The Oat (Avena sativa) was originally cultivated in southern Europe some 5000 years ago. Hippocrates wrote that oats made into porridge or gruel (a thin porridge) is refreshing and helps hydration. During wars, the Scottish soldiers use to carry a bag of oatmeal as a source of strength. They also believed that it could build and regenerate bones and ligaments.
Oats can be described a cereal food that is generally considered to be very soothing for the nerves. A species of cereal grain grown for its seed, they are mainly consumed in the form of oatmeal and rolled oats, by human beings. Apart from that, the cereal is also used as livestock feed. Oats, mainly derived from a weed of the primary cereal domesticates - wheat and barley, were earlier considered to be a secondary crop. However, owing to the numerous health benefits that they offer, their consumption has increased to quite an extent and they have now come to the forefront.
Nutritional Value of Oats
- Water - 12.82 gm
- Energy - 607 kcal
- Protein - 26.35 gm
- Total lipid (fat) - 10.76 gm
- Ash - 2.68 gm
- Carbohydrates - 103.38 gm
- Fiber - 16.5 gm
- Calcium, Ca - 84 mg
- Iron, Fe - 7.36 mg
- Magnesium, Mg - 276 mg
- Phosphorous P - 816 mg
- Potassium K - 669 mg
- Sodium Na - 3 mg
- Zinc - 6.19 mg
- Manganese Mn - 7.689 mg
- Vitamin C - 0.0 mg
- Thiamin - 1.190 mg
- Riboflavin - 0.217 mg
- Niacin - 1.449 mg
- Vitamin B6 - 0.186 mg
- Folate - 87 mcg
- Vitamin B12 - 0.0 mcg
- Fatty acids - 1.899 gm
Health and Nutrition Benefits of Eating Oats
- Oats comprise of one of the best sources of Inositol, which is very important for maintaining blood cholesterol level. In other words, eating oats regularly can help keep your cholesterol in check.
- They contain very high levels of calcium, potassium and magnesium, coupled with Vitamin B-complex. All these vitamins and minerals are very essential for the nervous system.
- Cooked oats can help relieve fat from the body, while unrefined oatmeal can reduce stress.
- Because of the high fiber content present in oats, they are said to be helpful in preventing bowel cancer.
- Since oats have lots of fiber, having them regularly can help cure constipation.
- If consumed on a frequent basis, they can help lower the chances of having heart disease.
- Apart from being a good source of protein, oats also provide vitamin E, zinc, copper and iron to the body.
- They have also been proven to act as an effective anti-depressant. In other words, having oats can calm you down and help treat depression as well.
- Oats, with more soluble fiber than any other grain, can slow down the digestion process and provide an extended sensation of fullness. This makes them good for people who want to lose weight.
- If you eat regularly, the rise in blood sugar level gets spread over a longer period of time. This helps prevent many of the complications associated with diabetes.
- Oats contain phytochemicals (plant chemicals), which are believed to protect the body from chronic diseases, such as cancer.
The lipids present in oats contain a good balance of essential fatty acids, which has been linked with longevity and general good health. You should aim to eat roughly 1 cooked cup of oatmeal each morning for optimal health benefits.
Be sure that you have a bowl of oatmeal every morning. Your body will thank you for it !