Oatmeal is one of the most complete and nutritious cereals that you can add to your daily diet. Raw or cooked, in flakes or cream, experts describe it as a super healthy food and recommend its daily consumption to reduce cholesterol and blood glucose. But there is more… Learn now the 5 best benefits of oatmeal and discover how you can improve your health and that of your children with this superfood.
What is Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is a type of whole grain cereal that grows mainly in North America and in Europe. It is very rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and stands out as the only source of avenanthramides, a class of oats exclusive antioxidants.
How can You Consume Oatmeal?
Oatmeal can be consumed in the form of cream (a kind of porridge made with oatmeal), ground, in flakes or as an ingredient in several products: baked goods, bread, cereal bars or granola. The oatmeal (whole grains) is used to make oat flakes and lightly roasted to produce oatmeal. Oat bran is the outer covering of the grain, rich in fiber, and is usually consumed as a separate cereal in cereal bars or bread. Finally, oatmeal cream for children is made with oat grains transformed into flour that is mixed with water.
What Benefits Does Oats Have?
1. It is Rich in Nutrients:
Oatmeal is a complete cereal and has a balanced nutritional contribution.
100 grams of oatmeal contain:
- Manganese: 246% of the RDA (recommended daily amount).
- Phosphorus: 52% of the CDR.
- Vitamin B1: 51% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 44% of the CDR.
- Iron: 26% of the CDR.
- Omega 3 fatty acids: 111 mg.
- Omega 6 fatty acids: 2424 mg.
- Protein: 16.9 g
- Fiber: 10.6 g
Also, oatmeal is rich in antioxidants , some of them exclusive to this cereal:
- Avenanthramides: group of antioxidants typical of oats; It reduces inflammation of the arteries and regulates blood pressure.
- Ferulic acid: antioxidant polyphenol.
- Phytic acid:predominant in oat bran, may affect the absorption of certain minerals.
2. Does not Contain Gluten:
“Oatmeal is an ideal food for intolerant (celiac) or gluten sensitive people , since it does not contain such substance”.
In fact, numerous clinical studies have confirmed that most celiac people can tolerate a moderate and even high consumption of pure oatmeal. However, make sure you buy “pure” or “gluten-free” oatmeal , since it is often processed in the same facilities as other cereals and can be contaminated with traces of wheat .
3. Reduce Blood Cholesterol Levels:
Many scientific studies have shown the effectiveness of oats and oat flakes in reducing blood cholesterol. This is possible thanks to its high betaglucan content, which:
- It slows the absorption of fats and cholesterolby increasing the viscosity of the digestive content.
- It binds in the intestine to cholesterol-rich bile acids, made by the liver to facilitate digestion, and causes them to descend along the digestive system to expel them out of the body.
Normally, the body reabsorbs these bile acids, but betaglucan prevents this process and, with it, lowers the body’s cholesterol levels. According to health authorities, the daily consumption of food with a minimum content of 3 grams of betaglucan leads to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
4. Improves the Symptoms of Diabetes:
Diabetes is an increasingly common disease among the world population. It consists of an imbalance of blood glucose levels mainly due to the increase in insulin hormone resistance. Apparently, as several studies have revealed, the betaglucan present in oatmeal can regulate blood glucose and lower insulin responses after consuming a meal rich in carbohydrates. In a study of type 2 diabetes patients, daily intake of oatmeal for a period of 4 weeks reduced the dose of insulin needed to stabilize glucose levels by 40%. Cooked oatmeal also reduces glucose and insulin resistance, but the latter increases when ground grains are consumed in flour before cooking.
5. Decreases Appetite:
Feeling satiated and satisfied decreases appetite and slows the urge to eat. In fact, an alteration of satiety is associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. In a study in which 38 foods were classified according to their satiety index, oatmeal (cooked oatmeal) ranked third in the general ranking and first in the category of breakfast foods. This influence on appetite is due to its content in betaglucan, a type of water-soluble fiber that increases satiety through 3 mechanisms:
- Delays stomach emptying.
- Increase stomach bloating.
- Stimulates the release of hormones from satiety.
Also, when comparing oatmeal with ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and other types of dietary fiber, it decreases appetite and increases satiety. But that is not all… Cooked oatmeal, or oatmeal, is low in calories and rich in fiber , making it an excellent food for those who are following a weight loss diet .
Is it a Health Risk?
Oatmeal is a food that does not cause side effects and tends to be well tolerated by most people who consume it. Only people sensitive or intolerant to avenin, a gluten-like substance, should refrain from consuming oats to avoid unwanted effects. Similarly, people sensitive or gluten intolerant should make sure to acquire “pure gluten-free” oatmeal, since sometimes it can be contaminated with traces of other cereals and gluten.
Oatmeal is a delicious and healthy cereal, perfect for those who do not tolerate gluten.
It reduces cholesterol, regulates blood glucose, decreases appetite and is rich in a wide variety of nutrients: antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, plant compounds…