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Sow Your Oats to Save Your Gut

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Known for its heart-healthy qualities, oatmeal is also good for the gut. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition tested the intestinal bacteria of 10 volunteers who ate oatmeal for breakfast for one week. They found that the wholesome cereal alters the make-up of gut bacteria-for the better. They believe that oatmeal acts as a prebiotic, meaning food for probiotics, the friendly bacteria in our digestive system.

OAT-LOVER'S GLOSSARY

grain

OAT GROATS

Whole oats that have been toasted, hulled, and cleaned. In addition to being cooked as a hot cereal, groats can be used to make a chewy grain dish similar in texture to spelt or farro.

steel-cut-oats

STEEL-CUT / PINHEAD / IRISH / SCOTTISH OATS

Toasted oat groats that have been broken into three or four pieces.

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ROLLED/OLD-FASHIONED OATS

Groats that are steamed and rolled flat for quicker cooking. Rolled oats or quick-cooking oats work best in baked goods. For oatmeal that's both creamy and chewy, look for thick-cut rolled oats.

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QUICK-COOKING OATS

Oat groats that have been broken into pieces then rolled flat so that they will cook in four to five minutes. The tender choice for baked goods.

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INSTANT OATS

Thin, precooked rolled oats that need only be rehydrated with a hot liquid.

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