Oats are like Clark Kent and his alter ego, Superman: They can be the most timid whole grain in your pantry, but they make an amazing transformation when punched up with some creative, nutritious toppings.
Before we get to toppings, let's give oatmeal its props as a superfood. Researchers at Louisiana State University determined that eating oatmeal in the morning makes you feel fuller for longer than if you took in the same number of calories from a boxed ready-to-eat cereal. The hero in this satiety story is the soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which thickens when it mixes with liquid in your stomach. This combo leads to slower digestion and slower increases in blood sugar, both of which can help quell hunger. Beta-glucan also helps maintain healthy cholesterol numbers for better heart health.
Other research suggests that oatmeal acts as a prebiotic, something that feeds and, in turn, grows the population of beneficial bacteria in your gut.  What's more, oats provide high-quality complex carbohydrates to energize daily workouts, along with a range of essential nutrients, including B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus.
So, the next time you wake up hungry for oatmeal, deck out your bowl with any of these power couples!
The Foundation: Start with Perfect Oats
Skip the rolled oats or sugar-laden instant oats and buy the heartier, steel-cut version. For a fast getaway in the morning, use this overnight-soaking trick:
Topping 1: Ricotta and Raspberries
This dynamic duo supplies oatmeal with a creamy sweetness that's sure to release an early-morning dopamine surge. adds additional calcium and protein to your morning routine, and is one of the best dairy sources of whey protein, a nutrient that helps build muscle.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates whey protein helps maintain healthy blood pressure.
The raspberries add natural sweetness and they're a fiber powerhouse, with 4 grams for every half-cup serving. Plus, they're a good source of vitamin C.
Topping 2: Carrots and Walnuts
Many people struggle to eat enough vegetables, so why not use oatmeal to sneak in a little more? Shredded carrot adds earthy sweetness and beta-carotene, which your body converts into immune-boosting vitamin A. A Journal of Nutrition study found that higher consumption of beta-carotene helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Crunchy walnuts are a leading source of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Among people with normal waist circumferences, ALA has been associated with the ability to maintain healthy blood-sugar levels. 
Topping 3: Matcha and Avocado
An ultra-healthy import from Japan, matcha is like green tea on steroids. Made by finely grinding up green tea leaves, matcha provides huge amounts of the potent antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). In fact, one study found that matcha can supply up to 137 times more EGCG than typical green tea prepared by steeping the tea leaves.
Matcha is also a good source of caffeine and the compound L-theanine, both of which have been shown to improve attention and memory, and maybe dissolve your morning brain fog.
Avocado is another nutritional overachiever, full of fiber, cholesterol-busting monounsaturated fat, and a range of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C.
Topping 4: Egg and Baby Spinach
Most people think of oatmeal as a sweet dish, but it can also become a savory porridge. So get cracking and top off your bowl with a poached egg! A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people following a high-egg diet (an average of 2 eggs each day) had about the same blood cholesterol numbers as people on a low-egg diet (eating less than 2 eggs a week).
What's more, egg lovers reported less hunger and greater satiety following their breakfast. Credit the high-quality protein in the whites for making a breakfast egg dish stick with you longer.
Baby spinach has a neutral flavor, so it can sneak its way into oatmeal without making your morning meal taste like a salad. A touch of spinach will give you extra doses of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
This savory oatmeal can also perform double duty as a satisfying lunch.
- Rebello, C. J., Johnson, W. D., Martin, C. K., Xie, W., O’Shea, M., Kurilich, A., ... & Greenway, F. L. (2013). . Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 32(4), 272-279.
- Valeur, J., Puaschitz, N. G., Midtvedt, T., & Berstad, A. (2016). British Journal of Nutrition, 115(01), 62-67.
- Fekete, Á. A., Giromini, C., Chatzidiakou, Y., Givens, D. I., & Lovegrove, J. A. (2016). The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 104(6), 1534-1544.
- Harding, A. H., Wareham, N. J., Bingham, S. A., Khaw, K., Luben, R., Welch, A., & Forouhi, N. G. (2008). . Archives of Internal Medicine, 168(14), 1493-1499.
- Wang, Y., Chung, S. J., McCullough, M. L., Song, W. O., Fernandez, M. L., Koo, S. I., & Chun, O. K. (2014). . The Journal of Nutrition, jn-113.
- Heskey, C. E., Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Sabaté, J., Fraser, G., & Rajaram, S. (2016). . The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 103(4), 1105-1110.
- Weiss, D. J., & Anderton, C. R. (2003). . Journal of Chromatography A, 1011(1), 173-180.
- Dietz, C., & Dekker, M. (2017). . Current Pharmaceutical Design.
- Fuller, N. R., Caterson, I. D., Sainsbury, A., Denyer, G., Fong, M., Gerofi, J., ... & Markovic, T. P. (2015). . The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 101(4), 705-713.
- 10. Juanola-Falgarona, M., Salas-Salvadó, J., Martínez-González, M. Á., Corella, D., Estruch, R., Ros, E., ... & Lapetra, J. (2014). . The Journal of Nutrition, 144(5), 743-750.