Oat’s is a species of cereal grain which is grown for its seed. Oats are grown in temperate regions. They have a lower summer heat requirement and greater tolerance of rain than other cereals, such as wheat, rye or barley, so are particularly important in areas with cool, wet summers, such as Northwest Europe and even Iceland. Oats are an annual plant, and can be planted either in autumn (for late summer harvest) or in the spring (for early autumn harvest).

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With increasing obesity and cholesterol levels, oats must become an important part of your daily meal. Oats are rich in dietary and soluble fiber and contain almost no fat. This cereal grain has multiple benefits associated with it.

 

Health benefits of eating oats:

  • Cholesterol and Heart: Oats and Oat Bran ae rich sources of dietary fiber. This fiber contains a mixture of about half soluble and half insoluble fibers. One component of the soluble fibre found in oats is beta-glucans, a soluble fiber which has proven effective in lowering blood cholesterol. Oats and grains are also one of the best sources of compounds called tocotrienols. These are antioxidants which together with tocopherols form vitamin E. The tocotrienols inhibit cholesterol synthesis and have been found to lower blood cholesterol. The accumulation of cholesterol is implicated in many types of cardiovascular disease. Oats, like all cholesterol-lowering agents, are most effective when consumed as part of a low-fat, high-fiber diet taken together with plenty of exercise. The beneficial health effects of oats are best if ½-1 cup (1½-3 ounces) of oats are eaten every day.
  • Blood Sugars: Eating oats can spread the rise in blood sugars over a longer time period. Control of blood glucose and insulin levels is essential in preventing many of the complications associated with diabetes. Oat beta-glucan slows the rise in blood glucose levels following a meal and delays its decline to pre-meal levels.
  • Anti-Cancer: Oats, like other grains and vegetables, contain hundreds of phytochemicals (plant chemicals). Many phytochemicals are thought to reduce a person’s risk of getting cancer. Phytoestrogen compounds, called lignans, in oats have been linked to decreased risk of hormone-related diseases such as breast cancer.
  • Blood Pressure: A daily serving of whole oats rich in soluble fibre can reduce hypertension, or high blood pressure, and so reduce the need for anti-hypertensive medication.
  • Wight Loss: As the soluble fiber of oats is digested, it forms a gel, which causes the viscosity of the contents of the stomach and small intestine to be increased. The gel delays stomach emptying making you feel full longer which helps with weight loss.
  • General Health: Oats have a higher concentration of well-balanced protein than other cereals. Oats contain phytochemicals (plant chemicals) which have been associated with protection from chronic disease such as cancer. They contain a good balance of essential fatty acids, which have been linked with longevity and general good health, and also have one of the best amino acid profiles of any grain. Amino acids are essential proteins that help facilitate optimum functioning of the body. Oats are a good source of essential vitamins such as thiamin, folic acid, biotin, pantothenic acid and vitamin E. They also contain zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium. Oat beta glucan also appears to help speed up response to infection, which may result in faster healing.

New flavored Oats like Masala oats have made the otherwise boring nutrient yummy. Oats can also be consumed in the form of granola bars or biscuits.

Start today! Grab your bowl of Oatmeal and stay healthy!

Written by Taarini Chandramouli

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