Improve Endothelial Function with an Oatmeal Breakfast

Keep your blood flowing freely to the heart with a bowlful of oats.

Oatmeal with berries and honey on a dark background

Regularly eating oatmeal appears to boost people's endothelial function. That's a fancy way of describing their arteries' all-important ability to dilate and keep blood flowing freely to the heart and other body parts.

Relax Those Arteries

Unfortunately, endothelial function often deteriorates in folks who are overweight or obese, or who have glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. But in a six-week study of overweight adults, a daily bowl of oats helped improve the way endothelium—that thin layer of cells lining the inside of blood vessels—functioned. Researchers speculate that the phytoestrogens and beta-glucan in oats had something to do with the effect.

Artery Benefits for All

Maintaining good endothelial function helps reduce the risk of heart and coronary artery disease down the road. And overweight adults aren't the only ones who need to be concerned about it. Normal-weight people can have impaired endothelium, too. So whether you're big or little, an oatmeal breakfast is a smart choice.

More On

What happens during an implantable cardioverter defibrillator procedure?

video

What happens during an implantable cardioverter defibrillator procedure?
Cardiologist Dr. Mehrdad Kevin Ariani explains what happens during an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) procedure. Watch this Ask the Expe...
What Medications Can Treat Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?

article

What Medications Can Treat Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?
If you are living with HCM, your healthcare provider may prescribe one or more of these medications.
6 Unexpected Effects of Heart Disease

slideshow

6 Unexpected Effects of Heart Disease
This common disease can hurt much more than your physical health.
Why is heart disease in women — especially women of color — so often overlooked?

video

Why is heart disease in women — especially women of color — so often overlooked?
The leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. Women, especially women of color, who exhibit symptoms of heart disease are often ...
How can I tell if I am having heartburn, angina or a heart attack?

video

How can I tell if I am having heartburn, angina or a heart attack?
Heart pain is generally very severe and increases gradually, where heartburn comes on after eating a large meal and then lying down. In this Ask the E...