Grains are the most important sources of nutrients and so are oats. In fact, oats are considered as the healthy grains as they are gluten-free and a good source of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and more. Numerous studies have been proving the health benefits of oats and oatmeal, since decades. Some of the many health benefits of oats include reducing heart disease, lowering blood sugar levels, reducing weight, etc. To learn in depth about these amazingly healthy grains, read on!
What Are Oats and Oatmeal?
Oats are scientifically known as Avena Sativa. Common breakfast, oatmeal is prepared by boiling oats in milk or water. This is generally referred to as oats porridge. Oat groats is the whole-form of oats, that can take a long time to cook. Hence, most people prefer crushed, rolled or steel-cut oats. The highly processed oats variety are instant (quick) oats, which take short time for cooking. Oats are also included in baked and other food varieties like muffins, cookies, granola bars and other baked goods.
Nutritional Benefits Of Oats:
NUTRITION FACTS SERVING SIZE 156G
AMOUNT PER SERVING
Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g
Saturated Fat 2g
Total Carbohydrate 103g
Dietary Fiber 17g
Amounts Per Selected Serving
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)
Amounts Per Selected Serving
What Are The Nutrients In Oats?
Whole oats contain endosperm, bran, and germ and so is a replete with nutrients. More important nutritional facts about oats include:
- Oats are lower in calories, where 1 cup cooked oats contains 145 calories, lesser compared to brown rice (which offers 216 calories in 1 cup).
- Oats offer low carbohydrate content and rich in iron.
- The sugar-content in it is low and a considerable fat content in it is available.
- They are full of powerful fiber beta-glucan and have more protein and fat compared to most grains.
- Half a cup (78 grams) of dry oats contain: 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; Smaller amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B3 (niacin).
More importantly, whole oats are full of antioxidants like Avenanthramides and Ferulic acid.
The nutrient-loaded oats contribute to incredible health benefits. Some of them are listed below.
Health Benefits Of Oats:
The beta-glucan fiber in oats is one of the major nutrients that contributes to a lot of health benefits of oats.
1. Reduced LDL and Total Cholesterol levels (1):
Oats can lower the cholesterol levels and protects LDL cholesterol from the damage. Thus, aiding in the prevention of the heart diseases. The circulating levels of cholesterol in the blood is reduced by the excretion of the cholesterol-rich bile, hence avoids inflammation in the arteries, tissue damage and the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Thus, oats improve cardiac health.
2. Reduced Blood Sugar And Insulin Response (11):
Oats are highly beneficial in lowering the blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity, especially in people with overweight. Oats take time to digest and thus, not causing spike in glucose levels in the body.
[Read More: How To Reduce Sugar Level In 12 Ways]
3. Increased Feeling Of Fullness (12) And Reduces Body Weight:
The effect is due to the beta-glucan’s ability to form a thick gel that causes fullness in the stomach, besides glucose absorption of the blood. Beta-glucan may also promote the release of hormone peptide YY (PYY), a produced in the gut in response to eating and lead to reduced calorie intake. Incorporating oatmeal into the majority of your meals can reduce the calorie-intake without making you feel deprived.
4. Helps Build Immune Levels:
Antioxidants in oatmeal and the phytonutrients are healthy and aid in improving the immunity levels. The body can fight against many disorders and diseases like heart diseases and cancers.
6. Oats Prevent Childhood Asthma:
Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways, the tubes that carry air to and fro from a person’s lungs. This may develop as the risk of childhood asthma. Studies indicate that introducing the solids increase a child’s risk of developing asthma and other allergic diseases (30). However introduce oats early as they may actually be protective.
7. Oats For Constipation:
The fiber-rich oat bran may help relieve constipation, particularly in elderly people (35, 36). According to a study conducted on 30 patients, the well-being was improved within 12 weeks in those who consumed a dessert or soup made of oat bran. Also, oats are believed to increase the bioavailability of B12 in older adults (12).
8. Help Fight Cancer:
The antioxidants in oats can help combat cancer, while the fiber can prevent rectal and colon cancers. Fiber-consumption may also reduce the bowel cancer (13) risk.
9. Help Treat Hypertension:
Systolic blood pressure is believed to decrease by the oat-consumption. Hence, oats reduces your blood pressure levels, besides cutting down the risk of heart disease by 22%. As per a study, the soluble fiber-rich oats could be an effective dietary therapy for hypertension (15). The beta-glucan in oats also displays beneficial effects on carbohydrate metabolism and blood pressure levels in obese individuals (17).
10. Reduces Stress:
Known as comfort food, oatmeal reduces the stress hormone levels, besides boosting serotonin that induces calmness (18). All of this also contributes to a low blood pressure. The amino acids and other nutrients in oats help produce melatonin that is important for inducing sleep (29).
11. Oats Boosts Energy And Relieves Menopause Symptoms:
The irritability during menopause can be reduced by the oats. A type of phytoestrogens called lignans present in oats are beneficial in overcoming the menopause symptoms. Carbohydrate-rich oats are slowly absorbed by the body to offer long-lasting energy. The B vitamins in oats help the body metabolize energy.
12. Oats Promote Bone Health:
Essential minerals help enhance bone health. The silicon-rich oats play a major role in bone formation and maintenance. Silicon can aid with the postmenopausal osteoporosis (27) treatment.
Oats Skin Benefits
13. Oats For Skin Health:
Oats are found in many skin care products as the finely ground oats help with skin care. In Fact, the FDA approved colloidal oatmeal is skin-protective and has a long history of using it in the itch treatment of itch and irritation of skin conditions. Oat-based creams are widely used in relieving uncomfortable eczema symptoms (28).
14. Oats Treat Itchy Skin:
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of oatmeal can help treat itching due to dry and irritated skin (34). Also, an oatmeal bath can help. Just sprinkle baking soda and uncooked oatmeal in your bath water. Or use colloidal oatmeal that is finely ground specifically for the bathtub. Soak yourself in the bath water for 15 minutes and pat-dry the body. Apply moisturizer while your skin is damp (35).
15. Oats As Skin Moisturizer:
Mix 2 cups oats with 1 cup milk, add 1 tbsp honey. Apply on your skin and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water. The mixture removes dead skin cells and act as a natural moisturizer. The beta-glucan forms a fine film on your skin and can penetrates to offer the much-needed moisture. Oat-extract can also be used for the skin.
16. Oats Are Good For Hair Health:
Oats are effective in treating dandruff. Add a cup of oatmeal to the blender and grind by adding 2 cups water. Let it sit for 10 minutes, add 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and mix well.
Add a few drops of essential oil to the bowl and transfer the mixture into a shampoo bottle. Wet your hair with lukewarm water and run over your scalp. This oatmeal shampoo treats itchy scalp and prevents excess oil and dirt. This mixture treats dandruff help prevent hair loss. Read more natural remedies for hair growth
That’s the long list of benefits. Check how you can eat oats now!
How To Prepare Oatmeal?
Any oat-variety offers similar nutritive value, even though different varieties are cooked in different ways. Simple way to prepare oats include:
- Add oats to hot water and let them get softer.
- Add milk and cook further on low flame.
Turn off the flame after 5 minutes and the complete breakfast cereal of oatmeal is ready!
Oats Porridge Recipe
- 1/2 cup of rolled oats
- 1 cup (250 ml) of water or milk
- A pinch of salt
How To Prepare:
- Mix all the ingredients in a pot and bring it to a boil.
- Cook oats and stir occasionally.
Add cinnamon, nuts, fruits and greek yogurt to add taste.
Banana Oats Smoothie
- ¼ cup old fashioned oats
- ½ cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 banana, sliced into thirds
- ½ cup fat-free milk
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp honey
How to Prepare:
Combine all the ingredients and puree until smooth
Tips While Consuming Oatmeal:
- Do not consume oatmeal in excess as it may cause bowel distention and constipation due to high dietary fiber in it.
- If you are more prone to developing kidney stones or with gout, avoid too much oatmeal as the purines in it might cause kidney stones.
- Store oats in an airtight container for longer use.
- Consume a bowl of oatmeal a day and can have it anytime during the day.
- Improve the oatmeal taste by adding nuts, fruits, and raisins.
- Excess oat-meal consumption may increase high amounts of soluble fiber that results in excessive gas.
- Avoid instant oatmeal as it can turn rancid very quickly.
- Oats can be added to your smoothies or green smoothie.
- Oat flour can be used instead of corn flour to thicken sauces and soups.
- Oats used as a coating for tofu.
- Oatmeal can be used to make pancakes or porridge.
Oat bran can be sprinkled on your hot or cold cereal.
Side Effects Of Oats
Too much oats may cause bloating, flatulence, and abdominal cramps, due to high fiber content. It may also cause intestinal obstruction too in people with intestinal motility problems. Too much fiber with excess oat consumption may cause interference with pharmaceutical drugs and some nutrients. Excess cereal fiber can decrease the body’s absorption of calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium. However, not much side effects are linked to oatmeal, when consumed in moderate quantity..
Thus, oats are loaded with nutrients and offers immense health benefits. However, consult your doctor before including them to your diet to avoid side effects. Even if you wish to grab the amazing benefits of oats right away, do eat in moderate amount. Live a healthy life!
1.How Much Oatmeal Should You Eat A Day?
A. A standard serving size for oatmeal is 1/2 cup dry oats and 1 cup of water or low-fat skim milk. If you eat too much oatmeal, it is likely to cause weight gain. According to the USDA, 1 cup water mixed oatmeal offers approximately 165 calories.
2. Are Oats Good During Pregnancy?
A. According to the American Pregnancy Association, lack of fiber is the most common cause of constipation in the pregnant women. A bowl of oatmeal can surely boost the fiber content and help deal with pregnancy symptoms.
3. What Oats Benefits For Babies?
A. A lot of goodness and benefits of oats and oatmeal can be offered to babies. All the nutrients like fiber, protein, calcium, and some B vitamins offered by the steel cut oats are healthier and nutritious to babies.