Oatmeal is a simple wonder food. It is inexpensive, accessible, and full of innumerable health benefits, and there are incredible advantages to eating it.
Oats are an unprocessed whole grain. Oat groats are the whole form of oats and require soaking in water before cooking, making them slightly more time-consuming to cook. Instant oats are the most processed version of oats but are easier to cook. The oats are cooked, dried, rolled, and pressed, then sold as instant oats. Steel-cut oats are the best as they are the least processed, but they do take more time.
There are several types of oats, and you can cook them all in several different ways. There is such a variety to chose from, and you can pick a sweet or savory route.
Oats are full of nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and more. They also contain manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, folate, vitamin B1, and vitamin B5.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Many people struggle with high blood pressure, and one of the best ways to help is by eating oatmeal. According to research, oats can reduce blood pressure due to the fiber in oats called Beta-glucan. A bowl of oatmeal every day will keep your blood pressure under control.
Often, people start a rigorous diet and workout routine to lose weight, but it can be very exhausting. Nobody likes a grumbling stomach. Oats are very effective in weight loss. So, instead of cutting out an essential meal of the day, breakfast, have some oatmeal with fruit.
The Beta-glucan fiber in oats makes you feel full, which in turn reduces hunger pangs and leads to less snacking. It is because oats take time to digest and because the secretion of the satiety hormone, peptide YY, it improves digestion.
The Beta-glucan fiber in oats also reduces cholesterol levels. It is a soluble fiber and reduces Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol. The soluble fiber reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the bloodstream by blocking it.
As cholesterol is a major contributing factor to heart diseases, oats also reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Stabilizes Sugar Level
Oats are very effective in stabilizing the sugar level. As Beta-glucan fiber in oats causes it to digest slower, the sugar is also absorbed by the blood slower. It is because the fiber is a soluble fiber. This is referred to as the low glycemic index. This helps reduce blood sugar levels and also increases insulin sensitivity. Also, due to the slow and less absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, the risk of type 2 diabetes is reduced as it is a cause of highly elevated blood sugar.
Rich in Antioxidants
Oats are very rich in antioxidants. It is especially rich in avenanthramides, which are unique to oats. These antioxidants are plant-based and are called phenolic compounds and phytoestrogens. They reduce inflammation, which in turn reduces heart diseases. They also reduce blood pressure levels because of the increased production of nitric oxide.
Increases Immune Response
Oats are known to increase the immune system’s response to diseases and infections. The Beta-glucan fiber in oats not only helps neutrophils to travel quicker to the infection site but also boosts their ability to eliminate the infection. Oats are also rich in selenium and zinc. These two nutrients are known for fighting infections.
Reducing Cancer Risk
Although the studies might not be entirely conclusive, they point toward the fact that oatmeal helps reduce cancer risk if not prevent it. Oatmeal is commonly found to be in the diet of cancer patients too.
The high amount of antioxidants found in oats helps against cancer risk. Antioxidants are known to neutralize the toxins produced in the body that can significantly increase the risk of cancer. These are known as free radicals. They can damage the DNA in the cells leading to cancer, but the antioxidants work against the damage of the free radicals and fight the risk of cancer.
The high fiber content in oats also helps fight against colon cancer.
It is especially beneficial to eat oatmeal at night as it improves the quality of sleep. Oats contain melatonin and complex carbohydrates, which contribute to more tryptophan in the brain. This helps you fall asleep. Also, oats contain many nutrients like vitamins, including B6, which help produce extra serotonin (happy hormones) in the brain. The happier the person, the less stressed they are, meaning better sleep.
Oats are indeed more than just a breakfast food.
The application of finely ground oats is very beneficial for the skin. That is why oats are often found in several skincare products. They are especially good for itching and irritation on the skin. It is widely known to help with eczema.
Constipation is a common problem of irregular bowel movements, but oats help with this too! Due to the soluble fiber content in the oats, more water is retained in the stool, making it easier to have a bowel movement. It also promotes the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract and leads to better digestion. Oatmeal is perfect for older adults suffering from constipation.
This simple yet extremely effective breakfast food is full of health benefits that can really improve the quality of life. Just a few grams of the Beta-glucan fiber every day, and you will be as fit as a fiddle.