Oats (Avena sativa) has been given special attention for its high content of dietary fiber, phytochemicals and nutritional values. It is convinced that oat consumption has various health benefits such as hypocholesterolemic and anti-cancer properties. Oats have also recently been considered appropriate for celiac patients diet. Because of their high nutritional value, food products made from oats such as bread, biscuits, probiotic drinks, breakfast cereal, flakes and baby food, are increasingly considered. Research on oats and their products can be useful to treat and prevent various diseases. This article gives an overview of the nutritional and health benefits of oats as whole grains and products containing them.
Oat cereals feed a wide variety of populations around the world. Oats are mainly grown in American and European countries, mainly in Russia, Canada and the United States of America. It is mostly used to feed animal and to some extent as human food. The use of oats as feed for livestock has declined steadily due to the emerging use and interest in worn as food for human health.
Studies reveal that oats have health benefits for gastrointestinal problems and boasts of anticancer effects. Oat consumption in the human diet has been increased due to the health benefits associated with dietary fiber such as β-glucan, functional proteins, lipid components, starch and phytochemicals present in the grain of oat. Oats also contain a variation of phenolics, including glycerol ester conjugates, ester-linked alkyl conjugates, ether and ester glycerides, anthranilic and avenanthramidic acids (AVA). These compounds have a high level of antioxidant activity. These antioxidants are concentrated in the outer layer of the grain in the bran of oat grain.
Consumption of whole grains has gained popularity due to their benefits for health, opening new savory cereal consumption possibilities.
Oats contain a considerable amount of valuable nutrients such as proteins, starch, unsaturated fatty acids and soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Oats also contain micronutrients such as vitamin E, folate, zinc, iron, selenium, copper, manganese, carotenoids, betaine, choline, sulfur amino acids, phytic acid, lignins, lignans and alkyl resorcinols. Although wheat and rice are consumed in significantly higher amounts than oats worldwide, oats have the advantage of being consumed more as whole grain cereals because of the prophylactic virtues it provides.
The consumption of oats and its derivatives (oatmeal and oat bran) provide various clinical and industrial utilities. It is known to reduce total plasma cholesterol and cholesterol of low density lipoprotein, postprandial blood glucose and insulin response, the apparition of coronary heart disease and chronic inflammations arteries. It also helps prevent the development of cancer and atherosclerosis.
Oats contain a powerful fiber called beta-glucan that helps to lower cholesterol levels. Beta-glucan is the main component of soluble fiber in oats that reduces bad cholesterol without affecting levels of good cholesterol. Antioxidants found in oats (avenanthramides and phenolic acids) work in conjunction with vitamin C to prevent the oxidation of LDL, which can also cause heart disease.
Oat bran also contains Vitamin E, another nutrient for heart health. More interesting, oat bran contains more fiber (15 to 26 percent) than oatmeal (7 percent). A study showed that oat bran consumption was related to a 12% decrease in average of total cholesterol.
According to another Australian study, oat fiber is more effective at lowering cholesterol than wheat fiber. The study also indicates that the flour of oat bran can actually reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Oat bran also helps to block the absorption of these substances in the gut that can contribute to heart disease.
Oats have a low glycemic index and their high fiber content helps regulate blood sugar levels. In addition, being rich in fiber, oats are digested slowly. Oatmeal makes the contents of the stomach much thicker, which makes them digested slowly. A study has shown that oatmeal can also reduce insulin doses.
Another study showed that oat consumption has a beneficial effect on glucose and lipid profiles for patients with type 2 diabetes. Beta-glucan in oats also reduced blood glucose levels during consumption. Many studies have also shown that oats or oat-enriched foods can significantly reduce postprandial hyperglycemia. In addition, not all kinds of oats are good. Stay away from flavored or instant varieties - these are laden with sugar and offer the opposite of what you are looking for.
Note: You can use oatmeal rather than bread crumbs in your recipes.
As oatmeal is rich in fiber, it can also help relieve constipation. It was also found that oats increase stool weight, which can treat constipation. They may even play a protective role against colorectal cancer.
In another study, it was found that oat bran improves the bioavailability of vitamin B12 of elderly people.
Oats are rich in insoluble fiber. This is especially true for oat flakes cut with steel and old-fashioned. Insoluble fiber is very good for the health of the intestine, with one of its benefits being the treatment of constipation.
However, some people have reported constipation symptoms after eating oatmeal. The reason could be that oatmeal can cause intestinal gas in certain circumstances. Oats also contain large amounts of soluble fiber, which can lead to excess gas.
Antioxidants in oats can help to fight cancer, and fiber in oats can prevent cancers of the rectum and colon (as already discussed). While there are few researches on the type of oatmeal that helps to fight cancer, it's better to stick to the variety you feel comfortable with.
A set of 12 studies involving over 800,000 people revealed that taking a large bowl of porridge (another name for oats) per day can reduce the risk of cancer deaths by 20%.
Here we are talking again about Avenanthramides, special compounds found in oats. They have anti-inflammatory properties and are part of the defense mechanism of the oat plant. These compounds inhibit the growth of cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
The high amount of short-chain fatty acids between oat fiber fractions is considered to possess potent anticancer activity. In vitro studies imply that butyrate has multiple effects in modulating gene expression and the regulatory effect of apoptosis (programmed cell death) and the cell cycle. This is involved in the fight against colon cancer. Short-chain fatty acids such as butyric acid are used by the lining of the colon as a source of energy. Butyric acid, acetic acid and propionic acid stimulate cell proliferation in the normal epithelium of the colon. These acids retard the growth of carcinoma cell lines and also induce apoptosis in carcinoma cells.
Oat consumption reduced systolic blood pressure by 7.5 points and diastolic blood pressure by 5.5 points. It not only lowers blood pressure but also reduces the risk of heart disease by 22 percent.
The addition of oats to the normal diet of hypertensive patients has produced beneficial effects. The study concluded that oats rich in soluble fiber could be an effective dietary treatment for preventing and treating hypertension. Another study suggests that a diet rich in oats can reduce the need for antihypertensive drugs. Beta-glucan in oats also has beneficial effects on carbohydrate metabolism and blood pressure levels of obese individuals.
Oatmeal is also known as a comfort food. It reduces levels of stress hormones and stimulates serotonin; this induces a feeling of calm. This also contributes to low blood pressure.
The beta glucan in oatmeal can improve immunity levels. The majority of immune cells in the body have special receptors that are designed to absorb beta-glucan. This stimulates the activity of white blood cells and protects against diseases. Oats are also rich in selenium and zinc that play an important role against infections.
Beta-glucan intake also enhanced immunity after exercise stress. This compound also helps to compensate for respiratory infections after physical exertion. Beta-glucans also enhance the ability of macrophages, neutrophils, and natural killer cells, making them more effective in controlling several microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Beta-glucans are also used to improve immunity of people with chronic fatigue syndrome or physical or emotional stress. They also improve immune levels during intense treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
The early introduction of oats is also associated with a reduced risk of asthma. Another study reveals that porridge-fed babies can be protected against asthma. The risk of childhood asthma can be reduced by two thirds if babies are fed oats in the first five months of birth. This can be attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of oats.
Oats are rich in fibers. It can make you feel full for long periods of time and inhibits appetite and gluttony. According to a Taiwanese study, oats prevent obesity and the distribution of abdominal fat. And if it is taken as a daily supplement, oats can even act as adjuvant of metabolic disorders.
Instant oatmeal has also been found to increase satiety and energy intake compared to an oat-based ready-to-eat breakfast cereal. Therefore it is possible to replace the diet food by oatmeal and stay full longer.
Oats can also absorb water, which is added to its satiating properties, and beta-glucan in oats can delay emptying of the stomach. Even oat water is known to help weight loss, by mixing a cup of oats, a couple of cinnamon sticks and two gallons of water. Consume this on an empty stomach for a whole month before seeing the results. Of course, this must be accompanied by good nutrition and exercise.
Oats provide essential minerals for bone health. Steel cut oats are preferred than the rolled variety because it is less exposed to air and less likely to become rancid. However, try to avoid instant oatmeal as it can get rancid very quickly.
Oats are rich in silicon. This mineral has an important role in the formation and maintenance of bone. Silicon can also help in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Amino acids and other nutrients in oats help produce melatonin, the chemical that causes sleep. And when mixed with milk or honey, oats is a great snack at bedtime.
Whole grain oats also promote the production of insulin, which helps the nerve pathways to receive tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that acts as a sedative for the brain. Oats are also rich in vitamin B6, which helps reduce stress (a major cause of insomnia). The combination of oats with milk and bananas can help the body relax.
Carbohydrates in oats also release serotonin, the "feel good" hormone that reduces stress and provides a sense of calm.
Increased fiber intake can relieve the irritability caused during menopause, and oats can make wonders in this aspect.
But studies are not sure of the beneficial effects of phytoestrogens, hormones contained in oat lignans, during menopause. In addition, cooking oatmeal for a week can increase phlegm and slow down metabolism of some people. If you experience such effects, switch to basmati rice and steamed vegetables and consult your doctor.
Since carbohydrates are the main body's energy source and oats is rich in carbohydrates, it offers a boost of energy when it is consumed in the morning. But don’t worry, oats are absorbed much more slowly in the body, and this gives a longer lasting boost (in addition to not increasing blood sugar). And B vitamins in oats (such as thiamine, niacin, and folic acid) work together to help the body metabolize energy.
Yes of course. Oats help prevent acne and improve skin tone. It even acts as a natural cleanser for the skin. Oatmeal has great facial benefits: an oatmeal facial mask would do the trick.
Oatmeal can absorb excess oil on the skin and helps treat acne. Just boil half a cup of oatmeal in one-third of water and let it cool. Apply the thick paste to the affected areas on the face. Let it for about 20 minutes; rinse the face with warm water. Prepare this mask with tomatoes or egg whites or onions. This is nothing but an oat face wash prepared straight home.
An oatmeal scrub can also work well in the treatment of acne. The scrub polishes the skin and eliminates s're dead cells. It also reduces stains and softens the skin. For the scrub, mix a tablespoon of finely ground oatmeal, finely ground brown sugar, raw honey and organic jojoba oil. It is also possible to add a few drops of essential oil of lavender or geranium. Incorporate all the ingredients. Apply a small amount of this scrub on wet face and mass in small circular motions. Let it for about 10 minutes, and then rinse with warm water. Tap gently to dry.
Oatmeal soap can help too. It is possible to buy a prefabricated soap or make it at home (melt an unscented soap, add the oatmeal and let cool). The soap acts as a natural exfoliator and absorbs excess oil without drying out the skin too much.
Oatmeal contains zinc that reduces inflammation and kills the bacteria responsible for acne. Zinc supplementation may also help reduce acne lesions.
Oatmeal, according to a study, has direct antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it can help treat the itchiness associated with dry and irritated skin.
Even an oat bath can help. Sprinkle bath water with baking soda and uncooked oatmeal. It is also possible to use colloidal oatmeal, which is a finely ground oatmeal specially made for the bathtub. Soak in the bath water for about 15 minutes, and then dry the body. Apply a moisturizer while the skin is wet.
Oatmeal powder or oatmeal can do wonders on the skin too. Simply mix the oatmeal powder with hot water to form a paste. Apply it to your skin and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse with normal water.
And then, oatmeal, which is nothing but oatmeal soaked in hot water (which turns into creamy oatmeal). Use this oat milk for the skin.
Oats can remove dead skin cells and act as a natural moisturizer. The beta-glucan that it contains forms a thin film on the skin. It also penetrates deeply into the skin and provides the necessary moisture.
Simply mix 2 cups of oats with 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of honey. Apply the paste to the skin and leave it for about 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water.
The fact that oats are used in products such as body scrubs, soaps and exfoliating creams shows just how beneficial it can be. Use oats on the face (a mixture of oat powder and milk) every morning to lighten the skin.
For thousands of years, oatmeal has been used to treat poison ivy and the symptoms of chicken pox. To relieve the itchiness caused by poison ivy or chicken pox, pour the oatmeal onto cheesecloth. Attach this around the bathtub faucet and periodically tighten the water for a warm bath. Also rub the pocket on the itchy areas of your skin.
Oats contain compounds called saponins that act as natural cleaners and remove dirt and oil from the pores. And by the way, they do not cause irritation.
Prepare oatmeal milk (by dipping oats in water) which acts as a natural cleanser and toner. Apply the milk on the face, after washing it, using a cotton pad.
Also use the oat bran bath to clean the skin. Place half a cup of oatmeal in a cloth and tie it in a small bag. Place this bag in your bathtub and press until all the milk is out. Use on the body and face (instead of soap) for gentle brushing.
The proteins in oatmeal maintain the natural barrier of the skin. They even protect the skin against pollutants and chemicals. Lubricating greases in oats help protect against UV rays.
Surprisingly, oats have benefits for the hair too. The nutrients it contains make the hair stronger and the scalp healthier. They also make them brighter and silky.
Pour a cup of oatmeal into a blender and grind on a medium setting (until a fine powder is obtained). Mix this ground oatmeal with 2 cups of boiling water. Stir until oatmeal is completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes. Pour this mixture through a sieve into a medium sized bowl.
For this mixture, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and mix well. Skip the lemon juice if the hair is colored. Now, add about 20 drops of the favorite essential oil to the bowl and stir. Pour the whole mixture into an empty shampoo bottle. To use it, moisten the hair with lukewarm water and work the product in the scalp. Leave it for 2 minutes and rinse as usual.
This shampoo with oatmeal also treats itchy scalp and prevents excess oil and dirt.
The properties of oats that help treat dandruff also help prevent hair loss. To make an oat hair mask that treats hair loss, mix 1 tablespoon of oatmeal, fresh milk and almond milk to form a smooth paste. Make sure the hair is free of tangles before using this mask. Apply gently on the hair and let it for about 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water. This mask strengthens the hair follicles and makes the hair stronger. Oats are also rich in fatty acids and omega-6 that help repair damaged hair.
To use oats to improve the appearance of hair, mix 3 tablespoons oatmeal, ½ cup milk, and 1 tablespoon coconut oil and honey. Apply the mask on the hair and scalp and leave it on for 30 minutes. Use the shampoo on the hair as usual. This mask makes the hair shine and also makes it silky. It also moisturizes the hair.
Don’t worry if the hair is blond. Ground oats can work as an excellent shampoo for blonde beauties. Just rub ground oats on the scalp, and use a bristle brush to gently brush off excess oats.
It's a long list of benefits. But it does not matter to know a little bit more about oats!
Oats have a well-balanced nutritional composition. It is a good source of carbohydrates and proteins with a good balance of amino acids. Oats contain a high percentage of lipids, particularly unsaturated fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals. The nutritional components of oats and their percentage of availability are given below.
In recent years, the demand for oat products has increased thanks to a better understanding of the nutritional benefits of oats. Increased consumer awareness of health has focused on the consumption of high-fiber foods. Oats is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Promoting its use in oat-based functional food products such as porridge, muesli, granola bars, oatmeal, oat bread, cookies, oatmeal, oat-based probiotic drink and cereals for breakfast. Oat ß-glucan can be used to stabilize ice. Oat antioxidants are useful for stabilizing milk and meat products that are sensitive to fat oxidation during storage. Oat proteins have been used in food products, including heat-resistant chocolates because of their viscous and emulsifying properties. The incorporation of oats improves the overall quality of food products. Some researchers have reported improved textural characteristics for cake made with 25% (w / w) oat fiber compared to the conventional product. We below illustrate various clinical, industrial and dietary uses of oats.
Oats are officially declared gluten free by European Commission Regulation (EC) No 41/2009 and are therefore appropriate for celiac patients. Previous studies on the ability of oats for patients with celiac disease (CD) have yielded contradictory results. It may be because of the lack of sensitive and reliable diagnostic tests and appropriate clinical trials. Even the likely contamination of oats with other cereals can occur in the field during transportation, storage, grinding, or food processing. Because of this, oats were mainly excluded from the gluten-free diet. Subsequent clinical studies have shown that consumption of moderate amounts of oats can be tolerated by the majority of adult patients. Various reports suggest that oats can be added to the gluten-free diet in children with celiac disease. Oat grains are considered appropriate in celiac disease. As a result, gluten-free products such as pasta, cookies and snacks have been developed for celiac oat patients.
Although oats do not contain gluten, in rare cases they are grown in the same fields with wheat or barley, and these crops can sometimes contaminate oats with gluten. Therefore, those who suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease should exercise caution when consuming oats.
Oat husk is a lignocellulosic biomass and is a by-product of mills. Research has shown that oatmeal can be used for methane and biogas production. A two-stage biogas factory at Yettereneby Farm in Jarna, Sweden (2003) used oat husk in slow process of solid phase for biogas production. The production of biogas by this method is slow, but it is a continuous process.
Oat compounds offer a variety of options for incorporating oats into functional foods. There is a great need to determine the bioavailability of antioxidants from oats and other food sources and to determine various effects on human and animal health. Oats contain very interesting components, including antioxidants and β-glucan. Oats, being a food commodity of convenience consumed by humans, regardless the age, requires more scientific attention. There is still a need for further research and development to determine and extract new functional compounds in oats. Food security as a global concern, processing of oat products must be worked to ensure their proper use.
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