Oats: The Power-Packed Superfood For A Healthy Lifestyle

Did you know that oats have been around for over 2,000 years and were originally grown for medicinal purposes? It wasn't until later that they were used as animal feed and eventually became a beloved food source for humans. Oats, a versatile grain, have been a dietary staple for centuries packed with nutrients and fiber. They are popular for breakfast and baking. 

 

Oats

 

Oats are also affordable, making them a perfect choice for people on a tight budget. So, let's take a closer look at what makes oats a nutritious and delicious addition to your diet.

 

Overview Of Oats

Oats, scientifically known as Avena sativa, are a type of cereal grain from the genera - Poaceae (grass family). Poaceae is one of the largest families of flowering plants, containing more than 10,000 species of grasses.

 

The edible seeds of oat grass are typically consumed as oatmeal, a popular breakfast choice appreciated for its satisfying texture and high nutritional value. However, oatmeal calories can vary depending on the amount of oats and other ingredients used.

 

Oats Nutrition: A Nutrient-Dense Superfood

 

The oats nutritional value is high due to their nutrient-dense composition. 

 

A serving of oats (approximately 100 grams) contains: Calories (389 Kcal), Protein (16.9 grams), Fat (6.9 grams), Carbohydrates (66.3 grams), Dietary Fiber (10.6 grams), Sugar (0.99 grams), Calcium (52 mg), Iron (4.72 mg), Magnesium (177 mg), Phosphorus (523 mg), Potassium (429 mg), Sodium (2 mg), Zinc (3.97 mg), Vitamin C (0 mg), Thiamin (B1) (0.763 mg), Riboflavin (B2) (0.139 mg), Niacin (B3) (0.961 mg), Vitamin B6 (0.119 mg), Folate (B9) (56 μg), Vitamin E (0.54 mg), and Vitamin K (2.0 μg).

 

Nutritional Components & Their Availability In Oats:

Component of oat

Availability in oat

Oat starch

Approximately 60% of oat grain, contains resistant starch (RDS), slowly digestible starch (SDS), and resistant starch (RS)

Oat protein

11-15% protein content, composed of albumins, globulins, prolamins (avenins), and glutelins, with low levels of prolamins and high levels of globulins.

Dietary fibers

Contains both soluble and insoluble fibers, including beta-glucans.

Oat lipids

High in unsaturated fatty acids, particularly linoleic and oleic acids, and also contains phytosterols.

Vitamins and minerals

Good source of B vitamins, particularly thiamin and niacin, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc.


 

Oats have a low glycemic index value, which means they slowly release glucose into the bloodstream, making them suitable food for people with diabetes. Also, oats are rich in B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6, which play a crucial role in energy metabolism and overall health.

 

What Is Oats Made Of? 

Oats are made from the groats of the oat plant, which are hulled and then processed into different forms, such as rolled oats, steel-cut oats, Scottish oats, or instant oats.

 

Type

Description

Process

Cooking Time

Glycemic Index

Oat Groats

Whole oat kernels with only the inedible hulls removed. Includes intact germ, endosperm, and bran.

Cleaning and hulling

50-60 minutes

Low

Steel-Cut or Irish

Oat groats cut into smaller pieces using a steel blade. Larger pieces take longer to cook.

Cutting

20-30 minutes

Low

Scottish Oats

Oat groats stone-ground into a meal, creating a porridge-like texture when cooked.

Stone-grinding

10-20 minutes

Low

Rolled or Old-Fashioned

Oat groats steamed, rolled, and flattened into flakes, then dried to remove moisture.

Steaming and rolling

5-10 minutes

Medium

Quick or Instant

Oat groats steamed longer and rolled into thinner pieces, absorbing water easily and cooking very quickly.

Steaming and rolling

1-2 minutes

High

 

Note: Cooking time may vary depending on the brand and cooking method. Glycemic index values may also vary based on serving size and preparation method.

 

Oats Benefits: A Superfood for Your Health 

Oats are a highly nutritious food that offers several health benefits. Oats benefits include:

 

  • Cholesterol-lowering and antidiabetic effects: 

Oats lower cholesterol levels and improve insulin sensitivity due to beta-glucan, a type of dietary fiber that binds to cholesterol and prevents its absorption into the bloodstream, reducing the risk of heart disease and benefiting people with diabetes. 

 

A meta-analysis of 28 studies found that consuming 3 grams of beta-glucan daily can lower LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 5.6%. Another review of studies found that consuming oats or oat products reduced fasting blood glucose levels and improved insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.

 

  • Rich In Bioactive Compounds 

Oats contain compounds like phenolic acids, tocols, sterols, avenacosides, and avenanthramides. These have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation and lowering cholesterol levels. 

 

Studies have found that oats' bioactive compounds can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Another study found that consuming avenanthramide-rich oat products reduced markers of inflammation and improved endothelial function, which is important for maintaining healthy blood vessels.

 

  • Promotes Immunomodulation 

Oats have immunomodulatory effects, stimulating the immune system and enhancing the body's ability to fight infections. A study found that supplementing with beta-glucans from oats increased the production of immune cells in the gut and improved gut barrier function. Another study in mice subjected found that consuming oat bran increased levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines in the blood, indicating a potential immunomodulatory effect.

 

  • Improves Gut Health 

Oats contain prebiotic compounds, which feed the beneficial gut bacteria, promoting their growth and maintaining healthy gut microbiota. Oats' fiber also aids regular bowel movements, improving digestive health. A review of 16 studies found that consuming oats or oat products increased stool weight and frequency, indicating improved bowel regularity.

 

  • Weight Management

Oats for weight loss may be worth considering. Beta-glucan fiber found in oats can thicken digested food, slow digestion, and increase feelings of fullness, aiding in weight control. Additionally, this fiber produces short-chain fatty acids that help regulate appetite hormones, further promoting satiety. Studies found that consuming oats or oat products increased feelings of fullness and reduced calorie intake.

 

oats benefits for Weight Management

 

How To Eat Oats

Oats calories and nutritional value, including the protein in oats, make them a healthy and filling food choice. Oats can be eaten in a variety of ways, such as:

 

1. Cooked oats: The most common way to eat oats is to cook them on the stove or in the microwave with water or milk. You can add your favorite toppings, such as fresh fruit, nuts, or honey, to make them more flavorful and nutritious.


2. Overnight oats: You can prepare overnight oats recipe by soaking rolled oats in milk, yogurt, or a milk substitute and leaving them in the fridge overnight for a no-cook option. Add your preferred toppings in the morning and enjoy a delicious and healthy breakfast.


3. Oatmeal cookies: You can also use oats to make healthy oatmeal cookies, which can be a tasty snack or dessert option.


4. Granola bars: Oats can make homemade granola bars, a great on-the-go snack.


5. Smoothies: You can add oats to smoothies to make them more filling and nutritious.

 

Considerations For Adding Oats To Your Diet

 

When adding oats to your diet, it's important to consider a few key factors.

 

1. Choose whole oats, without added sugar or artificial flavors. Be aware of labels to check which may contain added sugars and artificial flavors. 


2. Be mindful of portion sizes, as consuming too many oats can lead to excess calorie intake & other stomach issues


3. Consider adding variety to your oats by mixing in nuts, fruits, or spices to enhance the taste and nutritional value. Opt for healthy toppings like fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds, and avoid high-sugar options like flavored syrups or sugary cereals.


4. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, selecting oats certified as "gluten-free" is important to avoid potential adverse effects.

 

Oats for Breakfast: A Perfect Way to Start Your Day

 

Starting your day with a bowl of oats for breakfast is a great way to kick-start your metabolism and provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally. 

 

Oats for Breakfast

 

But what if you don't have enough time in the morning for a sit-down breakfast? Or are you looking for a quick and easy breakfast option that's both delicious and healthy? Consider Namhya Sattu and Namhya Ragi Instant Breakfast Cereals!

 

Namhya Sattu Breakfast Cereal: The Ultimate On-the-Go Solution for Busy Mornings

 

For busy mornings, Namhya Sattu Breakfast Cereal is the perfect on-the-go solution for a healthy breakfast in summers with 2 mins prep time. Packed with natural protein from Sattu (vegan options for protein), oats, and nuts, it's a 100% raw, plant-based, preservative-free meal, making it a perfect protein-rich superfood for summers.

 

You can mix it with water or milk and enjoy it anytime to get some natural protein in summers. As an excellent post-workout meal, it refuels and replenishes your body, giving you the energy you need to power through your day.

 

Namhya Ragi Instant Breakfast Cereal - Quick, Wholesome, and Delicious!

If you prefer a quick, wholesome, and delicious cereal, Namhya Ragi Instant Breakfast Cereal is perfect. Made with almonds, ragi, raisins, and oats, it's low in calories & high in fiber, providing you with a pure and wholesome meal without any preservatives. Simply mix it with milk or warm water, and you have a nutritious breakfast that's perfect for busy mornings.

 

ragi

 

So don't let a busy morning stop you from starting your day off right. Try Namhya Sattu and Namhya Ragi Instant Breakfast Cereals today, and experience the convenience of healthy eating!
Back to blog

Author

Ridhima Arora

Ridhima Arora is an Indian entrepreneur, author, trained yoga instructor, and practicing nutritionist. She is the founder of Namhya Foods.Besides being the founder of Namhya foods, Ridhima also gives nutrition coaching in seminars to kids, NGOs, and corporates. She also works as a freelancer at Global Changemakers.

Recent Posts