Why is oats considered as a healthy food?
Oats belongs to the cereal family and it is commonly eaten in the form of oatmeal or rolled oats.
Over the last few decades, oats have gained genuine popularity around the world for its culinary uses as well as its beneficial health qualities. The presence of essential nutritious components in oats makes it one of the healthier foods. It is used for making porridge and baked goods like oatcakes, oat breads and oat cookies. Many of the studies have identified oats as an overall heart healthy diet. Oats are also used as a common livestock feed.
Oats are usually cultivated in the temperate regions. Compared to other cereals like wheat and barley, oats have a low summer heat requirement and higher tolerance towards rain. Hence, oats are cultivated in regions with cool and wet summers like Northwestern European countries. Russia, Canada, the United States, Finland, and Poland are the leading oat-producing countries. Since it is an annual plant, it can be planted either in autumn or in the spring.
The rich fibre presence in oats can have a positive effect in many of the ailments caused due to indigestion. Nutritionists recommend increased daily intake of fiber, such as that in oat bran, because it assists in regulating gastro-intestinal function.
Helps in weight loss
Oatmeal is known as an appetite suppressor. It can be used as an integral part of a weight reducing diet. The higher percentage of fibre present in oats help you feel full for a longer period of time. If your diet is high in sugar and fat, you will feel hungry after a brief period of time. Intake of oatmeal breakfast with fruits and ice can satisfy your hunger till lunch time. Hence including oats in our diet can keep the hunger at bay for long period of time, which will ultimately help you stay slim.
Oatmeal is useful in reducing the risk of diabetes. The low glycemic index of oats is considered as an important factor in controlling diabetes. Having oats in your diet help with the slow moving of the stomach contents, which will have a positive effect on our blood sugar levels. High blood pressure can adversely affect functioning of the cardiovascular system. Intake of oats rich diet can reduce hypertension and eliminates the need for anti-hypertensive medications.
Oat grain is the ingredient used for making oats. Thinner skinned grains from Avena grass are preferred for its higher protein content. These thin-skinned grains will yield 60% oatmeal compared to thick skinned grains, which will yield 50% oatmeal. The harvested grains are taken through the milling process without much of a delay. It is done to prevent grain spoilage and infestation from boll weevil.
Boosts our energy
Oats is a rich source of carbohydrates and protein. Oatmeals with fruits can satisfy the daily requirement of proteins and carbohydrates of a person. Studies have also shown that including oatmeals in your diet can enhance the fat-burning during an exercise. They contain a good balance of essential fatty acids and amino acid. Amino acids are essential proteins which facilitate optimum functioning of the body. Thus, the intake of oats can boost up your energy.
Lowers cholesterol levels
Including oats in our daily diet can have positive effects on controlling the cholesterol levels. Oatmeal intake helps to lower the LDL or bad cholesterol. If you are a person with high cholesterol levels, it is advisable to include oats in your daily menu. The prolonged increase of cholesterol levels can have many adverse implications to our cardiovascular system. Oats are highly effective when consumed as a high-fiber, low-fat diet taken together with a lot of exercise.