18 Incredible Benefits of Oats You Were Unaware Of
Oats are said to be one of the healthiest food. it is specially included in the diet when people think about eating healthy or losing weight. However, oats are beneficial in more ways than just being a healthy food item that aids weight loss.
Nutritional Content Present in Oats
Nutritional value of 100 g of oats:
|Calories from fat||62|
|Total fat (g)||6.9|
|Saturated fat (g)||1.217|
|Polyunsaturated fat (g)||2.535|
|Monounsaturated fat (g)||2.178|
|Total carbohydrates (g)||66.27|
|Dietary fibre (g)||10.6|
What Are the Different Types of Oats?
Listed below are the names of the different types of oats.
1. Oat Groats
It is the unadulterated version in which only the hull has been removed. It takes about an hour for it to cook.
2. Steel Cut Oats
Another name for pinhead oats or Irish oats, steel-cut oats are groats that have been cut into smaller pieces so that they get cooked faster.
3. Scottish Oatmeal
This type of oatmeal is ground by stone instead of cut into small pieces.
4. Oat Bran
It is very high in fibre, cooked as a cereal, and takes less time to cook.
5. Old Fashioned Oats
These are groats that have been steamed and pressed. They take about 4-5 minutes to get cooked.
6. Quick Oats
These are similar to the old fashioned oats, but they are steamed for a longer time and are pressed even more to make them thinner.
7. Instant Oatmeal
The oats are steamed more and pressed to make them even thinner than quick oats. Before packaging, salt, masala, vitamins, nutrients, and colours are added to the oat flakes.
8. Oat Flour
This is used in baking. In this type, everything is kept intact before grinding the whole grain to turn it into flour.
Amazing Benefits of Oats
We usually talk about the health benefits of oats, but have you heard about the benefits of oats for hair or for the skin? Read through and know more about this super grain.
1. Keeps the Heart Healthy
Oats contain dietary fibre and antioxidants which help in reducing the bad cholesterol that affects the heart. Enterolactone and plant lignin present in oats also help in keeping the heart healthy.
2. Promotes Good Bowel Movement
Oats prevent constipation, as they contain soluble and insoluble fibre that aid in the smooth movement of the bowel.
3. Keeps Blood Sugar in Control
Oats are a rich source of fibre and complex carbohydrates that slowly convert the whole food to simple sugars. On the other hand, the beta-glucan slows down the fall in blood sugar levels before eating and prevents a spike in the sugar levels after food.
4. Prevents and Cures Blood Pressure
It reduces your risk of acquiring the lifestyle disease and also helps in combating it.
5. Aids Weight Loss
People often talk about oat’s benefits for weight loss. It is low in calories and very high on fibre, which makes you feel full for a longer time.
6. Increases Immunity
Beta-glucan, which is present in oatmeal, makes neutrophils more effective in eliminating bacteria and curing an infection.
The saponins in oats help in cleansing the scalp and getting rid of dandruff. The lipids and proteins in oats moisturise the scalp and prevent dandruff from coming back.
8. Cures Acid Reflux
Oatmeal has good absorbing properties, which allow it to absorb acid in the foods and neutralise acidity. It also helps in preventing acid secretion and does not allow acid reflux.
9. Good for Skin
Oats have great exfoliating and cleansing properties. Moreover, it also has anti-microbial properties that prevent acne or any kind of skin infection. Amino-acids present in oatmeal help in reducing age-spots, discolouration of the skin, etc.
10. Good Source of Magnesium
Magnesium relaxes the blood vessels and muscles. This helps in preventing strokes, heart attacks and body cramps.
11. Prevents Asthma in Children
Since asthma is an inflammatory disease and oats has anti-inflammatory properties, it is said that it can prevent the occurrence of asthma in children.
12. Contains Avenanthramides
This complex compound stops free radicals from damaging the good cholesterol, thus, preventing heart attacks and heart diseases.
13. Helps in Building Muscles
Including oats in your daily diet can give all the necessary nutrients that the body requires to build muscle.
14. Helps in Eliminating Toxins
The amino acids in oats help in producing lecithin in the liver, which, in turn, works well to get rid of all the toxins in the body.
15. Good for Athletes
Oats is a high energy-generating food which helps athletes remain energetic. Since it is also high in protein content, it helps in building muscles.
16. Maintains the pH Level of the Skin
Using oats in your skin will help in maintaining the pH level of the skin and keep it hydrated without having to use any beauty products from the market.
17. Very Little Gluten
People with celiac disease can take oatmeal in moderation, since it contains fairly low amount of gluten.
18. Provides Necessary Nutrients
The advantages of oats are wide and varied. It not only helps you lose weight, but also helps you get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients that are required for an overall healthy body.
Other Uses of Oats
Oats can be used in more ways than one.
- You can blend some oats with water to make a smooth glass of oat milk. It is a great substitute for milk, especially for people on a vegan diet or allergic to dairy products.
- It works as a great binder for vegetable patties.
- Grind some oats to make flour, which can be used to bake cookies, bread, cakes and even homemade pasta.
- Instead of regular cornflour to thicken soups and stews, a spoon or two of oatmeal can be added as a substitute.
- To make your smoothie more filling, add some oats to it.
- Oats are also used for making nutritious granola bars.
- Oats can be used to coat tofu before frying to make it crispy.
- Rolled oats can be used to make cookies without baking.
How to Properly Select and Store Oatmeal
Here are a few ways to select the right kind of oats and store them in order to ensure that it stays fresh for a longer time.
- In order to choose the right type of oats, know what your preferences are.
- If you, for medical reasons, want ‘gluten-free’ oats, buy a pack that clarifies so.
- Select the type according to the dish you wish to prepare. For example, for traditional dishes like risotto or pulao, you may buy steel-cut or Irish oats. If you wish for something which will be quick to cook, you can buy a pack of instant oats.
- To cure skin problems, buy colloidal oatmeal – powdered oats that dissolve in water.
- It should be stored in airtight containers or jars, so that moisture or cockroaches do not get in.
- Keep the airtight container with oats in a dark place. That way, you can store it for up to three months.
- In case you want to keep it fresh for a longer period of time, refrigerate it.
- In order to store oat bran, always refrigerate it.
Are There Any Side-effects of Eating Oats?
Oats are supposed to be the healthiest cereal. However, they too come with their share of side-effects.
- If not chewed properly, eating oats may result in intestinal blockage. Instead of doing any good, it may have adverse effects like gas and bloating of the stomach.
- Oats itself is gluten-free, but it is sometimes processed in factories where other non-gluten-free products are also processed. So people with celiac disease should avoid it or buy only those oats that are labelled ‘gluten-free’.
- Eating oats can aggravate intestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, etc.
- Oat bran should not be taken by an anaemic person, since it contains phytates which prevent the body from absorbing iron, calcium and other minerals.
Healthy Recipes That Can Be Prepared From Oats
Here are some oats recipes that may be of help if you are planning to include oats in your daily diet.
1. Oats Porridge
It is an easy and quick oats recipe which you can eat for dinner. It can also be given to babies.
- Rolled oats (unflavoured) – 1/2 cup
- Carrot (diced) – 2 tbsp
- Potato (diced) – 2 tbsp
- Green peas – 2-3 tbsp
- French beans – 2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp.
- Ghee – 1 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Black pepper powder (optional) – 1/2 tsp
- In a non-stick pan, dry roast the oats till you get a nice, toasty aroma.
- Set it aside and in a pressure cooker, add ghee and cumin seeds.
- Then add the vegetables and the roasted oats to it.
- Stir it for a while; add 3 cups of water and salt.
- Put the lid and wait for two whistles.
- Allow the pressure to release; open the lid and add the black pepper powder.
2. Oats Kheer
This sweet dish is for people who have a sweet tooth.
- Oats – 1/2 cup
- Milk – 1/2 litre
- Jaggery (grated) – As per taste
- Cashew nuts (chopped) – 4-5
- Almonds (chopped) – 2-3
- Dates (chopped)– 3-4
- Raisins – 5-6
- Fruits – berries, banana, apple etc.
- Cardamom – 2
- Dry roast the oats until you get a nice aroma.
- In a utensil, add the milk and bring it to boil.
- Then add the jaggery and let it melt and get dissolved in the milk.
- Add the dry fruits and roasted oats to it.
- Let the oats cook until the mixture becomes thick.
- Let it cool down, add fruits and serve it chilled.
3. Oats Dosa
This is the usual dosa recipe, but with a healthy and nutritious twist, without any compromise in taste.
- Quick oats – 1/2 cup
- Rice flour – 2 tbsp
- Wheat flour – 2 tbsp
- Green chilli (finely chopped) – 1
- Ginger (finely chopped) – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1/4th tbsp
- Onion (chopped) – 3-4 tbsp
- Coriander leaves – 2-3 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Water – as is required
- Mix all the ingredients together to make a smooth batter (not too thick).
- Heat a non-stick tawa; pour some batter and spread it out to make a dosa.
- Cook it over medium flame. Once done, serve it with coconut chutney.
Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions on oats.
1. Is It Safe to Consume Raw Oats?
Oat groats eaten dry are not safe and can adversely affect your health. Vegans or lactose-intolerant people can reap the benefits of oat milk by simply soaking it in water for a few hours and then blending it with some water.
2. Can People With Gluten Intolerance Eat Oatmeal?
Oats itself does not have gluten, but it can pose a problem if it comes in contact with anything that contains gluten (like whole wheat flour) while being processed in the factory. Packs with a ‘gluten-free’ label can be consumed by gluten-intolerant people. In fact, it has been observed that eating oats for dinner is a great way to lose weight. Even oatmeal for babies is considered to be extremely nutritious. However, it is imperative to test if the person or baby is allergic to oats before introducing it in the diet.
Now that you know the various benefits of oats, try and include it in your diet. It will be beneficial to you in several ways!