What are oatmeal and oats?
Oats, also known scientifically as Avena sativa, are a whole grain cereal.
The most intact and full type of oats, groats, require a lengthy cooking period. Most people prefer rolled, crushed, or steel-cut oats for this reason.
Instant (quick) oats are the most processed type of oats. Although they require the least amount of time to cook, their texture may be mushy.
Oatmeal, which is prepared by boiling oats in water or milk, is widely consumed for breakfast. Oatmeal is commonly known as porridge.
Additionally, they are commonly found in muffins, granola bars, cookies, and other baked foods.
Oats are whole grains that are typically consumed for breakfast as oatmeal (porridge).
Oats are incredibly nutritious
Oats have a nutritional profile that is well-balanced. They are rich in carbohydrates and fibre, particularly the potent fibre beta-glucan.
They are also an excellent source of high-quality protein, containing a healthy proportion of important amino acids.
Important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant plant components are abundant in oats. A half cup of dry oats (78 grammes) contains:
- Manganese: 63.91% of the daily value (DV)
- Phosphorus: 13.3% of the DV
- Magnesium: 13.3% of the DV
- Copper: 17.6% of the DV
- Iron: 9.4% of the DV
- Zinc: 13.4% of the DV
- Folate: 3.24% of the DV
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 15.5% of the DV
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 9.07% of the DV
1 cup of oats has 51 grammes of carbohydrates, 13 grammes of protein, 5 grammes of fat, and 8 grammes of fibre. This identical serving contains just 303 calories.
Therefore, oats are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available.
Oats are higher in carbohydrates, fibre, protein, and fat than the majority of other grains. They include an abundance of vitamins and minerals.
Whole oats are rich in antioxidants, including avenanthramides
Whole oats are an excellent source of antioxidants, particularly avenanthramides.
Whole oats are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, which are beneficial plant chemicals. A unique set of antioxidants known as avenanthramides are virtually exclusively found in oats.
By increasing nitric oxide synthesis, avenanthramides may help reduce blood pressure, according to both older and more recent studies. This gas molecule helps dilate blood arteries, hence improving blood flow.
Moreover, avenanthramides have anti-inflammatory and anti-pruritic properties.
Oatmeal contains numerous potent antioxidants, including avenanthramides. These chemicals may aid in lowering blood pressure and provide additional advantages.
Oats contain a powerful soluble fibre called beta-glucan
Large quantities of beta-glucan, a form of soluble fibre, are found in oats. Beta-glucan partially dissolves in water and creates a gel-like substance in the digestive tract.
Among the health advantages of beta-glucan fibre are:
- lowered total and LDL cholesterol levels
- decreased blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.
- enhanced sense of fullness
the increased population of beneficial microorganisms within the intestinal tract.
Oats are rich in the beneficial soluble fibre beta-glucan, which is abundant in oats. It aids in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels, maintains healthy gut bacteria, and boosts satiety.
They can lower cholesterol levels and protect LDL cholesterol from damage
Globally, heart disease is the leading cause of death. High cholesterol levels are a key risk factor.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that the beta-glucan fibre in oats reduces total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Beta-glucan may promote the discharge of cholesterol-rich bile, resulting in a decrease in blood cholesterol levels.
Oats may also prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol
LDL (bad) cholesterol is oxidised when it reacts with free radicals. This is an additional essential step in the progression of heart disease. It inflames the arteries, destroys the tissues, and can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Oats may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering total and LDL (bad) cholesterol and shielding LDL from oxidation.
Oats can improve blood sugar control
Type 2 diabetes is a prevalent disease characterised by dramatically high blood glucose levels. Diabetes typically stems from decreased insulin sensitivity.
Blood sugar levels may be reduced by consuming oats, particularly in those with obesity or type 2 diabetes. Both oats and barley contain beta-glucan, which may enhance insulin sensitivity.
Nonetheless, a 2016 randomised clinical trial found no improvement in insulin sensitivity, thus additional research is required.
The capacity of beta-glucan to form a thick gel that delays the emptying of the stomach and absorption of glucose into the blood is primarily responsible for these effects.
Due to the presence of the soluble fibre, beta-glucan, oats may increase insulin sensitivity and aid in lowering blood sugar levels.
Oatmeal is very filling and may help you lose weight
Oatmeal (porridge) is not only a delightful breakfast item, but it is also quite satisfying.
Consuming full foods may aid in consuming fewer calories and weight loss.
The beta-glucan in oatmeal may boost feelings of fullness by delaying the rate at which the stomach empties.
Beta-glucan may also stimulate the release of the hormone peptide YY (PYY), which is produced in the stomach in response to food consumption. This satiety hormone has been demonstrated to lower calorie consumption and may lessen the risk of obesity.
Oatmeal may aid in weight loss by increasing satiety. It accomplishes this by decreasing stomach emptying and raising the production of the satiety hormone PYY.
Finely ground oats may help with skincare
It is not a coincidence that numerous skin care products contain oats. Manufacturers of these items frequently refer to finely ground oats as “colloidal oatmeal.”
In 2003, the FDA authorised colloidal oatmeal as a skin-protecting agent. However, oats have a long history of use in the treatment of itching and irritation caused by a variety of skin diseases.
For instance, oat-based skin creams may alleviate the irritating symptoms of eczema.
Note that the skincare benefits of oats only apply to oats that are applied to the skin and not those that are consumed.
Colloidal oatmeal (finely powdered oats) has been used to heal dry and irritated skin for centuries. It may alleviate the symptoms of many skin disorders, such as eczema.
They may decrease the risk of childhood asthma
In children, asthma is the most prevalent chronic illness.
It is an inflammatory condition of the airways, which are the tubes that transport air into and out of the lungs.
Despite the fact that not all children exhibit identical symptoms, many suffer from recurring coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Research from the past indicates that, for example, early introduction of oats may actually protect youngsters from acquiring asthma.
The consumption of oats by newborns before the age of six months is connected with a reduced incidence of childhood asthma, according to one study.
Some study suggests that feeding early infants oats may help reduce childhood asthma.
Oats may help relieve constipation
Constipation affects people of all ages and ethnic groups. This refers to infrequent, irregular, and difficult-to-pass bowel movements.
Constipation affects approximately 16 per 100 adults and 33 per 100 adults aged 60 and older.
Studies suggest that oat bran, the grain’s fibre-rich outer layer, may aid in relieving constipation in older persons.
One study indicated that the well-being of 30 older persons increased after they ingested oat bran-containing soup or dessert every day for 12 weeks.
In addition, following the 3-month research, 59% of these individuals were able to cease using laxatives, whereas laxative use increased by 8% in the control group.
It has also been demonstrated that oat bran reduces gastrointestinal symptoms and improves digestion in individuals with ulcerative colitis.
However, while the soluble fibre in oats is useful against constipation in general, it has been found to be less effective against opioid-induced constipation because it does not impact the movement of the colon, which the medicines may block.
Studies indicate that oat bran can aid in relieving constipation in older persons, hence reducing the need for laxatives significantly.
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