The oat (sometimes known as common oat) is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed. Oats are suitable for human consumption as oatmeal with numerous health benefits. Sometimes oats are ground into fine oat flour. Oatmeal is mainly eaten as porridge and finely milled oats are used in the making of drinkable oats. When it’s cold outside, a bowl of oatmeal makes a warming and satisfying breakfast.
Different varities of oats
Oat groats: This is the raw form of oat and completely unadulterated. If you prefer the whole grain food then this is what you will love. Only the inedible hull has been removed in oat groats.
Steel cut oats: This form of oats is cooked in 10-20 minutes because these have been cut into smaller pieces. It is also known as Irish oats.
Oat bran: This is the fiber rich part of the oat that’s been removed. This can be eaten separately as hot cereal or one can sprinkle oat bran on the breakfast bowl in order to boost the nutrient content.
Instant oatmeal: As the name suggests this form of oat is cooked almost instantly within 1 minute. Instant oatmeal is rolled thinner and steamed longer. This is the only form of oats that has been processed before packaging. Different salts, color, vitamins, minerals and added sugar have been mixedto bump up the calories.
The oat grain is naturally gluten-free. However, as oat plants are usually grown near wheat fields and processed in plants where wheat products are processedit may expose to cross-contamination. This is the only technical reason for which gluten can be found (very scanty though) in some form of oats.
Health benefits of oats
Cholesterol reduction— Over the past few years rolled oats and oat bran have been proven as the food items that can lower blood cholesterol. Dietary fiber beta-glucan found in oats is actually responsible for the lowering of cholesterol. A daily consumption of around 3gm of soluble oat fiber lowers cholesterol by 8-23%.
Oats prevents diabetes— Cereal grains like oats are slowly digested and thereby causing a gradual rise in the blood sugar level. Considerable numbers of medical research have proved that people with oats consumption had 30-60% less risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to people who consumed carb-rich food items.
Cardio vascular disease prevention— A reduction in bad cholesterol level consequently lowers the risk of developing heart disease. Oats are given credit for about one third drop in cholesterol levels and it is established that only three servings of wholegrain per day may help to reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 30%.
Oats for weight loss— Breaking the fast with a fiber rich and nutritious food like oats helps a person to maintain a healthy weight throughout the life. Oats are adorable for the highest satiety value of all breakfast items that keeps you full for longer. This favorable metabolic alteration reduces long term weight gain.
Oats for proper digestion— Fibers are always good for the efficiency of human digestive system. Oats are rich in fiber. Fibers absorb a lot of water and increase the volume of wastes that are about to leave your body. While passing through bowel, fiber speeds up the passage of waste material through the colon. Thus, waste materials get short duration to linger in the bowel.
Oats strengthens our immune system— Beta glucans found in oats can boost the effectiveness of our immune system. As an outcome the immune system can better prevent the attacks of bacteria, viruses, fungus and several parasites.
Oats for Atherosclerosis prevention— Plaque accumulation in the artery wall is the main reason behind coronary artery disease. The disease is medically termed as Atherosclerosis which means hardening of arteries. Oates contains a very important antioxidant called Avenanthramide that has the potential to prevent accumulation of plaque in the artery walls.