances of becoming diabetic.

Oat bran contains 76 grams of soluble fiber per cup, according to the USDA. Adding just a few spoons to your diet daily is an easy way to ensure you get enough soluble fiber.

Soluble fiber works by mixing with water in your intestines, forming a gelatin-like substance with prebiotic properties that can be fermented in the colon. It slows digestion, giving your colon longer to pull valuable nutrients out of your food as you digest it.

Aside from the fiber, oat bran is low in calories, contains a fair amount of B vitamins, helps keep blood glucose levels steady and can fill you up more easily and keep diet-busting munchies at bay.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/fiber-cholesterol_b_879059.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oat  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fiber/NU00033

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