Oats have long since been considered superfoods, because of their many health benefits. Oats are a species of cereal grain, grown for their seed. They are of a light beige color, much like corn flakes. They are dry and are usually eaten as porridge. They are often also ground into flour, which is then used in making various dishes.
Oats have a plain, cereal-like taste, with a slight, nutty flavor. The combination makes them absolutely delicious. And as you know, they are also known to be really healthy. Here are some of the benefits of oats:
- Help lower cholesterol levels
Oats, oat bran and oatmeal contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber. This fiber has been proven to reduce cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that consuming just 3 grams of oat fiber daily can help lower your blood cholesterol level by up to 23 per cent – which is a big number. Controlling your cholesterol level is important, as high blood cholesterol can lead to heart diseases, and ultimately a fatal heart attack.
- Oats help boost digestion and fight obesity
Researchers have found that oats help in improving digestive, cardiovascular and general metabolic health. People with digestive issues are often asked to eat whole grains, as these help with gastrointestinal diseases. Oats also help fight obesity, by lowering body mass index (BMI). The consumption of oats also helps reduce hunger, and increase the feeling of satiety.
- Oats reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
Because they are rich in fiber, oats help reduce cholesterol in the body. Apart from that, some antioxidants which are present in oats also help reduce chances of heart (i.e., cardiovascular) disease. Reduced risk of heart disease means that you have a healthier heart, which puts you at lower risk of having a heart attack, and other problems which are caused by heart disease.
- Oats make you feel full faster
Oats are very low-calorie foods. A cup of oatmeal, on an average, has only about two hundred calories! Another great feature of oats is that they take a long while to digest, and so because they stay in your stomach for longer, they make you feel full for longer. So, if you’re trying to lose weight or beat food cravings, oats are your best bet! They can be really delicious with some veggies and seasoning, and they’ll help you slim down, too.
- Oats are gluten-free
People with celiac disease cannot eat a lot of items, but luckily for them, oats are gluten-free! So, a bowl of oatmeal shouldn’t cause any problems. This is because oats lack some of the proteins found in wheat (i.e., gluten). However, be warned, for if the oats were grown in the proximity of a wheat field, it is possible that they may have some gluten in them. Also, oats contain avenin, which causes allergies in avenin-sensitive people.
- Oats help boost your immune system
Like most other superfoods, oats too help boost your body’s capacity to protect you from diseases. Oats contain a fiber called beta-gluten which speeds up the healing process of an infection, and it also enhances the body’s capability to remove harmful bacteria from within.
- Oats reduce risk of colorectal cancer
Evidence provided by researchers shows that a high fiber diet, consisting of mostly whole grains and cereals, may lead to a reduced risk of developing colorectal cancer – i.e., cancer of the colon and rectum. Among the study’s findings was the fact that for every 10 grams of fiber consumed, there is a 10 per cent reduction in their risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Oats lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Whole grains such as oats contain magnesium, which has enzymes which affect the body’s glucose and secretion. Whole grains have been known to reduce risk of heart disease and certain types of cancers, but recent research suggests that they might also help in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
So, to keep your heart healthy, and to boost immunity and digestive function, enjoy a steaming bowl of oatmeal regularly. It’s low-calorie food that’s guaranteed to make you a lot healthier. So, add some veggies, nuts and cinnamon to a bowl of oatmeal, and you’ve got yourself some breakfast which will make you feel full, while also tasting great. Plus, your body will love you for it!