Oats belong to the family of grains that is gluten-free and a good source of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. For many years, the health benefits of oats have been the subject of many types of research. Some of the proven benefits are related to low blood sugar, weight loss, and lessen the risk of heart diseases.
The most common way to consume oats is by preparing oatmeal. It also comes in varieties at different grocery stores such as whole oats and instant oats. Instant oats are highly processed oats that are easier to cook just by adding hot or boiled water. The healthier option is the oat groats which is the whole form of the grain that takes a longer time to cook. Aside from that, you will also find rolled oats and crushed oats for a more convenient option.
You can enjoy oats benefits by consuming it during breakfast or a snack that you can prepare using boiling water or milk. Today, the food industry is using oats as ingredients for baked goods like cookies, muffins, granola bars, and many more.
1. Nutrient Dense
Oats are the best source of complex carbohydrates and a special fiber called beta-glucan. This grain is a good source of protein and fat compared to other types of grains. Just 78 grams of half cup of dry oats are packed with nutrients such as manganese with 191 percent of RDI the highest mineral in oats and other minerals such as phosphorus, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc and B vitamins. Oat is one of the most nutrients dense grains that you can eat.
2. Packed with Special Antioxidants
Oatmeal benefits include plant compounds and antioxidants which are essential for the normal functioning of the body. Polyphenols are abundantly found in oats and a unique antioxidant called avenanthramides that is known to only exist in oats. This type of antioxidant is very well known for lowering blood pressure because of its ability to help the body produce more nitric oxide. This is a gas molecule that aids in dilating blood vessels that promotes efficient blood flow. Another antioxidant in oats is ferulic acid.
3. Rich Source of Beta-Glucan
Oat is a good source of soluble fiber known as beta-glucan that can be dissolved through water and form a gel-like structure within the gut. This type of fiber has a lot of beneficial effects in the body like reducing LDL, blood sugar, insulin response; promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut, and gives a feeling of fullness that makes oatmeal good for you.
4. Normalize Cholesterol Level
According to the World Health Organization, heart diseases are one of the leading causes of mortality globally. One of the main driving factors is high cholesterol. Many studies conducted have shown the effectiveness of the fiber beta-glucan in the reduction of LDL and total cholesterol levels in the blood. This fiber prompts the excretion of more cholesterol bile that can reduce the level of cholesterol present in the blood.
One of the many amazing health benefits of oats is its ability to prevent oxidation of LDL bad cholesterol, it happens once LDL interacts with free radicals which can progress into having heart diseases. When LDL oxidizes, it can cause damage to tissues, arteries, and can increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. A study in oats found out antioxidants in oats reacts with vitamin C to stop LDL oxidation that makes oatmeal good for you.
5. Blood Sugar Management
One of the most common types of diabetes is type 2 which is characterized by increased sugar levels in the bloodstream. It can happen due to the inability of insulin sensitivity by the body. Oats benefits are linked to decrease levels of sugar in the blood especially for people who are overweight and obese. People who like eating oats also show an increase in insulin sensitivity, according to several studies. Its effectiveness of delaying spike in blood sugar lies in beta-glucans ability to form a gel inside the stomach.
6. Promotes Fullness
Oatmeal will not only satisfy your cravings but it will also fill your stomach and avoid consuming more calories that can result in weight loss. This is again caused by oatmeal benefits beta-glucan and its ability to release a peptide called YY. This is a satiety hormone in the gut that is known to reduce calorie intake and lower risk of obesity.