BENEFITS OF OATMEAL
What is oatmeal?
Oatmeal is the finished product of oats. Oats are whole grain food scientifically known as Avena sativa. They are primarily cultivated as livestock feed. They grow in temperate regions like Canada and the United States and can hold against poor soil making them a substantial crop. Oats are categorized as one of the healthiest grains on earth, they are gluten-free and contains a lot of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Studies have been able to prove that oats and oatmeal are highly beneficial to the body.
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT OF OATMEAL
Oats are packed with important vitamins, carbs, fiber, minerals, antioxidant plant compounds, and proteins.
A cup of oat used in making oatmeal contains
HEALTH BENEFITS OF OATMEAL
- Reduces blood sugar and Improves Insulin Response: Oatmeal contains a large amount of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that helps to reduce blood sugar and improve insulin response.
A research carried out showed that people with type 2 diabetes that added oatmeal to their diet experienced some reduction in their blood sugar level as long as they didn’t add extra sugar.
- Provides antioxidant: Oatmeal contain a very unique group of antioxidant called Avenanthramides. Avenanthramides is an oxidant that helps lower blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a gas molecule that helps blood vessels dilate enabling better blood flow. Another antioxidant present in oatmeal is ferulic acid which helps in boosting the effect of other antioxidants.
- Supplies the body with vitamins and Minerals: Oatmeal contains a lot of minerals and vitamins while being low in calorie content. It is not just supplying your body with the nutrient it needs, it is also helping you maintain a healthy weight or helps you lose weight.
- Reduces Cholesterol level: The soluble fiber content in oatmeal helps the intestinal tract trap substances associated with blood cholesterol. Studies have proven that people who consume 3g of soluble fiber daily can reduce their total cholesterol by 8% to 28% and oatmeal contains 4g of soluble fiber making the reduction higher.
- Protects your skin: Some discovery has been made on how great oatmeal is for dry, itchy, and irritated skin. Most of the face creams and lotion we use contain some level of oatmeal. The rough fibrous husk of oat acts as a gentle exfoliant and the starchiness of oats creates a barrier that allows the skin to hold moisture hence prevent dry skin.
- Increases growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract: The Beta-glucan present in oatmeal forms a gel-like substance when it mixes with water and coats the stomach and digestive tract. This coat serves as food for the good bacteria thereby increasing their growth and also contributing to a healthy gut.
IS EATING OATMEAL GOOD FOR THE SKIN?
Oat has been found as one of the contents of numerous skincare products. It is usually listed as “Colloidal Oatmeal”. It helps in the treatment of itches and inflammation. It also acts as a gentle exfoliant that helps to remove dry skin. Some oat-based skin product may improve uncomfortable symptoms like eczema, so adding oatmeal to your diet or using skincare products that contains oat will have a positive effect on your skin.
IS IT OKAY TO EAT OATMEAL DAILY?
As mentioned earlier, oatmeal contains a lot of nutrients starting from minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, etc. It also contains soluble fiber which helps in reducing total cholesterol levels. Oatmeal is highly recommended for people with high cholesterol level, They are advised to eat oatmeal daily without adding extra sugar.
Other unique components like beta-glucan and the antioxidant avenanthramides make oatmeal a great meal that everyone should incorporate into their diet. It is among the healthiest meal you can eat.
HOW TO PREPARE HEALTHY OATMEAL
Varieties of oatmeal exist and I think preparing them is based on the type of oatmeal. They include:
- Oat groat
Oat groat takes the longest time to prepare. The general oatmeal (oatmeal porridge ) preparation method is described below:
- ½ cup of rolled oats
- 1 cup (250ml) of water
- A pinch of salt
- Combine ingredient into a pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat to enable it to cook well and stir occasionally until it gets soft
- Once it is ready, turn into a bowl or plate
- Add milk and stir
- Your oatmeal is ready. You can also add cinnamon, nuts, or fruit for more nutritional value and a better taste if you wish.
Note: Some oatmeal may tend to contain gluten which was probably acquired during the production process. The equipment used for the production of other grains would have also been used for producing oatmeal. So when purchasing oat products, make sure you lookout for an oatmeal product that specifies gluten-free if you have gluten sensitivity.