Oat is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed, which has the same name. Oat is consumed by humans as oatmeal made of hulled oat grains that have been milled, steel-cut, or rolled. Oat is one of the healthiest grains because it contains carbohydrates, potassium, fiber, protein, vitamins A, B, C, D, calcium, iron, and magnesium. This grain is usually eaten for breakfast as oatmeal, but it is also included in muffins, granola bars, cookies, and other baked goods. Breakfast with oat is the best way to start the day because this small grain has incredible benefits.
Oat is both gluten-free and an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. For all these reasons, oat can benefit the body in numerous ways.
Oat can help improve blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A pilot study followed hypertensive men and women for six weeks, while half of them ate oat cereal and the others ate a lower-ﬁber cereal. Results showed that the oat group enjoyed a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure (pressure that occurs when the heart is contracting) and a similar reduction in diastolic blood pressure (pressure that occurs in the arteries between beats), while the wheat group was unchanged. Another study suggested that a diet rich in oats can reduce the need for antihypertensive medications.
Oats also contain a powerful fiber called beta-glucan that helps lower bad cholesterol levels. Other studies revealed that beta-glucan can support carbohydrate metabolism and blood pressure levels in obese individuals.
In a study conducted in Germany, patients who had uncontrolled type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance were introduced to a diabetes-appropriate diet containing oatmeal during a short hospital stay. Results showed that patients achieved a significant reduction in insulin dosage and maintained the reduction even after four weeks on their own at home. The fiber found in oats helps regulate blood sugar levels. According to another study, oats consumption has a beneficial effect on the glucose and lipid profiles of patients with type 2 diabetes. Beta-glucans in oats can also contribute to reducing blood sugar concentrations.
Immunity Booster and Cancer Preventative
The beta-glucan found in oatmeal can support the immune system. The majority of immune cells have special receptors designed to absorb beta-glucan, which has the ability to boost the activity of cells and protect against disease. According to a study, beta-glucan can accelerate wound healing and make antibiotics more effective in humans. An experiment conducted on mice showed that this compound can enhance immunity following exercise stress.
Beta-glucan also helps the body in the fight against a wide range of microbes like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Beta-glucan is used to improve immunity in individuals suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome or chronic stress, and it can also improve immune levels during intense treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.
The antioxidants in oats can help fight cancer, and the fiber can prevent rectal and colon cancers. According to Harvard School of Public Health, eating more whole grains is linked with lower mortality rates. Studies involving over 800,000 people revealed that eating a large bowl of oats a day can reduce the risk of death by cancer by 20%. Oats have anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit the growth of cancer cells without harming the healthy ones.
Weight Loss Aid
Studies have found that a diet rich in whole grains like oats can help regulate body weight. Increased viscosity, generated by beta-glucan, delays gastric emptying and reduces the absorption of nutrients. The increased interaction with the cells that release satiety hormones stimulates the release of peptide, a hormone associated with appetite control. Oats offer weight-loss benefits, but make sure you buy plain oats without any added flavorings because packaged oatmeal contains a lot of sugar. According to a Taiwanese study, oat can also help prevent obesity and the distribution of abdominal fat.
Energy and Muscle Builder
Oat contains carbohydrates, which are the body’s primary source of energy. The carbohydrates found in oat are not refined like the ones contained in pasta—they are healthy, and because the body absorbs them slowly, they can give you a longer-lasting energy boost.
The B vitamins in oats (like thiamin, niacin, and folate) work together to help the body metabolize energy. Oatmeal is a common favorite breakfast of athletes because oats contain carbohydrates and protein, which are both essential to the building and and recovery of muscles. Oatmeal is an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates because it contains a low glycemic index, which means it encourages fat loss and preserves muscles during workouts. Oatmeal also contains 61 milligrams of potassium per 100-gram serving, which is required for the healthy contraction of muscles. Ions released by potassium assist with reflexes, as well as functions in the brain and nervous system related to muscles.
What we eat affects brain activity and mental health, so it is crucial to follow a healthy diet to support our brains. A study on the connection between fast food and depression suggests that the presence of depressive symptoms are associated with fast-food intake in midlife women. Oatmeal may fight depression and improve your mood because it contains healthy carbs, which stimulate serotonin production. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which has a direct effect on appetite, impulse control, sleep, and mood elevation.
Oatmeal also contains iron, which is essential for healthy brain function because it supplies oxygen to the bloodstream. The amino acids found in oats help produce melatonin, the chemical that induces sleep—and vitamin B6 helps reduce stress, which is one major cause of sleeplessness.
About 334 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, an inflammatory disorder of the airways, the tubes that carry air to and from a person’s lungs. Many researchers believe that early introduction of solid foods may increase a child’s risk of developing asthma and other allergic diseases, but this doesn’t apply to all foods. One study found that children introduced earlier to oats were less likely to develop persistent asthma. Another study revealed that feeding oats to infants before the age of six months is linked to a decreased risk of childhood asthma.
Older adults often experience constipation, with infrequent, irregular bowel movements. Laxative use, especially among the elderly in nursing homes, can lead to malnutrition and unwanted weight loss. Researchersstudied 30 frail nursing-home residents, half of whom received 7-8 grams of oat bran per day. At the end of six weeks, more than half of the oat group had discontinued laxative use while maintaining body weight.
Two studies revealed that adding oats to a gluten-free diet may boost the nutritional values of the diet, particularly for vitamins and minerals, as well as increasing antioxidant levels. In one study, researchers asked men and women with celiac disease to follow a gluten-free diet with the addition of oats. After six months, results showed that large amounts of oats in gluten-free diets can increase intakes of nutrients in celiac patients in remission.
Oats also improve the nutritional value of a gluten-free diet. In the second study, the addition of gluten-free oats allowed people on gluten-free diets to achieve their recommended daily intakes of ﬁber, as well as increasing levels of a particular antioxidant called bilirubin, which helps the body eliminate free radicals as well as protect the brain from oxidative damage.
Breakfast with Oat
- 1/2 cup of oatmeal
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/8 cup flaxseed
- 1 banana
- 1 scoop Veggie Shake
Ready In: 10 Minutes
- Put oatmeal in a bowl.
- Add ½ cup water (just enough to cover the oats).
- Microwave for one minute.
- Chop the banana, and add it to the bowl.
- Add blueberries.
- Add walnuts.
- Add flaxseed.
- Add one scoop of Veggie Shake Powder and stir.
- Pour honey on top and mix.
- Oat: reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and supports the immune system. It is also an excellent source of carbohydrates, which boost energy levels.
- Banana: rich in potassium, which regulates circulation and lowers blood pressure.
- Blueberry: high in antioxidants, which fight harmful free radicals and diseases.
- Walnut: contains omega-3 fatty acids, which improve brain and heart health.
- Flaxseed: rich in lignans (antioxidants), which have anti-aging, hormone-balancing, and cellular-regenerating effects.
- Veggie Shake powder: Supergreens for supercharged energy and a strong immune system.
- Honey: contains antioxidants and is an excellent alternative to sugar. Choose a high-quality brand, because some of the lower-quality ones contain extra sugar.