There isn’t a single morning when my grandmother doesn’t start her day without a steaming bowl of freshly cooked oats doused in milk. It always made me look at her quizzically and wonder… Why oats? Yes, it’s healthy, but can one really have it every single day? Nutritionist Gargi Sharma says, “Oats are rich in soluble fibers which help in lowering cholesterol levels. These soluble fibers help increase intestinal transit time and reduce glucose absorption. Oats also contain beta glucan which is a lipid lowering agent. A very healthy breakfast option – you can spruce your oats with fruits and crunchy nuts.” Be it a quick fix for hunger pangs, a light and hearty evening snack or the much needed energy to carry you through your hectic morning, oats is the one superfood that can easily fit itself to suit your needs. Protein-packed, full of fiber and low on fat, oats are designed to boost your energy levels and help you lead a healthy lifestyle. They are not only good for the stomach but are interestingly super filling, satisfying and versatile. Oats contain a wide range of nutrients like fiber, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, etc. which make them top the healthy food charts. We tell you benefits of oats.
Here is a list of 9 benefits of oats:
1. Prevents cardiovascular disease: “The antioxidants present in oats are beneficial for heart disease and the dietary fibers help lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) without affecting the good cholesterol (HDL)”, says Dr. Manoj K. Ahuja. Oats also contain plant lignans, especially enterolactone, which protect against heart disease. Thus, oats help reduce your cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy. He adds, “It is a key food item that has proven to be good for the heart”.
2. Prevents Constipation: Oats are a rich source of fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which helps in regulating bowel movements and hence prevents constipation. Including oats in your daily diet can keep the issue of constipation at bay. Savour them as part of your breakfast meal.
3. Controls Blood Sugar Levels: Since oats help stabilise blood sugar and reduce risk of type-2 diabetes, diabetics should consume oats regularly. The high fiber and complex carbohydrates slow down the conversion of this whole food to simple sugars, and beta-glucan delays the fall in blood sugar levels before meals and slows the rise after a meal.
4. Reduces Cancer Risk: Lignan, the same compound which helps prevent cardiovascular disease also “helps reduce chances of hormone-related cancers like breast, prostate and ovarian cancer”, according to the American Cancer Society. Therefore, eating oats is good for both men and women.
5. Reduces Hypertension: If you suffer from high blood pressure, a daily dose of oats will help combat this problem and in turn, lower risk of hypertension. You can savour this healthful delight in the form of breakfast or during lunch time as well.
6. Rich Source Of Magnesium: Oats are also a rich source of magnesium, which is key to enzyme function and energy production, and helps prevent heart attacks and strokes by relaxing blood vessels, aiding the heart muscle, and regulating blood pressure. The high levels of magnesium nourish the body’s proper use of glucose and insulin secretion.
7. Supports Weight Loss: Oats is a low calorie food which slows digestion and makes you feel full for longer. Thus, reducing your cravings and helping you shed a few pounds. Cholecystokinin, a hunger-fighting hormone, is increased with the oatmeal compound beta-glucan.
8. Enhances Immune Response To Disease: The unique fiber in oatmeal called beta-gluten has been shown to help neutrophils travel to the site of an infection more quickly and it also enhances their ability to eliminate the bacteria they find there.
9. Protects Skin: Oats have been used as a soothing agent to relieve itch and irritation while also providing an array of benefits for the skin. According to The American Academy of Dermatology, “Oatmeal is able to normalise the skin’s pH. It also helps moisturise and soften the skin.”