Oats is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed. High in fibre, while oats are primarily used as livestock feed, it is suitable for human consumption in the form of oatmeal and rolled oats. This grain gains its distinctive flavour from the roasting process it undergoes after it’s harvested and cleaned. This process, however, does not strip it off its fibre and other nutrients.
Oats are high in magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, selenium, magnesium and zinc. It’s a good source of carbohydrates and proteins; in addition it is high in dietary fibre content and is also low fat.
Health benefits of oats:
Lowers cholesterol: One of the biggest known benefits of oats is its cholesterol lowering properties. Oats contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucans. This soluble fibre helps reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and thereby cuts risk of heart disease. One study indicates that a bowl of oatmeal daily reduces risk of cardiovascular disease by 10%.
Reduces high blood sugar: Oats has a low-glycaemic index and contains high amounts of fibre, which helps normalise sugar spikes. Type 2 diabetes patients can benefit tremendously by eating oats daily.
Reduces weight: The soluble fibre in oats forms a gel when digested. This increases the viscosity in the small intestine and stomach, leaving one feeling fuller for longer thus aiding weight loss. In addition to that oats is a low-fat food making it ideal for weight loss.
Boosts immunity: Selenium and vitamin-E present in oats strengthens the immune system aiding its fight against infections. Oats also cinatins zinc, which helps heal wounds and growth of new cells.
Improves digestion: The high fibre content in oats makes it an ideal food for those suffering from constipation, colitis and other digestive problems.
Reduces risk of cancer: Phytochemicals present in oats help prevent cancer, especially breast and colon cancer.
Strengthens bones: Oats are rich in calcium, phosphorous and magnesium which helps strengthen bones and cut risk of osteoporosis.
Good for skin: Oatmeal makes for a good skin exfoliator. It also helps heal dry and flaky skin, eczema and other skin conditions.
Energy giver: Oats has a high carbohydrate content, which it makes it an excellent source of energy. Other nutrients such as phosphorus, vitamin-B, magnesium and iron — all of which help in energy production.