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Come on—you know better than that! Put down that sweet roll, and take a trip back to your childhood when your mother put a nice steaming bowl of oatmeal in front of you on that cold winter morning to warm up your belly before your trek to school.
Yes, we missed National Oatmeal Day, which was yesterday. But given all the health benefits of oatmeal, there's no way it should be relegated to only one day of the year—or to a childhood memory.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Check out these five reasons to eat your oatmeal:
1. Oatmeal is composed of oats, a whole grain, and it's an excellent source of fiber. That sweet roll? Not so much. Fiber keeps your digestive system humming along and regulates your cholesterol level and blood sugar levels, among the many things it does.
2. Oats are filled with vitamins including potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, folate and B vitamins, especially B1, essential for a healthy nervous system. They also contain lignans, a plant compound and antioxidant that has been shown to help prevent heart disease. Look for steel-cut oats, which take longer to cook, but retain more of their nutrients. Rolled oats are the next best choice, with instant oats, which often have added sugar and artificial flavorings, the last choice.
3. Oatmeal doesn't have a lot of calories and it's filling. With so much fiber and so many complex carbohydrates, it makes your digestive system work and leaves you feeling satisfied. You'll be less tempted to nibble in an hour or two. That's certainly a contrast to all those heavily advertised sugary cereals with the cartoon characters on the boxes!
4. That fiber can also help lower your blood pressure. A medical study demonstrated that adding whole oat cereals to the diet of patients with high blood pressure lowers both types of blood pressure.
5. Oatmeal goes well with a host of other healthy foods. Don't ladle on the sugar. Instead, reach for a handful of berries, cinnamon, your favorite nuts, sesame seeds, apple or banana slices, a glob of yogurt, maybe a little honey (but just a little). Toss in a handful of one of those great superfoods like chia, hemp or flax. Let your imagination go wild and multiply the nutritional value of that morning—or anytime—meal.
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A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.
"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."
The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
Michael Schade / Twitter
At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.
The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.
Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.
"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."
Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.
Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.
"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.
"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."
The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.
Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.
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