Whether you are considering oats as a breakfast option, or you are adding it to your smoothie or flakes, you are surely making a bowl full of nutrition. Oats are a whole grain that belongs to the grass family of plants. Oats take time to cook in their whole form; thus, they are preferred in rolled, crushed, and steel-cut forms and are mainly eaten as porridge. Being versatile food, you can incorporate them into your meal or can even eat them as a snack.
In recent years, oats have gained a lot of popularity being an incredible source of dietary fibers, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and that is what mainly contributes to oats benefits.
What are Oats?
Oats are a type of cereal grain commonly brought in use for breakfast. They are a member of the Poaceae family and are scientifically known as Avena sativa. Oats are grown mainly in cool climates and are popular in regions such as North America, Europe, and Australia. Oats are known for their high nutritional value and are a rich source of dietary fibre, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. They can be eaten in various ways, such as in breakfast cereals, granola bars, oatmeal, and oat milk. Oats can also be used as an ingredient in baking, such as cookies, muffins, and bread.
What is Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is a type of porridge made from ground oats, which are boiled in water or milk to create a creamy, hearty dish. It is a breakfast essential, which is a good source of fiber, protein, and other essential nutrients, making it a healthy and satisfying option for breakfast or any other meal of the day. The oatmeal can be flavoured with a range of ingredients, such as fruit, nuts, cinnamon, and honey, to make it more tempting and delicious
How to Incorporate Oats into Your Diet?
Oats are a nutritious and versatile food that can be incorporated into your diet in many ways. It makes an ideal breakfast option but can also be incorporated into several other recipes, which taste delicious. Here are some ways you can add oats to your diet.
This is the most common way to eat oats. You can make it with water or milk and add your favourite toppings like fruit, nuts, or seeds.
Combine oats, milk or yoghurt, and your favourite ingredients in a jar or container, and let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, you have a nutritious breakfast ready to go.
Add a scoop of oats to your favourite smoothie recipe for added fibre and texture.
Oats can be added to muffins, bread, cookies, and other baked goods for a nutrient boost.
To make oat flour, you can grind oats in a blender or food processor. Use it in place of wheat flour in recipes for a gluten-free option.
Oats can also be used as a binder in savoury dishes like burgers or meatloaf.
Disclaimer: Start with small portions and slowly increase the portion size as your body adjusts to the extra fibre.
Health Benefits of Oats
1. Lower Cholesterol Levels
The major reason for cardiovascular problems is high cholesterol levels. Oats are high in beta-glucan fiber, which is known for reducing harmful LDL cholesterol levels. Only a half bowl of porridge is enough for lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of a heart attack.
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2. Aids in Type 2 Diabetes
Again the credit goes to the beta-glucan content of oats that moderate both glucose and insulin response after a meal, preventing one from type 2 diabetes. A 4-week diet of oatmeal can show amazing results in stabilizing blood sugar levels.
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3. Oats Benefits Help Your Skin
It is not only the intake of oats that can prove to be beneficial for your health but even external use can make your skin healthy. Various skin care products and facial masks have oats as an ingredient in them. Colloidal oatmeal can soothe skin itching, treat atopic dermatitis, and reduce psoriasis symptoms. Oats starchiness retains your skin moisture, while its fibrous husk works as a skin exfoliator.
4. Boost Fullness
It is a big win to add oats to your daily diet as it keeps you full for a longer time. The fiber content in oats plays a vital role in balancing your energy and promoting weight management by making you eat fewer calories. As per a study, oatmeal is one of the best breakfast food.
5. Relieve Constipation
The insoluble fiber content in oats can increase weight and water content in stool, improve intestinal health, and treat irregular bowel movements. Studies have found that oats can help in curtailing the constipation problem, making it easy to pass stool.
6. Benefits of Oats for Weight Loss
One of the most prominent benefits of eating oats is that it is effective for weight loss. Oats have low calorie and high fiber content making it perfect for those looking for an effective weight loss diet. There are various oats online that can help in weight loss. As oatmeal keeps you filled for longer hours, you don’t get the urge to add more calories by eating junk and unwanted food. It is time to replace your less-nutritive cereals with oats.
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7. Oats’ Advantages Protect Your Heart
A variety of oats nutrition and antioxidant is known to protect our hearts. It is one of the benefits of significant oats.
- Copper: Western food is often devoid of this mineral, which is necessary for heart health, and oats have decent copper content in it.
- Fibers: Oats, oat bran, and oat flour have enough soluble fiber in them and can help in reducing the risk of coronary heart diseases. Beta-Glucan fiber also reduces LDL cholesterol and protects our heart.
- Antioxidants: The presence of antioxidants like avenanthramides protect our cells from free radicals, which further prevents us from heart problems.
8. Gluten-Free Diet
Those who are gluten-sensitive always look for some healthy gluten-free alternative and believe nothing can be better than oats as a gluten-free diet. Oats can fulfill the nutritional requirement of people with celiac disease by providing enough minerals and fibers. But make sure that your oats are not contaminated with gluten. Check with the manufacturer or product label before buying it.
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9. Control Blood Pressure
When counting the health benefits of oats, one can never forget how this whole grain is used as a medication to lower blood pressure. The antioxidant avenanthramides increase the production of nitric oxide that helps to enlarge blood vessels and promote better blood flow, reducing blood pressure.
10. Improves Immune System
Wholegrain meals are known to have a very good effect on our immune system. Studies have found that the beta-glucan fiber content of oats helps to identify the infection more quickly and then remove the bacteria as soon as they found it. Moreover, the selenium antioxidant present in oats reduces the risk of impaired immune.
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11. Help You Get Good Night Sleep
Although it is said that oatmeal is a breakfast food, we should never limit it to only breakfast. Oats are even good for a sound sleep. A bowl of oatmeal contains a decent amount of melatonin and complex carbohydrates that release more tryptophan into the brain, which leads to better sleep.
12. Maintains a Healthy Gut
Our gut contains billions of bacteria, and unhealthy bacteria could lead to health issues. Oats are prebiotic food that helps you maintain a healthy gut. They transfer undigested food to the colon and then promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
Oats benefits lie in their high and unique nutritional properties. Incorporating oats into a daily diet can have evident effects on your health and body. Besides, oats’ calories are significantly lower than other whole grains, which makes it a perfect weight-loss food.
Oats nutrition composition includes almost all that you require for a healthy start to the day. It is loaded with fiber, especially beta-glucan, protein, fats, carbs, and essential vitamins and minerals. Let’s deep dive into the oats’ nutrition facts so that you can decide how much to eat in a day.
Oats Nutritional Value per 100g Serving
|Nutrients||Oats Nutritional Value per 100g|
|Riboflavin||8% of Daily Value|
|Vitamin B6||6% of Daily Value|
|Folate||14% of Daily Value|
|Iron||26% of Daily Value|
|Magnesium||44% of Daily Value|
|Phosphorus||52% of Daily Value|
Oats Calories: A 100 grams cup of oats contain approximately 374 calories.
Carbs: 60 grams (67% of Daily Value)
The 11% carb content of oats is fiber, and 85% is starch. The starch content in oats is different from other grains. We can have three types of starch in it: Rapidly digested starch (7%), slowly digested starch (22%), and resistant starch (25%). And the fiber content found in oats is mainly soluble fiber, known as beta-glucan.
Antioxidants: Oats are a powerhouse of various unique antioxidants such as:
- Avenanthramides that is only found in oats and can help in regulating blood pressure, and controlling inflammation in arteries.
- Ferulic acid is a type of polyphenol antioxidant found in oats.
- Phytic acid is known to impair the absorption of minerals.
Oats Protein: 16.9 grams
Oats offer a higher amount of protein than any other grains. 80% of oats’ protein content is avenalin which is hard to find.
Oats Side Effects
Don’t misunderstand us – Oatmeal is genuinely one of the healthiest breakfast alternatives one can opt for. Indeed, oatmeal is approved as the most prominent breakfast to attain a long life. But oats do not differ from the other foods, it too has side effects like the rest. In this article, we will introduce you to some of the side effects of oats.
1. Muscle Mass Shedding
Although oats are one of the best food to help you shed some weight but consuming too much of it can cause malnutrition and muscle mass shedding. This is because oatmeal is rich in fiber content, which keeps you full for a longer duration and restrains you from consuming food for longer hours. Ultimately, the body loses control over metabolism and cognitive function, as it develops a habit of eating after a long duration. Therefore, you will not get the proper nutrition required to build a healthy body as you cut down your meals.
2. Can Cause Belly Bloating
Oatmeal because of its high fiber content makes the process of digestion slow, which ultimately leads to bloating. It is advised to have oatmeal in a small portion if you are facing a gastric problem. The bacteria present in the gut and large intestine consume the oatmeal rich in glucose, fiber, and starch resulting in gas and bloating.
3. Reduce the Nutritional Palette
Having oatmeal for breakfast supplies you with all the energy and nutrition required by the body to kick start your day. Consuming oatmeals on a daily basis restricts you from having a variety of food options in the diet chart. Opting for different healthy food options not just brings variation in taste but also nourishes your overall heath with various essential nutrients required by the body.
4. Can Ruin Your Weight Loss Goals
Consuming oatmeal in large portions daily may lead to weight gain in place of weight loss. This especially happens because of the added toppings. Many people add toppings like peanut butter, chocolate chips, syrup, etc. But oatmeal prepared with water, fruits, and less sugar is the ideal meal for someone looking to lose some weight
5. May Hike Your Sugar Intake
These days, people want to stay fit and are open to food options that are healthy and have high nutritional content. But can’t compromise with the taste. Many health freaks like their oatmeal to be a little sweet in taste as they hate the boring taste and flavor. So to achieve the sweetness people try to add sugar, chocolate chips, syrup, and other food items to enhance the taste. This reduces the nutritional value of the Oatmeal. instead of providing health benefits and nutrition to the body, it leaves it with additional fat, carbs, calories, and sugar
Oatmeal is often used as an anti-hair-fall product and is good for hair because it is rich in vitamin B. Oats’ benefits for hair include healthy hair growth, increase in volume, and exfoliating properties.
Oats are low in calories, and there are a lot of benefits of eating oats daily:
* Lowers the risk of heart disease
* Manages weight
* Reduces cholesterol
* Aids indigestion
Oats have high nutrition value. 40 grams (1/4th cup) of oats contains about 5 grams of protein.