11 Benefits of Oats, Plus a Breakfast Recipe
The daily consumption of oats lowers cholesterol, regulates digestive processes and gives us significant amounts of fiber.
In any preparation, oats are a grain rich in proteins, unsaturated fat and vitamin B. It is the cereal with the highest concentration of vitamins and minerals. Its beneficial properties for the skin are well known, as are its qualities to regulate the intestinal transit. The benefits of oats are numerous and nearly everyone can enjoy them.
Oats have been consumed for over 4,000 years, and in ancient times it was considered a food for the lower classes. But now this perception has changed because of all the beneficial properties that it possesses. For this reason, adding oats to any meal, whether breakfast, snacks, etc., is one of the best habits to help you stay healthy.
Ways to eat oats
There are many ways in which oats can be included in your diet. However, it is mainly consumed in two ways: as flakes or as bran. The main difference between the two is the process to which the grain is subjected to obtain the two variants.
Whole grain oats are the fresh cut part of the grain, shelled and toasted. To make oat flakes the whole grain is dried peeled and cut into smaller pieces and finally, sliced to form flakes. In the second case, oat bran, the whole oat is ground without removing anything from the grain.
As a result, oat bran is composed mainly of the outer layers of the grain, which means it has more protein and less carbohydrates than rolled oats. There is a tendency to prefer eating oat bran, as it has more nutrients (especially fiber). However, there is no proof that this variety is significantly better for your health than the other. Regardless of which one you choose, eating oats every day helps reduce cholesterol, regulates digestion and is a rich source of fiber.
Health benefits of oats
Oats contain abundant proteins and carbohydrates, healthy fats (unsaturated fat and linoleic acid), vitamins, minerals and trace elements. These properties make this grain a great source of energy, avoiding the feeling of tiredness which is caused by low glucose levels.
This cereal is an excellent source of B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin D. It also contains minerals such as calcium, which prevents osteoporosis. It is rich in iron, which helps carry oxygen to the body tissues. Along with this, oats provides zinc, which plays a key role in the functioning of insulin.
Another property of oats is that it is made up of 25% protein, more than any other cereal, because no other grain has such a concentrated amount. For example, oats have protein in concentration as high as meat, milk and eggs. In this way, our body uses protein from oats to form our muscles. In addition, protein is also necessary for maintaining our muscle mass.
Now then, oat shells contain six out of the eight essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, and phenylalanine. These help remove bad cholesterol (LDL) and stimulate the liver to produce more lecithin that helps to purify heavy metals from the body. This makes oats the most complete cereal there is. In comparison: wheat contains only one essential amino acid and barley and rye have none.
Moreover, the beta-glucans present in this food are components which absorb cholesterol and bile acids from the intestine. This helps prevent harmful compounds from passing into the body and helps eliminate them naturally.
Oats also have properties beneficial to the skin. You can find it in various creams, ointments and soaps to exfoliate and moisturize. In addition, taking baths with this cereal can be used to combat various diseases, infections and skin irritations thanks to its emollient properties. It can also be used as a very effective home remedy to combat herpes and chicken pox.
Finally, this grain has a lot of fiber, especially oat bran, which helps regulate the intestinal tract and reduce cholesterol. Because of this, not only is it an effective remedy for constipation, but it also reduces bile acid by diminishing their toxic capacity.
The 11 Benefits of Oats for Your Health
Oats are also known as the queen of cereals due to their many natural health benefits, vitamins and minerals. Below are eleven ways in which eating oats can improve the functioning of your body.
Regulates the digestive system
Because of its good amount of soluble fiber, oats help digest food and regulate the digestive system. Eating oats prevents constipation and facilitates intestinal transit. Also, a glass of water with a teaspoon of oat flakes helps relieve acid reflux and heartburn.
Consuming whole grains every day is a good way to lower the levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol in the blood. Thanks to linoleic acid and the fiber that it contains, oats prevent cholesterol from passing through the intestine. At the same time, the fiber also cleans the fat deposits that accumulate on the walls of the arteries. All this protects the body from developing hypertension, a heart attack or any other heart problem.
Controls blood sugar levels
Oatmeal is highly recommended for diabetics, since its soluble fiber stabilizes blood sugar levels. Because it reduces the absorption of sugar in the intestine it also lowers blood pressure. It is important to point out, unlike other cereals, this grain in particular provides more carbohydrates than other types of fiber.
As it is very rich in protein, eating it favors the production and development of new tissues in the body.
Oats, like other grains, have plenty of phytochemicals, which are plant-based chemicals that help prevent the development of cancer. Phytoestrogens and lignans found in this grain are linked with a decreased risk of hormones related to breast cancer. The beneficial effect of the photochemical components of oats in preventing other cancers such as endometrial, ovarian and prostate cancer, is still being investigated.
It keeps you satiated
A breakfast of oats keeps the body satisfied longer than one with cereal and milk. This is because oats contain slowly absorbed carbohydrates, allowing a more prolonged satiety effect and greater control of the levels of blood sugar.
Rich in calcium
Oats have a good amount of calcium, which helps prevent bone demineralization.
It is beneficial for the skin
The flakes from this gain have a powerful cleansing action on the skin. It absorbs all the dirt and debris that accumulate in the pores, providing a deep clean. In this way it becomes a natural way to keep the pH balance of the skin without harsh chemicals. Also, the oils contained in oats are excellent to prevent dehydration of the skin. Likewise oats can be very relaxing and help you fall asleep.
It can help you lose weight
Eating oats for breakfast every day helps people maintain control of their weight and lose weight gradually. You can eat oat flakes with a glass of milk or mixed with yogurt. The recommended daily amount is two tablespoons so we don’t exceed the recommended amount of calories.
It contains vitamin B complex
Vitamins such as B1 and B2 are essential for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. About 100 grams of oats meet 40% of the daily requirement of vitamin B1.
It is good for the thyroid
Eating oats help prevent hypothyroidism, because it contains iodine, a mineral that help the thyroid gland operates correctly.
Oats can be consumed by all people regardless of age. There is no record of bad effects nor have any contraindications been described for eating oats so long as you eat it in the appropriate and recommended dosages. However, a small group of people may be allergic to oats.
To prepare a delicious and unique bowl of oats to start the day you need:
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 6 almonds
- 2 walnuts
- 1 teaspoon raisins
- Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger (optional but highly recommended)
How to prepare it …
- Place the oats to soak overnight. Later, remove the water and place the oats in a pot with half a cup of fresh water.
- While it is cooking add the cinnamon, cardamom and a pinch of ginger.
- When it starts to thicken you add a little more water to prevent the oats from sticking.
- You can sweeten the oats with honey to taste, then add the raisins and chopped almonds and walnuts and it’s ready to serve.
- You may add cocoa powder, dried or fresh blueberries, banana chunks, fruit jam, and so on.