Health Benefits of Eating Oatmeal
Oats are a whole-grain food, known scientifically as Avena sativa. Oats—like barley, rye, and brown rice—belong to a family of whole grains called “cereal grains.” They are the seeds of a cereal plant, and these seeds are used for food, fodder, and animal feed.
Oatmeal is porridge and food made from rolled, ground, or steel-cut oats. It is produced by several manufacturers and sold as a packaged dry product. It may be eaten uncooked as a breakfast cereal with milk, water, or soy milk, cooked into porridge, or used as an ingredient in baking.
Oatmeal is the most common form of oat products in the USA and Europe. Oat groats take 1 hour to cook on the stovetop. Quick-cooking and instant oatmeal are manufactured by partially boiling the grots, rolling them, and steaming them. Oatmeal also comes in coarse-ground or steel-cut form (called pinhead oats). Coarsely ground oats are also called Irish oatmeal.
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfast choices. The whole grains are a good source of magnesium, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Oats also contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that have been proven to lower LDL cholesterol levels.
A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that eating a bowl of oatmeal each day reduced the risk of heart disease by 5%. Researchers noted that eating a serving of whole grains per day was equally as beneficial as taking a statin drug to reduce cholesterol.
Here are more health benefits of oatmeal:
- The nutrient composition of oats is well-balanced.
They are a good source of carbs and fiber, including the powerful fiber beta-glucan. They are also a good source of high-quality protein, with a good balance of essential amino acids. Oats are loaded with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant plant compounds.
Half a cup (78 grams) of dry oats contains:
- Manganese: 63.91% of the daily value (DV)
- Phosphorus: 13.3% of the DV
- Magnesium: 13.3% of the DV
- Copper: 17.6% of the DV
- Iron: 9.4% of the DV
- Zinc: 13.4% of the DV
- Folate: 3.24% of the DV
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 15.5% of the DV
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 9.07% of the DV
- smaller amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and vitamin B3 (niacin).
Oats have 51 grams of carbs, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 8 grams of fiber in 1 cup. This same serving has only 303 calories. This means that oats are among the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat.
- Whole oats are rich in antioxidants, including avenanthramides.
Whole oats are high in antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols. Most notable is a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, which are almost solely found in oats.
Both old and newer research has found that avenanthramides may help lower blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide. This gas molecule helps dilate (widen) blood vessels and leads to better blood flow. In addition, avenanthramides have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects
- Oatmeal is rich in fiber (soluble and insoluble).
A whole grain, oatmeal is rich in fiber (soluble and insoluble), which may help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and promote a healthy heart. There are also several other nutrients in oats that may offer health benefits:
-Avenanthramides: These polyphenols have anti-inflammatory properties.
-Iron: Oats are a good source of iron, an essential mineral for oxygen transport and energy metabolism.
-Beta Glucan: This type of soluble fiber in oats can help lower blood sugar levels and help the body to feel full longer.
-Magnesium: A cup of oats provides about 58 mg of magnesium, which is about 13% of the daily recommended value for this vital nutrient for bone health, protein synthesis, and nerve function.
-Zinc: Oats contain reasonable amounts of zinc, which plays a role in immune system function, and supports healthy growth and development during childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy, as well as wound healing.
- Oats can improve blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes.
Oats have been shown to have a positive effect on blood sugar control. Beta-glucan help improves blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes by slowing down how carbohydrate enters your bloodstream after eating. In one study, men with type 2 diabetes who consumed 3 g of beta-glucan per day for four weeks saw a reduction in their fasting blood sugar and insulin levels compared to those who did not consume oat bran.
In another study, people with type 2 diabetes ate 50 grams of oats for breakfast for 12 weeks. They experienced improved blood sugar control and a 6% reduction in fasting blood sugar levels. These results are likely due to the high beta-glucan content of oats. Beta-glucan is a type of fiber that has been shown to help improve insulin sensitivity, which can reduce blood sugar levels.
- They may decrease the risk of childhood asthma
Asthma is the most common chronic condition in kids. It’s an inflammatory disorder of the airways — the tubes that carry air to and from a person’s lungs. Although not all children have the same symptoms, many experience recurrent coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Older research indicates that the early introduction of oats, for example, may actually protect children from developing asthma. One study reports that feeding oats to infants before they are 6 months old is associated with a decreased risk of childhood asthma
- Oats have beneficial effects on the heart and blood cholesterol.
Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber; soluble fiber has been shown to help lower blood cholesterol levels by preventing its absorption in the bloodstream, while insoluble fiber helps food pass through the digestive tract faster, reducing constipation. These two types of fibers work together to keep your heart healthy and functioning correctly by removing cholesterol from the body before it can cause any harm.
- Oats may reduce constipation and aid in weight loss.
Oats are high in soluble fiber, which accounts for their high water-holding capacity, which means they can keep you full for longer. Both of these properties may help reduce constipation and aid in weight loss. This is especially important for people trying to lose weight or prevent obesity-related health problems like heart disease.
Oats also contain vitamins and minerals, including manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, folate, niacin, and riboflavin. Their nutritional content varies depending on the variety of oat.
- Oats can benefit skin health.
Oats contain various nutrients that can help keep skin healthy and young-looking. They’re exceptionally high in beta-glucan, an antioxidant that can improve skin hydration and elasticity. This fiber is also known to protect against UV radiation and reduce inflammation.
Oats also contain polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help soothe dry, itchy skin and reduce the risk of skin cancer. Oatmeal baths are commonly recommended to relieve symptoms of itching and rashes caused by many skin conditions, including chickenpox and eczema.
In addition to being high in fiber, oats contain many vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, zinc, manganese, and iron. Those antioxidants can help improve skin health by reducing free radical damage.
Oatmeal is also an emollient, which means that when applied topically, it makes the skin feel softer and smoother because the oat grains soak up water in the epidermis. Oats are effective at treating many common types of dermatitis and psoriasis. Incorporating oats into your diet can also boost your vitamin E intake, which is essential in keeping skin healthy.