Granola is a food made up of a mix of grains , seeds, dried fruits, cereals and honey. If used correctly, it is a great ally of good health, able to prevent cancer, pregnancy problems and even weight loss.
As it is a mixture of ingredients, it has numerous and varied nutrients. The base of this food consists of cereals (oats, amaranth, corn flakes), seeds (almonds, walnuts, chestnuts), dried fruits (apricots, raisins, coconut chips) and sweetener (honey, brown sugar). However, recipes may vary.
To avoid adverse effects, it is important, above all, to avoid exaggeration, respecting the recommended daily portions, and to make good combinations, always opting for healthy and natural alternatives. Below you can see the advantages of consuming the granola and also indications as to how to consume it.
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Health Benefits of Granola
According to nutritionist, Sidrack Vila Nova Filho, oatmeal is an essential ingredient of traditional granola and helps to prevent various types of cancer. “Oats are rich in isoflavones and vitamin E, powerful oxidants that help prevent the formation of cancers, such as colon and breast cancer, for example”, he highlighted.
Diabetes Prevention and Control
Another great benefit of granola concerns diabetic patients or people who have high blood glucose levels. As it is rich in soluble fiber, granola helps in decreasing the absorption of sugar during digestion. The nutritionist explains that this process can help control blood glucose.
Favors intestinal transit
It is still a healthy ally of the intestinal flora, fighting problems such as constipation .
“The insoluble fiber present in the ingredients of granola is characterized by not being digested in the gastrointestinal tract (TGI), which helps in the formation of fecal cake, in addition to hydrating the stool due to greater water absorption,” explained the expert.
This process helps to increase peristalsis (movement to “push” the fecal lump), which allows for better elimination of feces and consequently prevents/treats constipation.
Insoluble fiber also helps to heighten the feeling of satiety as it takes longer to digest, making the body less needy for food.
According to Vila Nova Filho, “this is a beneficial process for those who are trying to reduce the amount of food eaten daily in order to lose weight.”
Another great medicinal advantage of granola is that, if used correctly, it can act as a hypocholesterolemic food. “In addition to reducing sugar absorption, soluble fibers absorb part of the bile acids that will be excreted in the feces, which leads to a reduction in the cholesterol formation process ”, says the nutritionist.
Improved cognitive function
Granola is rich in fatty acids that are critical to brain health. “This nutrient is essential for the constitution of brain tissues as well as for the proper execution of its functions, which helps to improve the individual’s cognitive capacity”, he explains.
In addition, it is also capable of improving healthy memory parameters and preventing or even helping to treat illnesses associated with mental health.
A peculiar performance of this food is that it can be very good for pregnant women. According to the nutritionist, “the omega-3 of granola is an essential nutrient for the fetal period, since it is associated with the formation and neurological development of the fetus .”
The specialist also recommends that pregnant women should make adequate consumption of this nutrient from before becoming pregnant and throughout pregnancy. But to do this without any risk, the ideal is to consult a nutrition professional.
Contributes to cardiovascular health
“Granola is rich in several minerals that participate in cardiovascular metabolism, such as potassium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium and calcium, which are necessary for good blood circulation, reducing pressure ”, he explains.
Fiber also helps lower cholesterol and LDL, which prevents lipid profiles prone to atherosclerosis.
Helps tissue health
The vitamin E and minerals present in granola make it a powerful ally for tissue health, having the ability to delay the aging of epithelial cells, improve the elasticity and support of connective tissues, as well as muscle contraction.
Granola makes you fat?
If used the wrong way, yes. But it is possible to consume granola and lose weight , the secret is to eat the right way and with low-calorie foods, such as natural yogurt or skim milk. In general, you must remember that there is honey/brown sugar in the composition of the granola, so you shouldn’t overeat, or it will represent an increase in fat.
How to consume granola correctly
One of the main mistakes when consuming granola is eating it with foods that can be caloric and harmful, such as industrialized açaí, ice cream, high-calorie yoghurts and sweets.
To eat granola without weight on your conscience, what is recommended is to eat 1 tablespoon of granola for breakfast along with low-calorie foods, such as a glass of natural yogurt or skimmed milk , for example. You can also eat this amount of granola with a fruit such as papaya , banana or avocado .
Important care when consuming
It’s important to note that depending on the ingredients used in granola, its benefits will vary. In fact, it is necessary to be careful because some granola can be rich in sugar and fat, which can stimulate inflammatory conditions in the body and favor the appearance/worsening of non-communicable chronic diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis and obesity.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.