Oatmeal is a type of cereal that has been incorporated in recent years into many foods. Since ancient times it has been used for its high content of proteins, fibers and minerals, at a very low cost.
However, the benefits of oats the nutritional contribution goes much further, since due to the composition of active ingredients and phytosterols, it can help us improve our state of health.
The oat It belongs to the poaceae family and is widespread as food and as fodder (depending on the concentration of proteins) throughout the world.
Its nutritional composition is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, fibers and all kinds of vitamins, although we will see that, carefully, later.
The consumption of oats is very variable depending on the country where we are. In Spain, for example, its consumption is from 0.43 to 0.45 kg /person per year. If, for example, we go to the American continent, the consumption of this cereal is much higher, with a value greater than 2 kg / person and year (as in many other areas of Europe).
One country record in the consumption of oats is Denmark, with an amount greater than 9 kg / person per year, 20 times higher than consumption in Spain.
However, what we do know is that the benefits of oats are becoming known and that means that its consumption around the world has been increasing in the last 5 years.
In general, the benefits of oats are closely linked to the improvement of intestinal transit, due to its high fiber content. The main origin of the gastrointestinal problems of the West are given by the low consumption in fiber and the high contribution of fats and proteins.
Introducing this product and taking advantage of the benefits of oats is simple if you know the main recipes that include this food. Don’t worry, in the final part of this article we will give you some ideas.
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Properties and benefits of oats
Oats are considered one of the most complete cereals that exist, due, among other reasons, to the nutritional contribution. Let’s look at it carefully.
Great nutritional contribution
Oats contain proteins, mainly B1, B2, B5, B6 and E, along with minerals such as copper, magnesium, iron and manganese. This high nutritional power is gathered in a food that seems simple, but that gets that in a single bite you are taking a good amount of positive components for health.
The benefits of oats lie, in part, in the mineral composition, vitamin intake, zero cholesterol and a lot of fiber. However, also because of the activity of its active ingredients.
Nutritional composition (100 grams)
Mineral composition of oats (100 grams)
Vitamin composition of oats (100 grams)
|Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
|Vitamin B2 (ribiflavin)
|Vitamin B3 (niacin)
In this sense, and unlike with plant extracts, the consumption of 100 grams of oats is particularly simple, since it is a high source of low-cost protein and fiber, without contraindications due to high consumption.
Taking into account that, in general, we need to consume 10 milligrams of iron per day, oats provide the 72% of the needs of this mineral.
The benefits of oatmeal are highly interesting for people who suffer anaemia, and it is advisable to incorporate it into the diet of foods rich in iron, such as red meat, seafood or nuts.
Benefits of oats for their active components
In addition to all the nutritional, mineral and vitamin composition of oats, we also find flavonoids and phytosterols interesting and with medicinal properties.
- Phenolic acids
- Avenanthramide (AVAs)
- Steroidal saponins
The effect of soluble fiber beta-glucan
The fiber that oats have is called beta-glucan, it is a type that acts at the level of the intestine, providing a good motility at the digestive level. In addition, beta-glucan promotes the development of the gut microbiota.
Fiber also makes oats beneficial for those suffering from diabetes. absorbs carbohydrates preventing them from passing into the blood, causing alterations in the level of insulin and sugar.
We have commented on the presence of beta-glucan, a type of polysaccharide that is part of the soluble fiber. It has an easy dissolution in water and creates a kind of paste somewhat thick similar to that of a gel.
The benefits studied by the scientific community of beta-glucan characterize the properties of oats:
- Beta-glucan favors the microbial flora in the intestine.
- It limits the insulin response and balances the sugar present in the bloodstream.
- It reduces levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, with no effect on high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or so-called “good cholesterol.”
- Great satiating power.
Oats are rich in antioxidants
Your content in avenanthramides, a type of polyphenol, makes it a food with high antioxidant power. It is able to remove free radicals to slow down cellular oxidation and the aging that this causes.
Oats contain a large amount of antioxidants and plant elements beneficial to the body, known as polyphenols. The most striking is a unique group of antioxidants found in the properties of oats, called avenanthramides.
Avenanthramides help to decrease blood pressure levels (as well as other foods do) by increasing the production of nitric oxide. This gaseous element favors the increase in diameter of the blood vessels by expansion, increasing the flow of blood [See study about avenantramide]
The effect of this polyphenol does not stop there and its effects against inflammatory processes and against itching due to xerotic dermatoses have also been studied.
Avenanthramides are phenolic compounds present in oats in an amount of approximately 300 ml/L (ppm)
The fat it provides is unsaturated
Fat is essential in the diet but you have to know what type to take and the unsaturated are the most beneficial for the body and are not related to weight gain and even decrease the mortality rate among its consumers.
It is interesting to try to change the dietary habits, trying to exchange trans fats (industrial pastries, snacks and all kinds of precooked foods, etc.) and saturated fats (meat, butter, margarine …) for the unsaturated fats that can provide us, among others, oats.
Therefore, the benefits of oats are also linked to the high concentration of fiber and the contrast with fat beneficial to our body (unlike saturated).
May reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL)
Bad cholesterol (LDL) is associated with countless cardiovascular diseases, the best known being myocardial infarction. In fact, it is the leading cause of death globally in the Western world.
The properties of oats against cholesterol are based on the concentration of soluble fiber beta-flucan, which has been scientifically proven to reduce total cholesterol, based on lowering the concentration of bad cholesterol (LDL).
A recommended diet requires a minimum amount of 3 g/day of β-glucan. This can achieve a reduction of between 0.25 mmol/L and 0.3 mmol/L of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), with no effect on high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol (HDL).
Therefore, a decrease in the bad cholesterol that clogs the arteries causes them to proThe chances of suffering a myocardial infarction decrease considerably. Additional information reveals that the intake of this beneficial fiber from oats along with vitamin C further promotes the oxidation of cholesterol.
Its carbohydrates are slow to absorb
The benefits of oats they happen because the carbohydrates that are consumed from it are of slow absorption. This means having the feeling of a full stomach for longer.
The consumption of energy bars rich in this cereal halfway between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner reduces appetite and the consumption of other products rich in unhealthy fats and oils.
This benefit is very interesting for those who like to eat between meals, oatmeal allows you to be satiated for hours thanks to its slow absorption and ensures that we are not always thinking about drinking something.
- Reduces constipation and improves intestinal transit.
- Low-cost energy source.
- Very balanced mineral composition.
- Helps in glycemic control.
- High source of fiber (2 tablespoons represent 12% of the recommended daily fiber).
- The family of B vitamins protect the nervous system.
Oatmeal May Improve Blood Sugar Control
Day after day we see how the figure of Diabetics it increases considerably and, without a doubt, is intimately related to the diet and diet we have.
The decrease in sensitivity to the hormone insulin causes type 2 diabetes, so foods that increase this sensitivity are continuously sought.
The benefits of oats can affect the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream and improve insulin sensitivity. In this case, we return again to talk about soluble fiber β-glucan, with an effect on decreasing the post-puberty glucose response. [Response of oat consumption with type 2 diabetes]
The conclusions of its effects reveal that the gel that is created in the mixture of this fiber and water reduces the digestion of food, which remain longer in the stomach with feeling of fullness, in turn reducing the rate of absorption of glucose into the blood and the peaks or ups and downs of this sugar, which reduces insulin sensitivity.
A diet rich in oatmeal reduces overweight
Together with the previous section, the feeling of fullness and the reduction of the emptying of the stomach by the gel of the β-glucan, makes them introduce fewer calories to the body and it takes longer to reintroduce them.
That is why the benefits of oatmeal are recommended to take, especially at breakfast, since we spend a lot of time until the next intake and gives us a balanced volume of fiber, proteins and carbohydrates in the early hours of the morning.
The one known as satiety hormone, is related to the production of peptide YY (PYY), which in turn, is influenced by the amount of beta-glucan that we introduce through food.
The properties of oats improve skin health
In many gels and soaps that we buy in the supermarket we see that a main ingredient is oats, and not precisely because of the aroma it gives off, since it is not very characteristic.
Several studies and clinical trials have found benefits in oats in skin care. the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has considered that the colloidal oats it can be used as a protective substance for the skin since 2003.
Trials have shown anti-inflammatory potential against itching associated with dry skin, so it can be used to reduce rashes, erythema, burns and eczema.
What you do have to keep in mind is that to enjoy these benefits of oats, you have to apply it directly to the skin, since they do not take into account if it is ingested, or does not produce any positive symptoms.
May decrease the risk of childhood asthma
The childhood asthma It is a disease on the rise in the Western world and is undergoing many studies to find foods or medicines to help regulate it.
It has been shown how to start as soon as possible the feeding with solids prevents the appearance of childhood asthma. However, they have also realized that not all solid foods work.
This shortness of breath from asthma in young children can be reduced with oat intake at an early age, although it is not really known why it happens. [Childhood asthma and oat consumption]
Oatmeal reduces constipation
A habit of high fiber consumption in the diet reduces constipation, as it is intimately associated with the hardness and ease of making bowel movements. Most of the population does not consume enough fiber, according to WHO statistics.
Any fiber-rich product, such as oat bran or grain can help reduce constipation, especially in elderly people, who are the most difficult.
In several clinical trials in the elderly in nursing homes, a significant reduction (p <0.001) of the use of laxatives in the group that consumed daily oat bran.
Benefits of oatmeal in different recipes
Finally, to take advantage of the benefits of oats and incorporate it into the diet you have to know how to combine it in interesting recipes, knowing that oatmeal can be found in flakes, drink, grain, bran, etc.
Here are some of the simplest.
Oat energy bars
Prepare your own “energy bars” to take this snack anywhere. You will need oatmeal flakes as the main element and the rest of the ingredients are at your expense, you can choose what you like the most. For example, you can create bars with bananas and blueberries; add nuts, honey or chocolate.
You just have to mix the chosen ingredients thoroughly until you create a viscous and somewhat sticky dough, create the desired bar size and bake them for 15 or 20 minutes.
Typical American pancakes they can change their recipe to add this rich cereal. To the already used mixture with milk, eggs, banana with cinnamon essence and vanilla can be incorporated flakes or oat grains to give it a different flavor.
The way of preparation and cooking of pancakes will be identical, the only thing that will change will be the flavor, always for the better, and the benefits that your body gets from this different breakfast.
An easy way to take advantage of the benefits of oatmeal from the first intake in the morning.
A smoothie with oatmeal
In recent years, the cold shakes they are now called smoothies and we do not stop seeing it in restaurant chains. If you like its flavor, you can do it very easily at home, while adding a touch of oatmeal.
For example, to make it strawberry flavored: mix in a blender or blender frozen strawberries, a yogurt, milk, oatmeal and sugar, honey or sweetener to sweeten the smoothie.
In a few minutes you will have ready a refreshing drink with all the benefits of oatmeal and fruit used.
If you want incorporate oats into the diet but it is difficult for you to make one of these recipes, no matter how simple they are, you can always add oatmeal to the fruit you take, to yogurts, to your orange juice or to smoothies.
You can always add a few flakes to your bowl of cereals to take advantage of the benefits of oats, without necessarily modifying your diet.
You will not have to prepare anything, just incorporate the oats in grains or flakes to add its flavor to the original food.
We add a list of recipes with different uses of this ingredient, to enjoy its properties:
- Oatmeal biscuits and biscuits.
- Smoothies and smoothies of yogurt or milk with oatmeal.
- Salads with oatmeal.
- Salted breads (intregral mold bread and whole wheat bread with seeds).
- Burgers battered with oatmeal.
- Soup with oatmeal (as a thickener).
Oats and celiacs
The celiac people are the order of the day, avoiding consuming any foods that contain gluten.
Therefore, the importance of oats and their impact on this disease have been analyzed. It seems that oats do not significantly affect celiac people, nor does it produce any negative effects at the level of blood tests or intestinal biopsy.
However, it is necessary to deepen clinical trials to obtain infhigher quality ormation. What has been recorded several cases of celiacs with problems of digestion of oats, who find it difficult to digest the avenin protein.