All of us dream of a perfectly toned body and improved overall health, but only a few of us can achieve it in reality. The cornerstone of a healthy and fit physique lies in a well-planned and healthy diet, and it is important to include fruits, vegetables and whole grains like oats in the diet to reap the health benefits of all the naturally available nutrients.
Oats are a rich source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers, carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin E and minerals such as magnesium, selenium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. No doubt, it is considered one of the healthiest foods of the world that prevents chronic diseases, aids weight loss and reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
Nutrient Value Of Oats
Oats is the ultimate power food and each serving (40 g) of oats contains:
- Protein 6.59 g
- Carbohydrates 25.85 g
- Dietary Fiber 4.13 g
- Total Fat 2.69 g
- Calories 151.71
Benefits Of Including Oats In Your Daily Diet
What better way of beginning the day than with a piping hot bowl of oatmeal? A rich source of beta-glucans, it helps in reducing the level of cholesterol in the blood, protecting cardio-vascular health and boosting the functions of the immune system to shield the body against disease-causing bacteria.
Promotes Weight Loss
A healthy and well-planned diet for weight loss goes a long way in achieving the target in the long run. It is important to include healthy and nutritious foods in the diet that promotes weight loss in a natural way.
Oats are one such power food that holds a very important position in any weight loss diet. It is very low in calories, only 147 calories per cup that doesn’t add extra pounds to the body.
The insoluble fibers present in oats helps in keeping the stomach fuller for a longer period, thereby reducing craving and unmindful eating. Including oats in the daily diet of children has also shown to reduce the risk of childhood obesity.
Reduced Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most-prevalent chronic diseases and presently more than 347 million people around the world are suffering from it. When it comes to controlling diabetes – diet plays a very significant role.
The high level of fiber in oats keeps the glucose level constants and prevents sudden fluctuations. The beta-glucans present in oats slows down the process of digestion and carbohydrate absorption which also acts as an important factor in stabilizing blood glucose levels. Daily consumption of oats has been shown to cut out the risk of Type 2 Diabetes by almost 60%.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
The fiber beta-glucan present in oats has been shown to lower the level of cholesterol in the blood. Studies show that daily consumption of 1 bowl of oatmeal lowers total cholesterol by 8-23%.
This in turn improves heart health and reduces the formation of plaques on the walls of blood vessel and arteries that can lead to blockage, stroke and heart attack. Beta-glucan also helps in reducing the Level of LDL “Bad Cholesterol” in the blood while keeping the level of HDL “Good Cholesterol” unchanged.
Controlling High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of arterial damage, aneurysm, coronary artery disease and heart failure. It can also lead to dementia, stroke, kidney failure and nerve damage. Research shows that a daily serving of oats helps in controlling blood pressure and maintaining it at a normal level, reduces hypertension and the intake of synthetic antihypertensive medicine.
Reduced Risk Of Certain Types Of Cancers
Oats are a rich source of phytochemicals called lignans that lower the risk of hormone-related cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer. Increasing the intake of fiber rich foods lowers the level of oestrogen that is directly related to breast cancer.
Research shows that a fiber rich diet high in whole grains and cereals can reduce the risk of colon cancer. The fibers help in cleansing and flushing out toxins and carcinogens from the gastrointestinal tract.
Protects The Heart
Nuts and whole grains such as oats are a rich source of phytochemicals and plant lignans that are converted into mammalian lignans in the intestine, that reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks and improves overall cardio-vascular health.
The lignan – enterolactone protects against breast cancer and other hormone-related cancers. It is also loaded with antioxidants – avenanthramides that fights free radical damage and oxidative stress and reduces the level of LDL “Bad Cholesterol” in the blood.
Improved Immune Defense
The role of antioxidants in improving the immune system is well known, but beta-glucan also plays an important role in boosting immune functions. It is a specific kind of fiber found in oats that enhance the immune response to infection causing bacteria.
It improves the navigation of neutrophils to the infected site and boosts their ability to fight and eliminate the germs and promote healing. Starting off the day with a bowlful of steaming oatmeal also helps in supplying energy to keep you running throughout the day.
Proper Bowel Functions
Oats functions as a natural laxative that improves and regularizes bowel movement and improves overall gastro-intestinal health. It is loaded with both soluble and insoluble fibers that are necessary to regulate the movement of bowel through the intestine.
The insoluble fibers in oats absorb water and increases in volume to form a gel-like substance that adds weight to stool and facilitates its passage to relieve the problems of constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Improved Athletic Performance
Oats and other whole grains is a powerhouse of carbohydrates that supplies the necessary energy during workouts and strenuous exercises and enhances the level of performance. This makes it an effective pre-workout food that can be consumed an hour before hitting the gym to maximize the benefits of the workout.
Gluten-Free Whole Grain
Many people are sensitive to gluten and can have gluten intolerance. Symptoms of gluten intolerance may include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, migraines and joint pain.
Oats are a powerful breakfast substitute for those suffering from celiac disease. Oats does not contain prolamines (proteins) that are found in wheat-based products and other whole grains such as barley and rye. But if you are a diagnosed celiac, it is always better to consult your physician before including oats in your daily diet.
Now that you know the amazing health benefits of this complete power food include it into your daily diet to promote weight loss and keep chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, heart diseases and high blood pressure at bay.