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Oatmeal benefits

The Power of Oatmeal: 8 Incredible Health Benefits You Need to Know

What are Oats?

Oats are a cereal grain cultivated for their nutritious seeds; they are rich in fiber and essential nutrients. Oats can be processed into various forms, like rolled oats or steel-cut oats, and they offer health benefits, including improved digestion and heart health.

What is Oatmeal?

Oatmeal is a common hot breakfast dish made from oats and is a type of porridge. It is cooked in water or milk until it gets soft and creamy, oatmeal can be flavored with various toppings. There's something comforting about a warm bowl of oatmeal, especially when the weather turns chilly. But this simple staple does much more than just to provide comfort and warmth, it is known for its high fiber content and health benefits.

The Power of Fiber in Oatmeal & the Role of Beta-Glucan

  • One of the most remarkable oatmeal health benefits is its high fiber content, particularly the soluble fiber known as beta-glucan.

  • Fiber in oatmeal aids in digestion, prevents constipation, and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. This can be crucial for weight management.

  • Studies show that consuming 3 grams or more of beta-glucan daily can decrease LDL cholesterol by 5-10%. Oatmeal does this by forming a gel-like substance in the gut, which binds to cholesterol-rich bile acids, helping to remove them from the body.

Protein Power in Oatmeal

  • Let's not forget the protein in oats. While it's not a complete protein, it's higher in quality than the proteins found in most other grains.

  • This is due to the presence of avenalin, a unique protein similar to the legume protein, which can complement other food proteins when consumed in a balanced diet.

  • For vegetarians and vegans, oats can serve as an excellent source of plant-based protein. For those into fitness, the protein in oats supports muscle recovery and growth when consumed post-workout.

Health Benefits of Oatmeal: More than Just a Breakfast Food

1. Oatmeal May Help in Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure Levels

  • Oats are a good source of magnesium, which is crucial for enzyme function and energy production, and plays a role in regulating blood pressure.

  • Furthermore, the fiber in oats, along with its protein and low sodium content, might aid in preventing hypertension.

2. Including Oatmeal in your Daily Diet may Improve Sleep Quality

  • Rich in natural plant-based melatonin and complex carbohydrates, oats stimulate insulin production and help tryptophan (the sleep-inducing amino acid) to enter the brain.

  • Coupled with its high magnesium content, a crucial mineral for sleep, oatmeal can be a perfect nighttime snack.

3. Oatmeal may Help to Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels

  • Due to the high fiber content and low glycemic index, oatmeal can help stabilize blood sugar levels. This makes it a suitable choice for people with diabetes or those at risk.

  • The beta-glucan fiber slows the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream, preventing sharp spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.

4. Oatmeal may Support in Heart Health

  • Beyond the benefit of lowering LDL cholesterol, oatmeal contains antioxidants called avenanthramides. These unique compounds, found almost exclusively in oats.

  • These compounds helps to reduce inflammation and work with Vitamin C to prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

5. Oatmeal may Boost Energy Levels

  • Oatmeal is a fantastic source of slow-releasing carbohydrates, which provide a sustained release of energy.

  • Consuming oatmeal in the morning ensures that you start your day on the right foot, with plenty of energy to help you tackle your tasks.

  • Furthermore, the B vitamins found in oats help your body convert food into fuel, promoting endurance and reducing fatigue

6. Oatmeal may Promote Healthy Gut Bacteria

  • The fiber in oatmeal acts as a "food" for the good bacteria in your gut. These bacteria play an important role in keeping you healthy by helping with nutrient absorption, boosting your immune system, and even supporting your mental well-being.

  • When you eat oatmeal, you're helping to create a healthier and more balanced environment in your gut, which is beneficial for your overall health.

7. Oatmeal may Enhance Bone Health

  • Oats are a rich source of essential minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc, which contribute to bone health.

  • Notably, oats also contain silicon, a trace mineral that aids in the formation and maintenance of connective tissues and bones.

  • Regular consumption of oatmeal may thus contribute to improved bone health and potentially lower the risk of osteoporosis.

8. Oatmeal contributes to Skin Health

  • Oatmeal isn’t just beneficial when eaten; it's also great for your skin. It has been used for centuries as a soothing agent to relieve itch and irritation while also providing an array of nutrients to the skin.

  • Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help to treat dry skin and remove dead skin cells and it is often used in skin care products.

Types of Oatmeal

1. Steel-Cut Oats:

  • Steel-cut oats are minimally processed and consist of whole oat groats that have been chopped into small pieces.

  • They have a chewy texture and nutty flavor. Due to their minimal processing, steel-cut oats take longer to cook compared to other types but retain more of their natural nutrients and fiber.

2. Rolled Oats:

  • Rolled oats, also known as old-fashioned oats, are steamed and then flattened with large rollers. This process helps them cook more quickly.

  • Rolled oats have a softer texture compared to steel-cut oats and are commonly used in recipes like oatmeal cookies and granola bars. They retain many of the same nutritional benefits as steel-cut oats.

3. Instant Oats:

  • Instant oats are the most processed type of oatmeal. They are pre-cooked and then dried before packaging. They are often available in individual packets and can be prepared quickly by adding hot water or milk.

  • Instant oats have a softer texture and tend to cook more rapidly than steel-cut or rolled oats. However, they may have slightly reduced nutritional content compared to less processed varieties.

How to replace daily meal with Oatmeal?

You might have heard about the oatmeal diet, which involves replacing one or two meals a day with oatmeal. While this diet may lead to short-term weight loss due to its low calorie and high fiber nature, it's important to note that a balanced diet incorporating a variety of food groups is essential for overall health. Therefore, while oatmeal makes for an excellent breakfast or snack, it should be complemented with other nutrient-rich foods for the most health benefits. You can include millets in your diet for that purpose.

Exploring Millets

Millets are small-seeded grasses cultivated as staple foods. They include pearl millet, finger millet, foxtail millet, sorghum and many more. Millets are highly nutritious, gluten-free, and offer health benefits. They are rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Millets can be easily included in a diet in various forms, making them versatile for different culinary uses. They can be cooked like rice, used in salads, added to soups and stews, or ground into flour for baking or making rotis. Millet flour can be used as a gluten-free alternative in recipes. Their adaptability makes it convenient to incorporate millets into your regular meals and enjoy their nutritional benefits.

Some delicious ways to incorporate oatmeal into everyday meals

1. Overnight Oats:

  • Classic Overnight Oats: In a jar, combine 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup milk (dairy or plant-based), 1 tablespoon chia seeds, and 1 tablespoon sweetener of choice. Stir well, refrigerate overnight, and top with fruits, nuts, or honey in the morning.

  • Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats: Follow the classic overnight oats recipe and add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and sliced bananas. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey.

2. Oatmeal Pancakes:

  • Banana Oat Pancakes: In a blender, blend 1 ripe banana, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup milk, 1 flaxseed egg, and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Cook on a non-stick pan until golden brown and serve with fresh berries and a dollop of yogurt.

  • Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes: Prepare the banana oat pancake batter as mentioned above, but add a handful of fresh blueberries to the batter. Cook as directed and serve with maple syrup.

3. Energy Bars:

  • No-Bake Oatmeal Energy Bars: In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup nut butter (such as almond or peanut butter), 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup, 1/4 cup chopped nuts, 1/4 cup dried fruits (such as raisins or cranberries), and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Press the mixture into a lined baking dish and refrigerate for a few hours. Cut into bars and enjoy as a nutritious snack.

4. Savory Oatmeal:

  • Cheesy Spinach Oatmeal: Cook 1/2 cup rolled oats with water or vegetable broth. Once cooked, stir in a handful of fresh spinach, a sprinkle of grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella), and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix until the cheese melts and the spinach wilts.

These are just a few examples, but oatmeal can be used in various other recipes, such as oatmeal cookies, granola bars, smoothies, and even in dishes like veggie burgers. The versatility of oatmeal allows you to get creative and enjoy it throughout the day in different forms.

Conclusion

Incorporating oatmeal and millets into one's diet not only enhances nutritional intake but also adds delightful flavors and culinary possibilities. By exploring the wide range of recipes and experimenting with different combinations, readers can enjoy the delicious taste and reap the nutritional advantages of these powerhouse ingredients. To purchase the best quality oats and other products visit us at organicgyaan.com.

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