Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits.
Oat is one of the healthiest grains on earth. It is gluten-free, whole grain and an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants and important vitamins and minerals.
Here are 5 health benefits of eating oats.
What makes the oat cereal such a healthy breakfast option is that it has a very well-balanced nutritional composition, and will keep you energised and full for longer, without causing mid-morning sugar crashes or cravings. 30 grams of oats contain 109 calories, which is made up of 66% carbohydrates, 17% protein, 11% fiber and 7% fat. Broken down into grams, that is:
Carbohydrates – 19 grams
Fiber – 3 grams
Fat – 2 grams
Protein – 5 grams
Cholesterol – 0 grams
Half a cup (78 grams) of oats contain:
Manganese – 191% of your RDI
Phosphorus – 41% of your RDI
Magnesium – 34% of your RDI
Copper – 24% of your RDI
Iron – 20% of your RDI
Zinc – 20% of your RDI
Folate – 11% of your RDI
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – 39% of your RDI
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) – 10% of your RDI
2. Oats Are A Good Source Of Dietary Fiber
Most of the fiber in oats is a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which is an important immune-boosting nutrient. Beta-glucans lower cholesterol levels, potentially decreasing the risk of heart disease, and improve bile acids in the stomach. They may also reduce blood sugar and insulin levels after a carbohydrate-rich meal. Oats boast more soluble fiber than other grains, making them slower to digest, increasing satiety and suppressing appetite.
3. Oats Are A Good Source Of Plant-Based Protein
The protein in oats is high quality, with 80% of it being the avenalin, which is not found in any other grain, and is similar to the protein in legumes. Protein is an incredibly important macronutrient that needs to be fed to the body every single day. It is the major structural component of cells, and is therefore a building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, fascia and blood. It is responsible for building and repairing tissues in the body, and fills you up with few calories, so can actually aid fat loss.
4. Oats Are A Rich Source Of Antioxidants
Avenanthramides are a group of antioxidants only found in oats, and are incredibly beneficial to human health. They increase the production of nitric oxide, which helps dilate blood vessels, leading to better blood flow, which may help lower blood pressure levels. On top of that, these unique antioxidants have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects.
5. Oats May Aid Weight Loss
One of the reasons oatmeal or porridge is a great breakfast option is that it is very filling. Eating wholesome foods in the morning that fill you up and digests slowly helps you eat fewer calories throughout the day, ultimately aiding weight loss. This occurs because you are delaying your stomach from emptying food, prolonging your feeling full. Not only that, but the beta-glucan (fiber) in oats may also increase the release of a hormone called peptide YY, which is produced in the gut in response to eating. This satiety hormone also plays a role in reduced calorie intake, potentially reducing your risk of obesity.
The debate over carbohydrates has confused a lot of people, and in some cases, has led to dieters cutting out grain carbs altogether, which is detrimental to overall health and balance. Oats are 66% carbohydrates, making them a high-carb food, but they are a healthy carbohydrate that fuels the body, and actually aids weight loss. While they are high in carbohydrates, oats are low in sugar, and the carbs are broken down into 11% fiber and 85% starch, including 7% rapidly digested starch, 22% slowly digested starch, and 25% resistant starch. Resistant starch functions like fiber, escaping digestion and improving gut health by feeding friendly bacteria. Slowly digested starch is broken down and absorbed slowly, as the name suggests. Rapidly digested starch is broken down quickly and absorbed as glucose. Oats are a type of natural low-sugar carbohydrate that people should not be afraid of, and they should be consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet.