Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth so if it is currently included in your daily diet, that’s great. If not, read on and maybe you will be convinced to try and possibly like oats and benefit from it- health wise.
Oats are great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. They’re gluten-free whole grain. One cup (81g) of dry oats contains 8.2 grams of fiber, the recommended daily intake of fiber is 25g for women and 38g for men. Minerals - oats contain manganese, selenium, phosphorus, fiber, magnesium, and zinc
Oats are a whole-grain food, known scientifically as Avena sativa. Oats were first cultivated in 1,000 BC in central Europe and were brought to America in the early 1600’s by European explorers, such as Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, who planted them off the coast of Massachusetts. Scottish and Dutch immigrants first used them in traditional porridges, puddings, and baked goods. Currently, Vermont has the highest per capita oatmeal consumption in the United States, where it is often consumed with another local favorite, maple syrup.
Types of Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a ground porridge made from oats. Steel-cut oats still contain the whole oat grain, including the oat bran. They are passed through steel cutters, which chop them into pieces.
- Rolled oats are de-hulled then steamed, which partially cooks the oat, and then flattened between two rollers. They are sometimes referred to as old fashioned oats.
- Instant oatsare produced the same way as rolled oats, but they are steamed for a longer period of time to completely cook them before the drying process. Instant oats often have sweeteners or flavors added to them.
As a general rule, the less processed the oats are, the more fiber they contain and the more health benefits can be gained from eating them. They’re also often included in muffins, granola bars, cookies and other baked goods.
Here are the Health Benefits of eating oats and oatmeal
- Amazingly Nutritious
The nutrient composition of oats is well-balanced.
They are a good source of carbs and fiber, including the powerful fiber beta-glucan and contain more protein and fat than most grains. Oats are loaded with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds. Half a cup (78 grams) of dry oats contains: Manganese (191% of the RDI); Phosphorus (41% of the RDI); Magnesium (34% of the RDI); Copper ( 24% of the RDI); Iron (20% of the RDI) ; Zinc ( 20% of the RDI); Folate (11% of the RDI); Vitamin B1(Thiamin) (39% of the RDI); Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) (10% of the RDI)
- Rich in Antioxidants
Whole oats are high in antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols. Most notable is a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, which are almost solely found in oats.
Avenanthramides may help lower blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide. This gas molecule helps dilate blood vessels and leads to better blood flow
3. Contains Beta-Glucan( Powerful soluble fiber )
Beta-glucan partially dissolves in water and forms a thick, gel-like solution in the gut.
Beta-glucan fiber can:
* Reduced LDL and total cholesterol levels.
* Reduced blood sugar and insulin response
* Increased feeling of fullness
* Increased growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract4.
4. Can Lower Cholesterol Levels (Also protects LDL cholesterol from damage)
Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. One major risk factor is high blood cholesterol.
Beta-glucan fiber in oats is effective at reducing both total and LDL cholesterol levels.
Beta-glucan may increase the excretion of cholesterol-rich bile, thereby reducing circulating levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Oxidation of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol, which occurs when LDL reacts with free radicals, is another crucial step in the progression of heart disease.
It produces inflammation in arteries, damages tissues and can raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
5. Can Improve Blood Sugar Control
Type 2 diabetes is a common disease, characterized by significantly elevated blood sugars. It usually results from decreased sensitivity to the hormone insulin.
6. May Help in Losing Weight
Oatmeal is a nutritious breakfast meal and can be filling and may help you eat lesser calories and lose weight. By slowing down the time it takes the stomach to consume food, the beta-glucan in oatmeal may increase the feeling of fullness.
7. May help with Skin Care ( Finely Ground Oats )
Oats can also be included in numerous skin care products. Skin care benefits pertain only to oats applied to the skin and not those that are eaten. Makers of these products refer finely ground oats as “colloidal oatmeal.” This can also be use in treatment of itch and irritation in different skin conditions.
8. May Help Decrease The Risk of Childhood Asthma
Among children, asthma is the most common chronic disease. Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways-the tubes that carry air to and from the lungs.
Although not all children have the same symptoms, many experience recurrent coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
One study reports that feeding oats to infants before the age of 6 months is linked to a decreased risk of childhood asthma
9. May Help Relieve Constipation
Elderly people often experience constipation, with infrequent, irregular bowel movements that are difficult to pass.
Laxatives are often used to relieve constipation in the elderly. However, while they’re effective, they’re also associated with weight loss and reduced quality of life.
Studies indicate that oat bran, the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain, may help relieve constipation in older people
In conclusion, Oats is one of the healthiest grains most people of all ages can eat anytime of the day. The health benefits are wonderfully amazing, its considered heaven sent.