Oats are full of dietary fibre – usually more than any other grain- and have a range of health benefits. They are loaded with soluble fibres which aid in lowering the cholesterol level of the body. The soluble fibre content helps in increasing the intestinal transit time, thus reducing the absorption of glucose. They also possess beta-glucan, a lipid-lowering agent. Additionally, they are packed with proteins and low in fats too. They justly top health food charts indeed.
Read on to know more!
Oats are one of the most popular breakfast choices among the health conscious societies. Be it a speedy fix for hunger pangs, a light and vigorous evening snack or the much-needed stamina to carry you through your hectic schedule, oats are the one superfood that can easily cater to all these needs.
Oats are a species of cereal grains that are grown for their seed. While oats are suited to human consumption as rolled oats and oatmeal, one of the other common uses is as food for livestock. Oatmeal is the processed form of oats for the purpose of easier cooking. They might be made by slicing and rolling the oat grains. Throughout the article, the mention of oats means oatmeal in essence, because that is what is consumed by humans.
Oats are full of dietary fibre – usually more than any other grain- and have a range of health benefits. They are loaded with soluble fibres which aid in lowering the cholesterol level of the body. The soluble fibre content helps in increasing the intestinal transit time, thus reducing the absorption of glucose. They also possess beta-glucan, a lipid-lowering agent. Additionally, they are packed with proteins and low in fats too. They top health food charts indeed. Read about more of its health benefits in the sections that follow.
You may find oats of varied kinds in the market. Some common ones are as follows:
- Whole Groats – These are whole kernels with the hull removed. They have a chewy and nutty texture, but they require the longest cooking time.
- Steel Cut / Irish – These are whole oat groats cut with a sharp steel blade. They are equally nutritious as whole groats but take lesser time to cook.
- Old Fashioned Rolled – To craft them, the whole groats are steamed and softened. Subsequently, they are pressed between rollers to form flakes. They are then dried. This variety takes lesser time to cook than the previous one.
- Quick Cooking – These are pressed thinner than the previous type and cook quicker than them.
- Instant – These are pressed the thinnest and get cooked quickest of all varieties.
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Selection: It is advisable to purchase smaller quantities of oats at a time since it is likely to go rancid quicker than other grains due to a little higher fat content. Like other grains, they might be available in both, packages and bulk. If purchasing in bulk make sure that the shop has enough product turnover to ensure freshness. Also, check for the presence of moisture and debris in oats.
Storage: Oats can last for about up to 2 months if stored in an airtight container in a dry, cool and dark place.
|Serving Size||100 g|
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 6.9g||11 %|
|Saturated Fat 1.2g||6 %|
|Sodium 2mg||0 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 66g||22 %|
|Dietary Fiber 11g||44 %|
|Protein 17g||34 %|
|Daily values are based on 2000 calorie diet.|
- Oats are a good source of soluble as well as insoluble fibre. This ensures regulation of bowel movement and prevention of constipation.
- The dietary fibre in oats helps in lowering the bad cholesterol of the body without affecting the good cholesterol. Thus, it aids in maintaining a healthy heart.
- Oats help in regulating the blood sugar level in the body. The fibre and complex carbohydrates content reduce the conversion of this whole food to simple sugars, and beta-glucan postpones the fall in blood sugar level before a meal and slows the increase after meals.
- Oats reduce hypertension. So, if you are a patient of high blood pressure, consume oats.
- Cholecystokinin- a hunger-fighting hormone- increases with oatmeal consumption because it contains a compound called beta-glucan, thus, giving a feeling of fullness and avoiding unnecessary food cravings. So, if you are looking to shed some kilograms, oatmeal consumption can do wonders.
- The risk of hormone-related cancers such as ovarian, prostate and breast cancer is reduced by oats consumption.
- Oats consumption boosts the immune system. Beta-gluten, the unique fibre in oatmeal, has been shown to help neutrophils get transported to the site of an infection quicker and also enhances their ability to eliminate the bacteria found there.
- Oats are not only rich in fibre and carbohydrates but also higher in protein, vitamins, minerals and fat than most other grains. Thus, they are very nutritious.
- Oats possess many potent antioxidants, including avenanthramides. These compounds have anti-itching and anti-inflammatory effects. They reduce blood pressure
- Finely ground oats are used to treat itchy and dry skin and also to relieve symptoms of skin disorders such as eczema.
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There are no side effects of oatmeal as such. However, since they have very high amounts of dietary fiber, they can cause problems in the digestive system initially when the body is not used to them.
Oats also possess purines, which may form kidney stones and increase uric acid levels, so if you are prone to developing kidney stones or have gout, it is best to avoid consuming too much of oatmeal.
Here’s how you can make tasty dishes by using oats. Follow the below-given links: