Indeed, different studies prove that oats and oatmeal (porridge) are incredibly nutritious and well-balanced: oats are high in fibers and contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and antioxidants. You can find oats in a lot of ingredients such as cookies, granola bars, muffins, some pastries,…
The types of oats
- Instant (quick) oats: quick oats are created by rolling the oat flakes thinner or by steaming them longer. The texture changes and sometimes it can be a little mushy if you cook it too long but the nutritional value is the same.
- Rolled oats: also called old-fashioned oats, these are the result of steamed oat groats rolled into flakes. They stay fresh longer and the cooking time is higher than instant oats because the flakes are thicker.
- Steel-cut oats: also called Irish oatmeal, steel-cut oats are simply the result of cutting groats in two or three pieces. It takes less time to cook because the pieces are smaller.
- Scottish oats: These are similar to steel-cut oats but instead of cutting the oats, these are ground and the result is creamier.
- Whole oat groats: also called “grain kernel”, these are the most intact form of oats. In other words, oat groats are cleaned and harvested oats. People used to eat them less often because the cooking time is about 50-60 minutes.
Rich in fibers
The rich soluble fibers of the oats provide a lot of health benefits. First, they significantly help lowering cholesterol levels and as a consequence, it reduces the risk of coronary heart disease but also cardiovascular disease risk.
According to some findings published in BMJ, “a high intake of dietary fiber, in particular, cereal fiber and whole grains, was associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.”
Oats are also very filling and this is thanks to a powerful soluble fiber called Beta-Glucan. This fiber will give you the sensation to be full and consequently reduce the risk of obesity. You will eat less and later during the day so that it may help you to lose weight.
The Beta-Glucan also reduces blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity.
The fiber inside the oats is also a good remedy to relieve constipation and allows to have a better intestinal transit by reducing glucose absorption.
Rich in antioxidants
Oats contain a lot of antioxidants (such as polyphenol and avenanthramides), helping lowering blood pressure, leading to better blood flow and acting as an anti-inflammatory and anti-itching if it is applied to the skin (a lot of skin care products contain oats).
In summary, oats are among the healthiest foods you can eat.