Oats are whole-grain food that belongs to the Avena sativa species. Oats are commonly eaten for breakfast and are suitable for human consumption. Over the past few years, oats have become extremely popular as a Health Food.
The grains here refer primarily to the edible seeds of oat grass, which make up our breakfast bowls. Oats are either loved or hated for their mushy yet robust texture when cooked but are more valued for their nutritional value and health benefits.
Oats are present and can be obtained in all superstores in various forms; they are classified on how they are processed.
Types of Oats in Order of How They Are Processed
- Oat Groats: These are whole oat kernels that have been cleaned, with only the loose, inedible hulls removed. Groats comprise intact germ, endosperm, and bran. Oat bran contains most of the fiber in the great.
- Steel-Cut or Irish: In this type, the oat groats are cut into two or three smaller pieces using a steel blade. Larger the size, the more time it takes to cook.
- Scottish Oats: In this, Oat groats are stone-ground into a meal, creating a porridge-like texture when cooked.
- Rolled or Traditional Oats: In this, the oat groats are steamed, rolled, flattened into flakes, and then dried to remove moisture so that they are shelf-stable.
- Quick or Instant Oats: In this, the oat groats are steamed for a more extended period and rolled into thinner pieces so that they can absorb water quickly and cook rapidly.
Nutritional Value of Oats
Oats are amazingly nutritious, and their nutrient composition is well-balanced. Oats have a good amount of carbohydrates and fiber, including the powerful soluble fiber beta-glucan. The fiber content in oats is very high, and additionally, they contain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Just 100 grams of oats offer around 389 calories of energy. They are rich in essential nutrients and minerals like thiamine, zinc, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium. One bowl of oatmeal provides a generous amount of fiber, essential fatty acids, protein, and vitamin E, just as per the body’s daily requirement.
Some Recommended Oats to Buy
Oats Provide Various Health Benefits
Low Blood Sugar Levels:
Oats are rich in soluble fiber beta-glucan, which helps keep the glycemic index low when eaten regularly. This fiber improves insulin sensitivity and further reduces glucose levels. Those who have type 2 diabetes or are obese show a considerable reduction in blood sugar levels after consumption of oats.
Improves Heart Health:
Oats are full of fiber and antioxidants, and these antioxidants improve the health of our hearts by combating free radicals.
Reduces Hypertension and Stress:
Eating oats reduces the risk of developing hypertension or high blood pressure, all thanks to the presence of soluble fiber. The fiber helps clean the arteries and the veins and displays tremendous benefits in those already suffering from high blood pressure. Oats also cut the number of stress hormones in the body and increase serotonin, a hormone that produces a sense of happiness.
Helps in Weight Loss:
Oats full of fiber tend to fill up the tummy quicker. They also keep us satiated for a long time and prevent us from binging on unhealthy snacks. Eating oats regularly keeps the weight stable and less prone to obesity. To achieve the desired weight loss, choose plain oats rather the flavored ones.
Suitable for the Digestive System:
Oats are highly beneficial for our digestive system. They have ample content of soluble fibers, which helps clean the gut and regulate bowel movement. It also helps to relieve constipation.
Improves Bone Health:
Oats have a good amount of silicon which is essential for skeletal health, and hence women with postmenopausal osteoporosis benefit significantly from eating oats regularly.
Reduces Risk of Causing Cancer:
Oats contain antioxidants like avenanthramides, a unique compound that fights inflammation and harnesses the growth of cancer cells without hampering the healthy cells.
Oats have significant health benefits. Besides having all these benefits, it’s essential to know when you should consume oats or what is the best time to have them to gain all the benefits?
Best Time to Eat Oats
Oats are one of the healthiest grains of choice globally, and it has become a part of everybody’s food. Due to its nutritional and healthy cholesterol-lowering properties, it is the preferred choice for everyone, such as infants, adults, diet freaks, weight watchers, and older ones.
Oats are generally eaten for oatmeal breakfast, and oatmeal is consumed in the form of porridge, and oats can be consumed with either milk or water.
It is thought that there is no such fixed time to eat oats. Oats can be consumed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner too. But most commonly, oats are eaten for breakfast only. Oats can also be eaten after a workout session, contain low calories, and can be consumed any time of the day.
Oatmeal is a whole grain and full of fiber, and eating this for breakfast may help boost metabolism, which helps our body transform food into energy. Also, the presence of fiber, complex carbohydrates, magnesium, etc., helps keep our tummy full for a longer time, reducing overeating.
Additionally, oats have a low-glycemic effect, which in turn can offer a good source of energy to your mornings without dipping the blood sugar levels.
Many people are also curious whether oats or oatmeal can be eaten at night to aid weight loss. The answer to this is oats are packed with melatonin, a hormone that plays a vital role in sleep, and if you add this source of complex carbohydrates to your bedtime routine, it does help you unwind and aid in weight loss.
The Bottom line
The bottom line is, at the end of the day, oats are considered amongst the healthiest foods that one can eat. No matter what variety of oats you choose whether rolled oats, quick oats, or steel-cut ones, all equally have tremendous health benefits. Including oats in your daily routine is a great way to enhance your metabolism.
However, having oats at any time of the day does provide the necessary fiber and minerals to your diet, but if you dream of having that perfect and slim body, consuming oats at breakfast may help you the most. Consuming the steel-cut variety of oats also may help prevent the spike in the blood sugar and keep you fuller for a longer time as they are the least processed, ideal for the ones looking for weight loss and even for the diabetics.
You can add your choice of toppings to your favorite variety of oats but do not forget to measure the amount of sugar you add to it, as it may add unwanted calories.
Oats being versatile, can be chosen over any other type of breakfast to acquire endless health benefits.
This is a team of Biotechnologist who are committed to keeping you healthy and provide the best re-researched pieces of information.