Oats.., often considered as perfect breakfast are one of the healthiest diet you can have at any point of time. Though mornings are considered best time to have oats because of its ability to boost energy, and being high in fiber, it helps feel full throughout the day, so that you do not feel much urge to eat over and over again, unlike you may usually feel if you don’t have a proper breakfast. Since childhood, my mother has been giving oats, but earlier I use to have them like a spicy food, with lots of spice and other salts. But, now when I have grown up and have learned how it must be taken, now I prefer plain oats with milk in the ratio 1:2, i.e. with equal portion of milk and I also add nuts or fruits of my choice to add up a bit of taste. And this is the best proven way to have oats scientifically. If you don’t like oats with milk, you can also prepare it with water also, the main focus should be to have a good quantity of oats.
Oats are almost available throughout the world, provided by different vendors in form of packed oatmeal. These are prepared generally by crushing, grinding or rolling oats. A number of wide variety is available in markets with different flavors and ingredients mixed in them. Those flavored ones are usually more preferred by people now-a-days because of the taste, but I would suggest you to go with plain variety if you could because if you are looking for health then at least you should compromise with taste (though plain variety is not that bad in taste), and it doesn’t mean you should not eat flavored varieties, it’s just plain are more beneficial than others.
Now, the main point, what exactly are oats? As in what do they contain that makes them so popular. Oats are a brilliant source of protein for vegetarians, plus they also contain carbohydrates in very good amount. Oats are usually so beneficial because of the high dietary fiber in them and low proportion of sugar. Not just this, oats are also very good source of a number of vitamins and minerals. It contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, and it also contains considerable amount of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin E and traces of vitamin K. Moreover, they also contain powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants which have enormous benefits for health. And with all these nutrients, oats does not contain any sort of cholesterol which makes oats a very preferable diet for all age groups, may it be small kids, teenagers, grown-ups or elder ones.
Withstanding all these minerals, the list of benefits of oats is much longer than you might have expected. It has got benefits for all age groups and both sexes. Some of the famous health benefits of oats are:
- Controls Cholesterol Levels:
Whenever I see oats, the first thought I get in my mind is is that they are nothing but just a soaking material which will soak the cholesterol in body. And this is the nothing but truth. The high fiber content of oats soak the excess of bad cholesterol (LDL). Actually, oats contain beta-glucans, which are the main reason behind the ability of oats to control cholesterol levels. These are indigestible compounds, which pass through entire digestive tract absorbing the bad cholesterol and taking them out of our body. It has been found that regular intake of just 5gm of beta-glucan can get you rid off cholesterol problem.
Not just oats reduce bad cholesterol, but they also contain antioxidants that prevent the oxidation of LDL, which further leads to blockage and hardening of arteries. I would say oats is must for all those who are suffering from cholesterol problem.
- Maintains Blood Pressure:
In today’s life, where nobody has time to relax, blood pressure is most common problem. Not just elderly people, even young ones are facing problem of high blood pressure. But, you might be more than just surprised to know that eating oats on regular basis is more effective than taking those anti-hypertensive medications. Studies have shown that, people who eat oats on regular basis does not suffer heart problems rising because of high blood pressure. Actually oats are rich in magnesium which plays major role in controlling the high blood pressure, plus the fiber content also adds to reduce tension and reduces the formation of plaque in blood vessels and helps maintain blood flow, which in turn helps keep blood pressure in control. Thus, it not only keeps blood pressure in control but also reduces the risk of heart attacks.
- Prevents Diabetes:
Yet another outstanding benefit of taking oats is that it prevents diabetes naturally. Actually oats have low glycemic index. Its high soluble fiber content slows down the digestion of sugar. Plus, beta-glucan also keeps a check on the absorption of sugar by the body which in turn also reduces insulin resistance and thus helps prevent type 2 diabetes.
Studies have shown that taking oats in breakfast for 2 weeks can reduce blood sugar levels by 47%. This gradual fall is because of high fiber content and complex carbohydrates of oats which take a longer time to digest than simple carbohydrates. Thus maintains optimum blood sugar levels.
- Cuts Obesity:
If you are looking for a healthy and tastier option to lose weight than oats are perfect for you. Nothing can help you lose weight as much oats can without involving into any other thing. Oats are full of dietary fiber, and are low in fats and complex carbohydrates. Plus, the low glycemic index makes sure that it is getting digested slowly, making you feel fuller for a longer duration that regular meal. In other words once you have had oats, you won’t feel the urge to eat over and over again like you usually take the unhealthy snacks in time between two meals.
Studies also support this fact that people who had oats on regular basis does not gain weight or tend to remain healthy and fit. And the best way to have oats if you want to reduce weight is to have it in morning meal. Plus, make sure you take oats with fat free milk and without adding sugar.
- Fights Constipation:
Oats are very good source of soluble as well as insoluble fiber which makes it an ideal food for stomach. Nor just it fights obesity it also cures constipation. The fiber content stimulates the digestive process by helping food move throughout the digestive tract. When this fiber passes through the intestine, it grabs water and adds weight to waste, which helps ease its passing. Thus, it fight constipation and also keeps other digestive problems also at bay.
- Boosts Immunity:
A mentioned above, oats are a good source of vitamins and minerals which are essential for maintaining good health. It contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin E and vitamin K, all of which helps strengthen the existing immune system. Plus, oats are also rich in antioxidants which play a major role in fighting free radicals which get generated due to several internal process and even exposure to different environments that may further lead to diseases from as normal as cold and flu to as dangerous as cancer. Not just this, oats have a special tendency to heal the infected area. The beta-glucan, present in oats help neutrophils travel to the site of an infection more quickly and enhances their ability to crucify or eliminate bacteria found.
- Treats Skin:
This might come as a surprise to you because you might have not heard about this before. Oats are actually very good for you skin also and can be used as a remedy for various skin ailments. If you would have ever looked at the ingredients of your creams and soaps you will find oats as in that list, this is because of the ability of oats to fight itchy dry skin. The starchiness of oats creates a barrier that allows the skin to hold its moisture, while the rougher fibrous husk of the oat also acts as a gentle exfoliant. Oats have been found to be very good for treating skin conditions like acne, rashes and dermatitis. Moreover, the minerals present in oats – copper, zinc, selenium, thiamin, and niacin also contribute to support skin from inside.
These are the best seven benefits of having oats which you should expect from the very first intake. But, do not think that benefits of oats are limited to these seven only, apart from these seven oats also act as energy boosters, good for post menstrual cycles, fights insomnia, boosts sex drive and lots more.
Do tell your friends and family about these benefits of oats and help the society stay fit and healthy.
Eat Healthy…!! Stay Healthy…!!