Pune


NUTRITION
November 17th, 2020
3 mins read

What are the Benefits of Oatmeal?

Oatmeal is a great source of all the essential nutrients needed by the body.

It protects the body from certain diseases and skin infections.

Regardless of the benefits, it has certain risk factors attached to it, too.

Breakfast is often considered the most important meal of the day and oatmeal has slowly become a beloved part of morning routines the world over. While it is a staple in places like Europe, North America, and Russia, it wasn’t until recently that developing countries turned to oats. Oatmeal is a great source of all the essential nutrients needed by the body. Oats are grains from the Avena sativa plant and are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are among the healthiest whole grains available. There are different types of oatmeal, such as quick-cooking, steel-cut, rolled, crushed, oat groat, and instant.

All of these are the different ways in which oats are processed to facilitate cooking, without which they aren’t suitable for consumption. The nutritional value of oatmeals is definitely the hero of this grain, especially since it contains avenanthramides. Experts believe that this unique group of antioxidants can protect against heart disease and whole oats are the only food source that provides it.

To help you better understand this natural superfood and learn what it can bring to your diet, take a look at the following benefits of oatmeal.

Nutritional value of oatmeal

Here is the nutritional value of oats for 100g of raw oatmeal.

Calories: 389
Water: 8%
Fiber: 10.6g
Fat: 6.9g
Protein: 16.9g
Carbohydrates: 66.3g
Sugar: 0g

Based on this chart that lists the nutrition facts of oats, protein and carbohydrates stand out among the other nutrients, thus highlighting how healthy oatmeal can be. Moreover, oats are about 11% fiber, most of which is soluble. This helps slow down digestion and improve appetite control while increasing satiety.

Oatmeal benefits to keep in mind

Relieves constipation

Infrequent bowel movement is unhealthy and should be addressed sooner than later. While you can rely on laxatives, these are associated with many side effects. As such, opting for a natural solution is ideal, and consuming oatmeal has proven to be effective. Oat bran is rich in fiber, which has been found to relieve constipation, especially in elderly people. This fiber aids optimal gastrointestinal function and can even prevent constipation altogether.

Oatmeal aids in weight loss

Weight loss is often brought on by eating healthy, burning calories through physical activity, and eating in a calorie deficit. As such, it is smart to consume foods that are nutritionally dense and keep you feeling full for longer. Oatmeal does just that and this is due to the fiber content in it, thanks to beta-glucan in particular. This fiber may also help in the release of the peptide YY (PYY), a satiety hormone, which not only helps reduce calorie intakes but may also decrease the risk of obesity.

Promotes healthy gut bacteria

The beta-glucan fiber in oatmeal also helps improve gut bacteria. This fiber mixes with water to form a gel-like coating that lines the stomach and digestive tract. As a result, it provides an environment that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria, thus improving gut health.

Serves as a rich source of antioxidants

As mentioned earlier, oatmeal is rich in antioxidants and is a source of avenanthramides. There are several benefits to this antioxidant specifically, such as:

  • Reduced itching and inflammation
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved blood flow

In general, antioxidants like enterolactone in oats also combat the effect of free radicals in the body. This is important as free radicals can lead to serious conditions like cancer.

Protects from certain skin conditions

There are several skincare products that use oatmeal grain as an ingredient. It is usually listed on such products as colloidal oatmeal and oats have found to be quite effective in treating several conditions. For instance, oats can help treat itchiness and irritation in skin conditions and even alleviate symptoms of eczema. However, it is important to note that this is only applicable when oat-based products are applied to the skin and not when consumed.

How to prepare oatmeal?

Oats are now a part of several Indian recipes that are known for unique textures and tastes. However, for simplicity, here is a short rundown of what you need to do to make a quick bowl of breakfast oatmeal.

Preparation of oats

  • Use the type of oatmeal you desire
  • Bring 1.5 cups of water or milk to a boil
  • Add 1.5 cups of oats and stir
  • Reduce heat to medium
  • Continue simmering for the duration indicated on the packaging
  • Add sweeteners or spices, as per taste

Based on the type of oats you’ve chosen, the cooking time varies. For steel-cut, rolled, or crushed oats, you will need to simmer for about 10 to 20 minutes for it to completely cook. For the oat groat variant, it will take longer, up to 60 minutes. Finally, the instant variant is usually the quickest and allows you to get your oatmeal ready in a few minutes; however, it is the most processed of the lot.

Do’s and don’ts when eating oatmeal

  • Don’t add too much sugar or honey
  • Don’t rely on ready-to-eat packaged oats
  • Do choose the right toppings
  • Do measure your intake

Risks to keep in mind

While oatmeal is generally good for health, there are few side effects that are possible. Here are a few common risks to take note of:

  • Allergic reactions to the gluten content
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Stomach pain
  • Reduced absorption of iron in the intestinal tract

However, regardless of the benefits, keep the risks in mind and avoid complications altogether by seeking professional advice. With the healthcare platform provided by Bajaj Finserv Health, you can get in touch with the best nutritionists in your area and ensure that your diet actually gives you the results you desire. What’s more, you can also book appointments online, and consult with doctors virtually over video. This makes remote healthcare a reality and helps you get the care you need without any restrictions. This platform also allows you to track your vitals and maintain digital patient records, which can then be shared with medical professionals as needed. Get the best healthcare benefits right at your fingertips!

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