In botanical terminology, oats are known as “Avena Sativa.” It is categorized as a type of cereal grain. It is cultivated from Poaceae, which is a family of plants similar to grass. Oats are the edible portions of the grass that mostly an essential part of the daily breakfast for many people.
Oats are rich in several nutrients and is considered to be the healthiest breakfast that one can have. Although many people do not like having it, its nutritional importance cannot be ignored. FDA has permitted food labels that claim that it reduces risks of heart diseases.
Fiber both soluble and insoluble
Health Benefits of Oats
Oats have the benefit of having a number of scientific pieces of evidence to prove that they are good for health. Some of these health benefits prominently include loss of weight, reduction in the risk of heart disease, and regulation of blood sugar. Oats are useful in flourishing the body with antioxidants. It is also enriched with polyphenols that helps in the regulation of blood pressure, improvement of blood flow.
In terms of the blood sugar level, its importance cannot be neglected. Oats contain Beta-Glucan, which is a type of soluble fiber. Beta-glucan helps in improving the response to insulin and helps in reducing levels of sugar in the body. As stated before, oats are rich in vitamins and minerals. All of this, combined with low levels of calories, makes it suitable for people who wish to lose weight.
Since it fulfills the dietary requirements and does not provide the body with caloric content. Another role in reducing weight is by reducing levels of cholesterol in the body. Oats help lower LDL or the bad type of cholesterol in the body. However, it does not affect HDL. Beta-glucan also protects the digestive tract from harmful bacteria. This subsequently creates a positive effect on the GUT. Oats are rich in fiber, which makes it great to relieve constipation. Oats help in the movement of waste in the digestive tract.
1. Coronary Heart Disease
Oats and other subsidiaries of oats such as oat flour and oat cereal help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
This was because of the reduction of bad cholesterol from the body without affecting the quantity of good cholesterol. This was concluded based on a study that performed a literary review of various articles of more than a decade.
2. Colorectal Cancer
People who consumed oats and food is rich in fiber had lower risks of colorectal cancer. The studies were published in a research paper.
The study concluded that for every 10 grams of fiber in the diet, there was a 10% reduction in the chances of developing colorectal cancer.
Oats are rich in antioxidants. It also contains a plant-based compound called polyphenols. The most important group of antioxidants in oats is called the Avenanthramides. These are only found in oats.
Avenantrhramides help in the regulation of blood pressure. This is by an increase in the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide causes dilation of blood vessels and hence improved circulation of blood. Another essential antioxidant found in oats is Ferulic Acid.
Oats are rich in fiber and another type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan. Beta-glucan has several benefits. When dissolved in water, it forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract. Hence this results in the protection of GUT. It also helps in the growth of good bacteria.
Type II diabetes is caused due to increased levels of sugar in the body. Another important function of Beta Glucan can be seen in this condition.
Because of the protective coating of the GUT by Beta Glucan, the emptying of the stomach is delayed. This eventually causes the absorption of glucose in the blood. Oats also help to improve the sensitivity of receptors to insulin.
6. Weight Loss
Oats are nutritionally filling food items. Oatmeal or porridge should be the breakfast of choice for people who are overweight.
It does not contain any calories. People who eat oatmeal as breakfast consume less amount of food for the rest of the day. This will reduce obesity in people. Obesity has now become a global concern for many health care departments all over the world.
7. Skin Care
Oats have now started to gain popularity in skincare products as well. For this purpose, finely ground oats are used. Finely ground oats are also sometimes called colloidal oatmeal. FDA has also approved colloidal oatmeal to have skin protective properties.
It is used for several skin conditions that cause irritation and inflammation of the skin. These might especially be helpful in eczema. An important point to note is that oats for skincare should not be consumed.
Side Effects of Oats
Oats are generally very safe to consume only if they are consumed in the recommended quantities. There are a few side effects that might be observed
1. Oats may cause bloating and intestinal gases. In order to minimize this, it is better to start off with smaller portion sizes and then gradually increase.
2. Lotion of oat extract if safe to use topically. It is advised to do a skin patch test if you are first time users of this lotion.
3. People who have trouble chewing or who have missed teeth and ill-fitted dentures should avoid eating oats. This is because oats that are not adequately chewed may cause intestinal blockage.
4. People with trouble in the GI tract should also avoid oats.
Oats are a true blessing for everyone around the world. They are filled with nutrition. So much that they are categorized as one of the nutrient-rich foods staples. They produce multiple actions in the body that are helpful in several ways.
At the end of the day, a bowl of oats in breakfast will not only keep you healthy but will also improve your overall health and fitness. Furthermore, it helps in the prevention of several diseases that chronically affect a large population of people.