Food

Health Benefits of Oats

The oat Avena L.) is a wheat cereal same family. She is from Asia and comes from wild red oats. Cultivated over 2,000 years ago, it has become extremely popular in Europe, particularly in Scotland, Germany, Great Britain and Scandinavian countries. The Scots liked the cereal so much that they took it to the United States in the 19th century when they emigrated.

The biggest producers are the United States, Germany, Poland, Finland and Russia. In Brazil, Paraná is one of the biggest producers. Rio Grande do Sul also stands out as a great producer. The large number of crops is because oats are very resistant to cold.

But Brazil imported the cereal until 1970, when varieties were created. Brazilian production surpassed that of Argentina and the country gained the status of the largest Latin American producer. In the 1990s, there was a decline, but with the inclusion of oats in the category of functional food by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) production gained new impetus.

In 2016, the harvest was 110.6% higher compared to 2015, a factor also explained by the rains. Another interesting fact about the cultivation of the grain in Brazil is the fact that it is also aimed at animal consumption.

TYPES OF OATS

Cereal varieties are classified according to their extraction. We will present 4 types, 3 of which are healthier and the last one requires moderation in consumption. Know the characteristics of each one:

  1. Oats in flakes: healthier because the grains are pressed whole, which keeps the high fiber content. Oat flakes are thin or thick and can be served with fruit, yogurt, smoothies and milk, in addition to cake and biscuit recipes;
  2. Oat bran: also has a lot of fiber, as it is obtained from the husk. This variety can be consumed in the same way as the previous one. Because it’s thinner, it’s also great for making pancakes;
  3. Oatmeal: has less fiber compared to the others, as it is obtained from the inside of the cereal. Use this flour as a substitute for wheat flour;
  4. Flavored oats: Instant porridges have preservatives and flavored oats can lose their nutritional power, even when combined with healthy ingredients like apples and honey. Avoid ready-to-eat porridges and consume flavored oats moderately.

OAT PROPERTIES

As we’ve already talked about, it is a functional food. That means being able to help prevent and control disease. Fibers are the main nutrients of oats, however, iron, proteins, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, selenium and vitamins of the B complex also justify its reputation as a super cereal. Are you one of those people who find cereal something boring? So, read carefully the list of benefits of oats!

  1. Improves bowel function

The 30-gram serving of oats has 2.73 grams of fiber, which corresponds to 11% of the daily nutrient requirements. The nutrient penetrates and hydrates the fecal cake, a factor that makes evacuation easier. The cereal prevents constipation as well as colon cancer.

  • protect the heart

The beta glucan fiber present in oats balances cholesterol levels. The antioxidant avenantramide, together with vitamin C, helps prevent clogging of the arteries. The cereal also prevents diabetes, as it has a low glycemic index, that is, it makes the body digest carbohydrates more slowly.

The cereal prevents heart failure, a common problem in the elderly. Finally, oats still maintain heart health after menopause. According to research published in the American Heart Journal, 200 women with high blood pressure, cholesterol and other problems showed improvement after consuming fiber daily for 3 years.

  • Turbine the immune system

The beta glucan fiber makes the cells of the immune system to reach the infectious points more quickly, besides expelling bacteria.

  • helps to lose weight

Fibers leave the body satiated for a longer time. In addition to eating with yogurt, fruit and milk, a great alternative is the oat smoothie with yogurt and nuts for breakfast or afternoon snack, see the recipe:

  • 4 tablespoons of oatmeal;
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup of nonfat plain yogurt;
  • 20 strawberries;
  • 1 small beet;
  • 1 tablespoon of honey.

How to prepare: Place pieces of peeled beetroot in a blender, along with chopped strawberries, walnuts, honey, oats and yogurt. Beat everything and drink without straining or sweetening.

  • Acts on muscle mass gain

Oats influence bodybuilding. This is because iron makes the muscles receive oxygen and the B vitamins facilitate the absorption of nutrients. What about proteins? They act in muscle formation and post-workout recovery.

  • mood improves

Magnesium stimulates the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, the wellness neutralizer. People with a history of anxiety and depression have one more reason to eat oats.

  • is good for the skin

You may have seen homemade oatmeal cosmetics and facial masks. The cereal’s power is such that the American Academy of Dermatology claims it balances the skin’s pH. Here’s what the cereal does: The cereal’s beta glucan fiber helps the skin retain water.

Selenium, zinc, copper and B-complex vitamins have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that restore and promote cell renewal. Apply to the face once a week the mask with 3 tablespoons of rolled oats and 4 tablespoons of milk. Leave it on for 10 minutes and feel how soft your skin will be.

CONTRAINDICATIONS AND EXCESS CONSUMPTION

  1. People with irritable bowel syndrome: despite improving bowel function, oats aggravate this problem, as their digestion is slower and stays longer in the body;
  2. People with an accelerated bowel: when the bowel works very often, it should be avoided due to fiber;
  3. People with celiac disease: gluten intolerance is the intestine’s difficulty in processing this wheat protein. Industries produce several foods in the same machine, oats can be made in machinery with wheat residues, causing cross contamination;
  4. Children under 6 months: their digestive system still does not efficiently process oats ;
  5. Intolerance, increased gas and difficulties in absorbing nutrients such as calcium and zinc.

HOW TO EAT OATS

We have selected delicious oatmeal recipes to facilitate the inclusion of this cereal in your daily life, check out:

LIGHT OATMEAL WITH GINGER

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of oatmeal;
  • Ginger powder to taste;
  • Cinnamon powder for decorating;
  • 1 cup of skimmed milk;
  • 1 coffee spoon of vanilla essence;
  • Culinary sweetener to taste.

Preparation mode

Put the milk and sweetener in a saucepan and heat over low heat. Add oats, vanilla and ginger and mix. Raise the heat and stir until the porridge is thick and loose. Serve in glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon.

LIGHT OAT BREAD WITH HONEY

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats;
  • 2 tablespoons of honey;
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour;
  • 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour;
  • 1 envelope of biological yeast;
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of salt;
  • 1 ½ tablespoon margarine;
  • 1 1/3 cup of warm water.

Preparation mode

Place ingredients in a dry bowl, starting with the dry ones. Add the yeast last. Mix well and when the dough reaches a smooth consistency, cover it with a clean tea towel and leave for 1 hour, or double the volume. Transfer to a pan of your choice, greased with butter and floured. Bake in a medium oven for 15 minutes, then increase the temperature and bake for another 15 minutes.

GLUTEN-FREE WHOLEMEAL BANANA, OAT AND CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of rolled oat tea;
  • 1 mashed banana;
  • ½ cup of cocoa powder;
  • 1 cup of demerara sugar tea;
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg;
  • ¼ cup of skimmed milk;
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder;
  • 4 eggs;
  • ½ cup of light margarine tea.

Preparation mode

Place all ingredients in a large bowl, except the yeast. Add the eggs, milk and margarine and stir until you get a smooth dough. Add yeast and mix well. Transfer the dough to a pan greased with butter and sprinkled with oatmeal. Bake in a medium oven for 30 minutes.

LIGHT OAT BURGER WITH LENTILS

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of rolled oat tea;
  • 1 cup of raw lentil tea;
  • Cumin to taste;
  • 1 teaspoon of salt;
  • ½ cup of chopped green scent;
  • ½ cup chopped onion;
  • 1 crushed garlic clove;
  • 1 tablespoon of oil;
  • 4 teacups of water.

Preparation mode

Wash the lentils and cook them in the pressure cooker until tender. Remove the water, transfer it to a container and add the onion, garlic, green scent, salt, oil, garlic and salt and mix well. Add oats and stir until consistent. If it takes longer to reach this point, add more oats. Shape the hamburgers and bake them in a greased mold with olive oil in a medium oven, or fry them in a non-stick skillet with oil. It can be eaten with bread or salad.

Oats are nutritious and versatile, but must be associated with the intake of 2 liters of water daily. Following a balanced diet and exercising are also important to increasing the cereal’s effectiveness. With all the tips presented throughout this guide, you will get the best from oats.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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