Oats Benefits: Everything You Need To Know About It
As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So, you better begin your day with a healthy breakfast option that offers plenty of benefits. And oats do just that! Oats, scientifically known as Avena sativa, is a cereal grain that belongs to the Poaceae grass family of plants. The grain ascribes to the edible seeds of oat grass, which you find in our breakfast bowls. Oats are prized for their nutritional value and health benefits, whether they are loved or disliked for their mushy yet hearty texture when cooked.
Due to its high water and soluble fiber content, oatmeal is also a desired asset for those attempting to lose weight and control hunger levels. Oats contain several components linked to health benefits. The primary type of soluble fiber found in oats is beta-glucan, which as per studies, has shown to aid digestion, increase satiety, and suppress appetite. In the intestine, beta-glucan can bind with cholesterol-rich bile acids and transport them through the digestive tract and eventually out of the body.
In this article, you will learn more about the multiple health benefits of oats and why their consumption can benefit you in the long run.
12 Health Benefits Of Eating Oats
Oats have gotten a lot of attention because of their high dietary fiber content, phytochemicals, and nutritional value. Today, they get defined by having a variety of health benefits, including hypocholesterolemia and anticancer properties. According to research, oatmeal can get added for use in the diets of celiac patients.
Oat-based food products such as bread, biscuits, cookies, probiotic drinks, breakfast cereals, flakes, and infant food are gaining popularity due to their high nutritional value. Here’s an overview of the health benefits of oats as whole grains and value-added products, as well as information on oat processing and its impact on functional properties.
Here is a list of 12 health benefits of oats:
1. Oats Are Nutritious
Oats have a well-balanced nutrient profile. You will find oats to be high in carbohydrates and fiber, including the powerful fiber beta-glucan. They are also higher in protein and fat than many other grains. Oats are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant plant compounds. It means that oats are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available.
2. Oats Are Rich In Antioxidants
Whole oats are full of antioxidants and polyphenols, which are beneficial plant compounds. The most notable antioxidants are avenanthramides, which you can almost entirely find in oats. Avenanthramides may reduce the risk of heart disease by increasing nitric oxide production. This gas molecule aids in the dilation of blood vessels, resulting in increased blood flow. Furthermore, avenanthramides have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties. You can also find ferulic acid in high concentrations of oats. It is another type of antioxidant.
3. Oats Contain A Powerful Soluble Fiber
Oats are high in beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber. In the gut, beta-glucan partially dissolves in water and forms a thick, gel-like solution. Reduced LDL and total cholesterol levels, reduced blood sugar and insulin response, increased feeling of fullness, and increased growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract are all health benefits of beta-glucan fiber.
4. Oats Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
Globally, you will find heart disease to be one of the leading causes of death. And high blood cholesterol remains a vital risk factor. Many studies have also shown that beta-glucan fiber found in oats can help lower total and LDL cholesterol levels. Beta-glucan may increase the excretion of cholesterol-rich bile, lowering circulating cholesterol levels in the blood. Another critical step in the progression of heart disease is the oxidation of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol, which occurs when LDL reacts with free radicals. It causes artery inflammation, damaged tissues and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. According to one study, antioxidants in oats work in tandem with vitamin C to prevent LDL oxidation.
5. Oats Can Improve Blood Sugar Control
Diabetes type 2 is a common disease characterized by significantly elevated blood sugar levels. It usually gets caused by a decrease in insulin sensitivity. Oats help lower blood sugar levels, particularly in overweight people or those who have type 2 diabetes. They might also help with insulin sensitivity. These effects are primarily attributed to beta-ability glucans to form a thick gel, which delays stomach emptying and glucose absorption into the blood.
6. Oats Help You Stay Full Longer
Oats are not only a delicious breakfast food but also very filling. Consuming filling foods may assist you in eating fewer calories and losing weight. The beta-glucan in oatmeal may increase your feeling of fullness by delaying the time it takes your stomach to empty of food. Beta-glucan may also stimulate the release of peptide YY (PYY), a hormone produced in the gut in response to food consumption. This satiety hormone has been linked to lower calorie intake and may lessen your risk of obesity.
7. Oats Maintain Digestive Health
Fiber promotes bowel regularity and helps to prevent constipation. It increases the weight and water content of stools, making them easier to pass. Cereal fibers, such as those found in oats, are thought to be more effective than fiber found in fruits and vegetables. Some studies reported that the breakdown and fermentation of beta-glucan oat fiber increase the diversity of gut microbiota. It may, in turn, help with digestive issues like diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome.
8. Oats Enhance Immune Response To Diseases
There is extensive research on oats in terms of the immune system’s response to disease and infection. Oatmeal’s unique fiber, beta-glucan, essentially helps neutrophils travel to the site of infection faster and improves their potential to eliminate the bacteria they find there.
9. Oats Help You Sleep Better
Why are oats considered a healthy pre-bedtime snack? According to experts, oats contain melatonin and complex carbohydrates that can help more tryptophan get into the brain and help you sleep. Furthermore, oats contain several vitamins, including B6, a co-factor that aids in serotonin production in the brain.
10. Oats Enhance Athletic Performance
Oatmeal is a good source of carbohydrates and protein, as well as calories and energy. Oats have been shown in scientific studies to improve metabolism and performance when consumed 45 minutes to 1 hour before moderate-intensity exercise.
11. Oats Can Lower Risk Of Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is dreadful and can be excruciatingly painful. One study, conducted by researchers in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, found a link between people who ate a high fiber diet (primarily from whole grains and cereals like oats) and a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. According to the study, every additional 10 grams of fiber in a person’s diet reduces their risk of developing colorectal cancer by 10%!
12. Oats Help Control Weight
We could always do with some help now and then, but did you ever think oatmeal could help with weight loss? That is correct! According to one study, -glucan, a compound found in oatmeal, helps to reduce the desire to eat by boosting the hunger-fighting hormone cholecystokinin.
These health benefits will surely make you pick up oats on your next visit to the grocery store. It’s never too late to begin living a healthy lifestyle. So, you can start now. Moreover, some additional benefits can also make you take up oats as a healthy snack option.
Oats Benefits For Skin
If you pay attention to the tags of a few of your lotions or face creams, you will most likely find oatmeal. Someone discovered the benefits of oats for dry, itchy, irritated skin at some point in history. Oat starch forms a barrier that allows the skin to retain moisture, while the rougher fibrous husk of the oat acts as a gentle exfoliant.
- Oats soak up excess oil in your skin and help treat acne
- Oats’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties treat dry skin and remove dead skin cells
- Oats act as natural cleansers by removing dirt and oil and exfoliate the skin
Oats Benefits For Weight Loss
Oats may aid in weight loss by making you feel fuller. It accomplishes this by slowing stomach emptying and increasing the production of the satiety hormone PYY. Oatmeal keeps you feeling full and helps regulate bowel movements. A diet high in whole grains, such as oats, has also been shown in studies to help control body weight. Whole-grain consumption is inversely related to body mass index.
Oats Benefits For Face
Oats can remove dead skin cells while also acting as a natural moisturizer. And the beta-glucan in them forms a thin film on your skin. It also penetrates deeply into the skin, providing much-needed moisture. Just combine 2 cups of oats, 1 cup of milk, and one tablespoon of honey in a mixing bowl. Apply it to your face and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool water. You can also use oat extract. Other benefits include:
- Oats aid in acne treatment
- Oats treat dry and itchy skin
- Oats help lighten your skin tone
- Oats act as a natural cleanser
- Oats aid in UV protection
Oats Benefits For Babies
Oats are high in fiber, magnesium, iron, and zinc. As your child grows, he or she will require more nutrients and vitamins. Because oats are soft but retain structure, oatmeal is a great way to introduce textures. The high nutritional profile of oats will benefit the baby’s growth and development. Other benefits include:
- Oats are easy on your baby’s digestive system
- Oats help promote fullness and a healthy appetite for your baby while preventing gas
- Oats act as a natural laxative to help prevent constipation
Oats Benefits During Pregnancy
A healthy pregnancy diet does not have a magic formula. The basic principles of healthy eating remain the same during pregnancy: eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. A few nutrients in a pregnancy diet, however, deserve special attention.
Whole grains, such as oats, are high in fiber, vitamins, and plant compounds. Oats contain a fair amount of protein as well. They also hit a few key points frequently deficient in pregnant women: B vitamins, fiber, and magnesium. Source
Do Oats Make You Gain Weight?
For those trying to lose weight, oatmeal is one of the best breakfast options. This whole-grain cereal can satisfy your hunger and aid in weight loss regardless of how you prepare it, whether you microwave it or opt for overnight oats recipes. However, it can just as quickly transform from a slimming breakfast to something harmful to your waistline.
Therefore, add more fiber and protein to your oats, do not add too much sugar or too many toppings as it will take away from its health benefits.
How Much Oats Should I Eat A Day?
Depending on the type of oats and how you choose to eat them, you can vary the number of times you can consume oats daily. Ideally, one serving of oatmeal per day seems sufficient. However, if you choose the healthiest oats option, you can choose to increase the number.
For instance, if you buy Fit & Flex granola, which contains oats and all its health benefits, you can snack on it for breakfast or mid-day. As it remains entirely baked, it does not add too many calories and keeps you full longer too. Therefore, making sure you choose the right type of oats can help you figure out how much you can consume in a day.
Which Oats Is Good For Health?
As you already might know, most processed foods harm the most too. Therefore, when you choose oats as a healthy breakfast or snack option, choose the least processed or contains the most vitamins and minerals. You can take your pick from rolled oats, steel-cut oats, or even whole grain oats.
The primary concern while buying oats or healthy foods is to make sure you read the labels on the box and choose one that suits your body and contains the most nutrients.
As you can see for yourself, oats offer plenty of health benefits, including weight control. Therefore, if you want to switch to a healthier lifestyle or have concerns about weight gain or other health issues, you can make dietary changes like opting for oats for breakfast or as a snacking option.