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Remember the childhood days when your mom or grandmother used to talk about the benefits of oatmeal while you grudgingly tried to finish your serving? Back then you were surely thinking about why you should eat almost every day. What we realize after a few years is that oats are simple to cook (and of course very delicious when cooked right) and the benefits of eating oatmeal at night or anytime during the day are numerous.
They can be prepared in so many ways; add a pinch of cinnamon, some honey, and your favorite fruits. We bet you will wait for this meal every single morning before starting your day. You can also have it as a snack to fulfill untimely hunger cravings without worrying about adding inches; among oats benefits, weight loss is at the top. Oats are packed with protein and fiber that provide enough energy for a busy day and keep you full for longer as well.
Keeping fit is a two-way road; one is physical exercise and the other is diet. The latter should always incorporate superfoods like oats. Our hectic schedule and overall busy lives need us to eat healthy, which should include foods suggested by experts. Consult experienced nutritionists with FITFEAST and streamline your diet. Get customized daily diet plans and reach your goals within a short time.
The Benefits of Oatmeal
Heart problems are quite common across the world and a leading cause of death and high blood cholesterol is a major risk factor. A fiber – beta-glucan – present in oats is known to effectively reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol as well as total cholesterol. It increases the excretion of bile rich in cholesterol, which reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood.
LDL reacts with free radicals that lead to its oxidation, which causes heart diseases. As a result, the arteries get inflamed and tissue damage occurs thus increasing the risk of strokes and heart attacks. The antioxidants in oats, together with Vitamin-C prevent LDL oxidation.
Oats are low in calories; they slacken digestion thereby keeping you full for longer. This reduces hunger cravings, which eventually helps you lose weight. The compound beta-glucan increases the hunger-fighting hormones in the body. Have oats for breakfast or any other meal to satiate hunger and nutrient needs of your body. Since oats reduce food intake, they reduce the risk of obesity and therefore, heart diseases.
Only those who suffer from breathing ailments such as asthma know the problems that come with it. A chronic disease in kids, it is an inflammatory disorder that blocks the airways that transport oxygen to the lungs. Wheezing, shortness of breath and recurrent coughing are common symptoms of asthma in children, although not all of them experience them. Experts relate solid food intake with an increased risk of developing asthma and other allergic diseases. Oats, however, are considered to help protect the related parts of the body against inflammation. According to studies, feeding oats to children is associated with a reduced risk of asthma.
Oats are packed with nutrients; they are great sources of fiber and carbs. Among most grains, they contain the highest amounts of protein and fats. Dry oats consist of:
- Vitamin B1 and B5
Apart from these, they also contain small amounts of Vitamin B6 and B3, potassium, and calcium. Oats are counted among nutrient-dense foods.
Oats are also used as a soothing agent; they relieve skin irritation and itching. Oatmeal benefits for skin include normalizing the pH of the skin in addition to moisturizing and softening it. Several lotions and face creams have oats as an ingredient in them. The starch in oats allows the skin to maintain its moisture by creating a barrier. The fibrous husk acts as an exfoliating agent.
Oats are packed with antioxidants and polyphenols – healthy plant compounds. A notable and unique group of antioxidants is exclusively found in oats. This group of antioxidants helps lower blood pressure and increases nitric oxide production, which dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow. Oats are rich in ferulic acid, which has antioxidant properties and protects the skin against environmental damage.
Type-2 diabetes is quite common and it causes elevated blood sugar levels. This type of diabetes is caused due to decreased insulin sensitivity. The benefits of oats include, according to studies, lowering blood sugar levels (provided you don’t add sugar while cooking), especially in overweight people. They are also known to improve insulin sensitivity. These effects are owed to beta-glucan that forms a thick gel and delays the absorption of glucose in the blood.
Constipation and irregular bowel movements can be bothersome, especially to the elderly. They are often prescribed laxatives to relieve constipation, which is effective but leads to weight loss and reduced quality of life. The fiber-rich outer layer of the oat grain helps relieve constipation, according to studies.
How to Cook Oatmeal
The best thing about oatmeal is that it is extremely easy to cook. You need:
- Oats (as per requirement)
- Milk/Water (enough to soak the oats)
Add water or milk with oats in a pot and bring it to a boil. Let them cook on a low flame and stir occasionally. Add sugar or salt as per taste. Or you can add honey after if you prefer. For some more taste, you can add cinnamon, nuts, seeds, and fruits of your choice. Oats are often an ingredient in baked goods, granola, bread, and muesli. However, processed oats might contain gluten, which might be a problem for celiac disease patients. But you can easily buy gluten-free oats at stores.