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This Breakfast Food Boosts Your Health, Big-Time

This Breakfast Food Boosts Your Health, Big-Time

One of the sneakiest problems in your body is inflammation. Even though you can't feel it, it goes about its business, encouraging the buildup of gunky plaque in your arteries. But new research suggests a humble grain -- oats -- might be able to fight this bad player. (Dr. Oz's 4 ways to fight inflammation)

The key compounds in oats are called avenanthramides. What sounds like an army of giant spiders from outer space is, in fact, a type of friendly molecule that dials back levels of inflammatory cytokines (potent immune system chemicals) in your body. When cytokine levels in your body stay high, they can spur the development of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Lower is better -- and oats may help you get there. That's on top of their ability to help whittle your waist, keep your arteries youthfully flexible, discourage heart-threatening blood clots, and whisk lousy LDL cholesterol out of your body.

Don't do oatmeal? Try sprinkling oats into other foods -- use them to thicken soups, add them to whole-wheat flour in muffins, use oats as a yogurt topping, or make an oat crust for a healthy berry crisp.

Or, try a refreshing and easy warm-weather oat dessert. Instead of cooking oats, let them soak during the day in Cointreau. Top with fresh fruit and you’ve got a great dessert. Or, for breakfast, let them soak overnight in milk or yogurt.

RealAge rates the best breakfasts. See how your morning meal stacks up.

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