Oatmeal. Nature’s Viagra.

Oats are a natural artery cleaner. Yup, even that one.

Oats are a whole food powerhouse – one that proves food is medicine. Fibre in oatmeal can lower our blood cholesterol levels so less gets stuck in our arteries, PLUS there are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytonutrients in oats that can help prevent atherosclerotic buildup which helps maintain arterial function.

My dad was in his 50’s when he had his first heart attack – over 30 years ago. There wasn’t the plethora of pharmaceuticals available that there are today. Interestingly, his physicians advised him to start eating more oats. He added oat bran to his morning regimen (super high in fibre). When he had his next angiogram, the doctors remarked that one of his arteries that had been completely blocked, had started to open up – allowing for some blood flow.

No drugs, no surgery.

To me, this was monumental. By simply adding oats, he demonstrated that one could reverse heart disease, not just stop it. Today we know this to be true however, most cardiologists aren’t going to write a prescription for a whole food, plant-based diet.

Dr. Michael Gregor, a general practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues, has this to say about oats and heart disease. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/can-oatmeal-reverse-heart-disease/

My kids roll their eyes at me when I make oatmeal for breakfast, but I do make the best oatmeal. Sometimes it’s served with fresh fruit and coconut milk, other times it’s with peanut butter and raw cacoa nibs. Then there are the places I use oatmeal that replace dairy and thickeners – like soups and sauces. Adding oatmeal not only ups the nutritional value (hello fibre!), it makes them creamy and thick. I’m trying not to follow in my father’s, and my two brother’s footsteps, at least heart attack-wise.