What Are Some of the Health Benefits of Oatmeal?

Oatmeal is a good source of fiber and has been shown to aid in digestion, provide sustained energy and control blood sugar. When mixed with water and applied topically, oatmeal can act as an anti-inflammatory to itchy or irritated skin.

Oatmeal helps decrease low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol that contributes to heart disease. The grain contains both calcium and potassium.

The fiber in oatmeal has multiple benefits, including an appetite suppressant. Oatmeal contains both soluble and insoluble fiber; the latter aids in cleansing the colon. MedicalDaily.com lists oatmeal as a grain that might help prevent colon cancer or coronary disease when eaten regularly.

Oatmeal is a positive addition to a diabetics diet. Oatmeal delays the emptying of the stomach, which releases sugar into the blood at a slower rate, in turn providing a beneficial effect on insulin levels.

Oatmeal ranks low on the glycemic index for carbohydrates, which means energy produced from consumed oatmeal is released slowly, allowing for increased stamina and endurance during periods of high physical activity.

WebMD.com recommends consuming oatmeal without any added sugar or sodium, which are commonly found in the pre-packaged or processed variety. The additives often counteract some of the food's health benefits.

Oatmeal comes in several varieties including instant, rolled, steel-cut, Scottish and oat groats, which are the unprocessed oatmeal grains.