Oats are a species of cereal grain. It goes by the scientific name Avena Sativa. Oats have numerous uses in food. Commonly they are rolled or crushed into oatmeal or ground into fine flour. It is primarily consumed as porridge but is also used in a variety of delicious savories like oatcakes, oatmeal cookies, and oat bread.
They are gluten-free whole grains and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Oats have numerous health benefits.
Benefits of oats:
1. Highly nutritious:
The nutrition composition of oats is efficiently balanced. They are a rich source of carbs and fiber, including a very powerful fiber called beta-glucan. Moreover, they also contain protein and fats compared to any grains. Oats are among the best nutrient-dense foods one can consume.
2. Rich in antioxidants:
Whole oats are supposedly high in antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds which go by the name of polyphenols. Most notable is a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, which are almost solely found in oats. Avenanthramides assist in lowering blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide. This gas molecule helps dilate blood vessels and leads to better blood flow. In addition, avenanthramides have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects. Ferulic acid, yet another antioxidant is also found in large amounts in oats.
3. Lower cholesterol level:
Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. One major risk factor is high blood cholesterol. Many studies have proved that the beta-glucan fiber in oats effectively reduces cholesterol levels in the body.
Beta-glucan may increase the excretion of cholesterol-rich bile, thereby reducing circulating levels of cholesterol in the blood. Oxidation of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol, which occurs when LDL reacts with free radicals, is another crucial step in the progression of heart disease. It produces inflammation in arteries, damages tissues, and can raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Antioxidants in oats work together with vitamin C to prevent LDL oxidation.
4. Improves blood sugar:
Type 2 diabetes is a common disease, characterized by significantly elevated blood sugar levels in the body. It usually results from decreased sensitivity to the hormone called insulin. Oats may help in lowering blood sugar levels, especially in people who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes. It may also improve insulin sensitivity. These effects are mainly attributed to beta-glucan’s ability to form a thick gel that delays the emptying of the stomach and absorption of glucose into the blood.
5. Finely ground oats help in skincare:
It’s no coincidence that oats are a famous ingredient in numerous skincare products. Makers of these products often list finely ground oats as “colloidal oatmeal.” Colloidal oatmeal is approved as a skin-protective substance. But in fact, oats have a long history of use in the treatment of itch and irritation in various skin conditions. For example, oat-based skin products may improve uncomfortable symptoms of eczema. Note that skin care benefits pertain only to oats applied to the skin, not those that are eaten.
Oats for Weight Loss
Oat-based foods are quite popular in many countries. We know oats are rich in nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and fiber, these nutrients assist in weight loss as well. Oats help people feel full, decrease sugar spikes and decrease insulin. These will further push the person to stop eating frequently.
Here are some weight loss benefits of oatmeal:
The feeling of fullness:
Oatmeal keeps a person feeling full for a prolonged period and regulates bowel movements. Dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, softens stool, making it easier to pass. It also regulates hunger by creating a feeling of fullness. Oats have soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like formula that can leave people feeling full.
As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that helps cells absorb glucose, aka blood sugar. Foods with a low glycemic index, like oats, are digested more slowly which causes a more gradual rise in blood sugar. Because insulin allows cells to absorb blood sugar which the body converts to fat if there is too much of it, low insulin levels are associated with weight loss.
Boost the immune system:
One type of soluble fiber, beta-glucan, is found in oats and helps activate your infection-fighting blood cells. Staying healthy means you can be active, keep a regular exercise schedule, and either lose or maintain weight.
Keeps blood sugar from spiking:
Another perk of eating oatmeal is that the rolled oats version qualifies as a low glycemic index food. The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of foods based on how much they raise blood sugar. Therefore, a low GI means that oatmeal keeps your blood sugar from spiking too high during and after meals, which may help fend off hunger longer. Spikes in blood sugar can also cause fatigue and headaches.
Oats recipes for weight loss
Oats are considered a simple and nutritious diet. The other benefit of oatmeal is weight loss. There are various recipes for making oats, to get healthy and fit. Oats Indian recipes are considered famous, as they are tasty and effective. Some of the oats recipes are mentioned below.
1. Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Banana:
Peanut butter is a favorite snack for breakfast and banana is considered a post-workout protein. So a combination of these two in oats can benefit us with energy, nutrients, taste, and weight loss too. This combination is tasty and very easy to prepare.
Add two scoops of peanut butter to the banana and mix them. And then mix your oats in it.
2. Overnight Cinnamon Roll oats:
Regular oats are less in protein, mixing them with milk and Greek yogurt not only makes them tasty but also makes them nutritious.
In a small bowl add regular oats, a few ounces of Greek yogurt, half a cup of milk, half a tablespoon of ground cinnamon, and one spoon of maple syrup. Mix them and refrigerate them for 8 hours. And serve the oats in your breakfast to boost your weight loss regime.
3. Mango-Ginger Overnight Oats:
Overnight oats are always famous because one they are tasty and two they are already prepared and ready to be served. And fruitful oatmeal can benefit us a lot too.
You need to mix refrigerated mango, with two small pieces of ginger, and then our regular oats. Now you can add honey for sweetening and pomegranate for extra taste and health.
Oats are an incredibly nutritious food packed with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In addition, they’re high in fiber and protein compared to other grains. Oats contain some unique components, in particular, the soluble fiber beta-glucan and antioxidants called avenanthramides.
Benefits include lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, protection against skin irritation, and reduced constipation. In addition, they are very filling and have many properties that should make them a weight-loss-friendly food. At the end of the day, oats are among the healthiest foods you can eat.
What can I mix with oats to lose weight?
Adding proteins like milk, egg whites, Greek yogurt, and nuts can make your stomach feel full, prevents you from overeating, and diminishes the feeling of hunger.
Can I lose weight by eating oats only?
Yes, by eating alone you can lose weight. However, a workout regimen is recommended for fast and better results.
Can oats reduce belly fat?
Oats are rich in fiber and eating them regularly can keep your stomach full and make you eat less. This helps in the reduction of overall weight and to an extent on belly fat too.
15 best oatmeal recipes for weight loss. Eat this, not that! Oct 30, 2020.
9 health benefits of oats. By Healthline, Apr 4, 2022.