Oats are great for breakfast. They are tasty, nutritious and healthy. People now know the benefits of eating oats in managing weight and that’s why you will find this to be a common breakfast item in many households. It is packed with protein and fiber with low-fat content and helps to boost your energy levels. People usually have oatmeal for breakfast which is made by boiling oats in milk or water.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, half of the daily grains requirements for a person should include whole grains and oats are one of the best sources of whole grains you will find. You can get the following benefits by eating oats regularly:
1. Extremely Nutritious
Oats are gluten-free whole grain that contains minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. They are also high in antioxidants and Polyphenols.
- The antioxidant Avenanthramides help to lower the blood pressure levels by dilating blood vessels and increasing the blood flow.
- Ferulic acid found in oats is an antioxidant which offers various health benefits as well.
- It contains huge amounts of Beta-glucan which is a soluble fiber and provides a number of health benefits including reducing cholesterol level and blood sugar; increasing growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract; maintaining healthy body weight, etc.
- It is rich in magnesium that helps the enzymes to work properly and produce energy. It also prevents heart attacks, lower blood pressure and keeps blood sugar levels in check.
Oats are extremely nutritious and offer a lot of health benefits. Having a bowl of oats is a great way to start your day.
2. Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
Oats can help lower your cholesterol levels and so reduce the chance of cardiovascular diseases. When the bad cholesterol or LDL reacts with free radicals, it leads to inflammation in arteries which can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Antioxidants that are found in oats work with vitamin C to prevent this condition.
- Oats contain Lignans that can also give protection against heart disease.
- It lowers the risk of hypertension.
- It has a high portion of the soluble fiber, like Beta-glucan, that helps to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol.
- It helps to block absorption of those substances in the gut that may contribute to heart disease.
- It reduces the levels of stress hormones and so helps to lower blood pressure.
Many people now take anti-hypertension medications. But you can lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart diseases naturally by consuming oats regularly.
3. Improves Blood Sugar Control
Many people today suffer from Type 2 diabetes which results due to reduced sensitivity to insulin. Consuming oats regularly can help to lower the blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
- The Beta-glucan in oats creates a thick gel that slows down the absorption of glucose in the blood; that is, it improves insulin response and reduces blood sugar level.
- The fiber and carbohydrates in oats slow down the conversion of whole food to simple sugars and so helps to keep the sugar level under control.
- The Beta-glucan delays the rise of blood sugar after meal and fall of blood sugar before a meal.
- It has a low Glycemic index that helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
You should remember that steel cut oats can stabilize the blood sugar more than instant oats. So, it’s better to include steel cut oats in your breakfast.
4. Helps to Lose Weight
Oats are delicious breakfast and the best thing about it is that it keeps you full for a long time. As a result, you will eat fewer calories and lose weight.
- The Beta-glucan, present in oats, releases the hormone Peptide that leads to reduced calorie intake and reduces the risk of obesity.
- It also takes time to empty the stomach and so increases your feeling of fullness.
- It increases the level of Cholecystokinin, a hunger-fighting hormone, and helps to lose weight.
If you are concerned about your weight, then eating a bowl of oatmeal every morning can help you lose a few pounds within a short time.
5. Relieves Constipation
Constipation is a common problem and almost everyone experiences it at some point in their lives. Oats are very effective in relieving constipation.
- It regulates bowel movements and so prevents constipation.
- It increases the viscosity of the digestive tract contents that helps the food to pass through the gastrointestinal tract in a healthy manner and thus helps to improve the blood sugar regulation as well.
If you are suffering from constipation problem, then eating oats may ease your condition. It is a very healthy food that must be included in your regular diet.
6. Improves Skin
Oats is very beneficial for the skin and that’s why it is used in various skin care products. In 2003, the colloidal oatmeal was approved by the FDA as the skin-protective substance. It provides the following skin benefits:
- The anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties of oat can reduce itching and irritation, and improve various skin conditions such as eczema.
- It helps to moisturize and soften the skin by getting rid of the dead skin cells.
- It can improve your complexion by acting as a natural skin cleanser.
- It contains zinc that decreases inflammation and gets rid of the acne-causing bacteria. You can use oatmeal scrub to treat acne.
- It contains Saponins that help to remove the dirt and oil from skin pores.
- It acts as a natural barrier against pollutants, chemicals and the harmful UV rays of the sun.
You should eat oats regularly and also apply oatmeal masks on the face to get healthy and radiant skin. You will look beautiful and fresh every day.
7. Improves Hair Condition
Oats are great for improving the condition of your hair. It contains various nutrients that help to make your scalp healthier and hair stronger.
- Oats help to treat itchy scalp and prevent accumulation of excess dirt and oil in the hair.
- It can treat dandruff and prevent hair fall as well.
- It can improve the overall appearance of your hair by making your hair silkier and shinier.
Besides eating oats regularly, you can also apply an oatmeal mask on your hair. It will give you stronger and shinier hair that you have longed for.
8. Reduces Risk of Cancer
Oats contain various important nutrients that can help to fight cancer. You can reduce the risk of cancer by including oats in your daily meal.
- Oats contain Lignan that helps to reduce the chances of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.
- It contains antioxidants and fiber that help to fight bowel cancer.
- It contains Avenanthramides that has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to inhibit the growth of the cancer cells.
By having oatmeal and breakfast, you will be able to lower the chances of colorectal cancer as well. Cancer is a very painful disease and one of the natural ways to combat this disease is to eat oatmeal.
9. Enhances Immune Response
Oatmeal can improve the immune system’s response to various infections and diseases. It contains Beta-glucan that helps neutrophils to reach the infected site quickly and eliminate the bacteria that are found there.
- Beta-glucan in oatmeal can also increase the activities of the white blood cells and protect you from various diseases.
- It contains zinc and selenium that fights infections and gives protection against diseases.
- It can heal wounds more quickly.
- It helps to lower the respiratory infections that may occur after a stressful exercise.
- It improves the immunity of people who are suffering from stress and chronic fatigue.
- It improves the immune levels during radiation or chemotherapy.
- It reduces the risk of asthma, especially in children.
Its anti-inflammatory properties and various important compounds present in it help to improve the immune response to infections and diseases. So, it is vital to include oats in your regular diet.
10. Improve Sleep Quality
Sleep deprivation is a common problem for many people today. As people are very busy with their lives, they have to deal with a lot of stress every day and it may prevent good quality sleep. Oats can improve your sleep quality in the following ways:
- Oats contain amino acids and other useful nutrients that produce a sleep-inducing chemical called Melatonin.
- It also promotes insulin production that helps our neural pathways to get Tryptophan that acts as a sedative to the brain and so helps you to get quality sleep.
- It contains vitamin B6 that reduces stress and helps you to sleep.
- It releases the ‘feel good’ hormone the lowers stress levels and makes you feel calm and as a result, you can have a good sleep.
Eating a bowl of oatmeal before bedtime can help you to sleep well. It can also make you feel better as oats will reduce your stress also.
Oats can help to prevent the cravings for mid-day snacks and so aid in weight loss. It is good for your stomach and helps to prevent a number of health conditions that affect a healthy lifestyle. This fiber-rich food can boost your energy levels and help you to sleep well at night so that you feel fully recharged the next day. You should eat this fiber-packed breakfast regularly for being healthy. You can top up your oatmeal with your favorite fruits and nuts for a more delicious breakfast.