Oats are definitely one of the healthiest grains on earth!
But what exactly are oats?
Scientifically, it is known as Avena sativa, a whole-grain food. Most people consume oats in a porridge form as oatmeal, but it can also be found in cookies, muffins, granola bars and other baked goods.
It is a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Oats is famous for various health benefits including reduced risk for heart disease, lower blood sugar levels and weight loss.
Lets talk about 5 evidence-based health benefits of eating oats.
Oats are extremely nutritious
Half a cup of dry oats contains large amounts of:
- Vitamin B1 (also known as Thiamin)
- Vitamin B 2 (also known as Pantothenic acid)
And small amounts of Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
This classifies oats as one of the most nutrient-dense food that you can eat!
1. Very filling which help with Weight loss
Oats is very filling! It contains large amounts of Beta-glucan, which is a soluble fibre. Beta-glucan forms a thick, gel-like substance in the gut. This gel-like substance increase feelings of fullness.
Beta-glucan also can also promote the release of the satiety hormone – peptide YY. This lead to reduced calorie intake which decrease the risk of people becoming overweight and obese.
2. Improve Blood glucose control
Type 2 Diabetes usually result from insulin resistance.
There are various studies that shows that oats may help to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, due to the soluble fibre (Beta-glucan) that it contains. Better glucose control is seen especially in people with type 2 diabetes or people who is overweight and consuming oats frequently.
3. Lower cholesterol levels
The Beta-glucan fibre in oats is effective in lowering both total and LDL cholesterol levels! It reduce circulating levels of cholesterol in the blood by increasing the excretion of cholesterol-rich bile. This lowers your risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death globally!
4. Rich in Antioxidants
Oats are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols which is beneficial plant compounds. Avenanthramides are a type of antioxidants which are almost solely found in oats. This may help to lower blood pressure levels by increasing nitric oxide, which dilate blood vessels and lead to better blood flow. Avenanthramides also have anti-itching and anti-inflammatory effects.
Oats is also high in Ferulic acid, which is another antioxidant with various benefits.
5. Relieve Constipation
Infrequent, irregular bowel movements is something that a lot of people struggle with. Studies found that oat bran (the fibre rich outer layer) may help to relieve constipation, especially in older people. This significantly reduce the need to use laxatives which is likely to reduce quality of life.
It is safe to say that oats are among the healthiest food that you can eat!
Oats is an incredibly nutritious food, packed with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Why not set a goal for yourself to try to eat oatmeal for breakfast more frequently?
Do this for a few months and let us know which health benefits you experience!