You likely have a box of oats in your kitchen cupboards; its estimated that 80% of households have this understated grain, yet most do not know the benefit of this nutritional powerhouse. This is not just your average breakfast cereal.
A nourishing cereal, oats are also one of the most complete foods on earth. Oats are packed with vitamins and minerals such as silica and other trace elements to help the body build sturdy bones and muscles, maintain joint elasticity and much more.
Oatmeal also contains a wide array of antioxidants and is a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, fats and iron. A perfect food for those with digestive problems, oats are easy to digest, provide abundant energy, and encourage the body’s growth and repair.
Oats contain the highest amount of protein of any grain. They also contain all the B vitamins in a density found in no other food. Oats are rich in vitamin E and contain fatty acids and vitamin K. Compared with other whole grains, oats also have the highest amounts of calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese. And this healthy cereal grain has more healthy, soluble fiber than whole wheat, rice or corn.
Oat seeds are rolled or crushed in to oatmeal, or ground fine into oat flour and used in a variety of cereals, cereal bars, breads, muffins, cookies, and in muesli cereal and granola. Also use oats to thicken stews, soups, poultry stuffings and add pancakes and muffins.
Health benefits of oats:
Studies show that eating oatmeal can help reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart disease. The soluble fiber, called oat bran, on the outside of oats is believed to lower harmful LDL cholesterol, while maintaining the healthy cholesterol your body needs. And all you need is ¾ cup of oatmeal a day.
Unlike other sugary breakfast cereals, the soluble fiber in oats provides a sustained release of glucose into the bloodstream. This is what makes oatmeal a great choice for long lasting energy through the day.
Additionally, oats are the only cereal containing the hormone-like substance saponin, which assists the pancreas in regulating insulin production, which helps to normalize blood glucose levels in individuals with diabetes and even reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The soluble and insoluble fiber in oatmeal aids digestion and may help to which prevent hemorroids, diverticulitis, and even colorectal cancer. The soluble fiber in oatmeal is able to absorb a considerable amount of water. This helps to ease the digestive process and makes you feel full longer, helping you to maintain a healthy body weight.
Oats also merits special attention for individuals who are gluten-intolerant. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and other related grains. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, patients with gluten intolerance could eat oatmeal without any side effects, because its proteins are different from gluten, making oats easier to digest. However, when oats are processed in the same factories as wheat, contamination can occur.