Oatmeal health benefits and nutrition

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Oatmeal Quick Facts
Name: Oatmeal
Calories 307 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Manganese (127.83%)
Phosphorus (47.43%)
Iron (43.00%)
Selenium (42.55%)
Carbohydrate (42.18%)
Oatmeal is coarse flour which is made from hulled oat grains that is milled, rolled or steel cut. Ground oats are known as white oats. Steel cut oats are called Irish oatmeal, coarse oatmeal and pinhead oats. Rolled oats are thick, thin and old fashioned, instant or quick. The word oatmeal is used in U.S. and parts of Canada as word for oat based porridge popular in countries prepared from either steel-cut, ground and rolled oats. Oatmeal is found in several varieties such as oat groat, steel-cut, crushed and rolled.

Food uses

  • Rolled oats are consumed uncooked as muesli or make porridge by cooking with water or milk.
  • Oatmeal is used for thickening thick and savory meat and vegetable soups.
  • In United States, it is served as porridge with cream or milk and sweetener such as honey or brown sugar.

Health Benefits of Oatmeal

  1. Antioxidant source

Oatmeal is rich in antioxidants which are needed to maintain healthy body. Antioxidants are needed that makes the diet healthy. It prevents the damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants consist of various minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin C and E and selenium. Antioxidants assist the body to combat harmful viruses and microbes. If body contains more oxidants, it starts to attack cells. Oats are antioxidant source having polyphenolic compounds and avenanthramides. Moreover, it contains vitamin E, flavonoids, phytic acid and sterols.

  1. Constipation reliever

Fiber is needed to move things in intestines. People with bowel issues find oatmeal to provide relief from this condition. A cup of oatmeal offers 8 grams of soluble and insoluble fiber. Oatmeal has insoluble fiber that absorbs water and then swell trapped stool which makes them easier and soft to pass. In order to provide relief from constipation, increase the intake of fiber slowly. This helps to avoid unnecessary gas, diarrhea and bloating. Also make sure to drink ample amounts of water.

  1. Promote insulin sensitivity

Oatmeal promotes the body’s sensitivity to insulin which is a hormone produced by hormone serving various purposes in the body. It also converts carbohydrate into energy. Insulin is an essential function in metabolism. Insulin sensitivity refers that one has low resistance to insulin. It is helpful especially for diabetic patients. Oatmeal has low glycemic index that maintains troublesome glucose levels. Adding oatmeal to the diet lower the amount of insulin required.

  1. Diabetes control

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that raises level of blood glucose resulting frequent urination, blurred vision and fatigue. It also results in serious health conditions such as kidney or nerve damage, stroke, cardiovascular issues and hearing impairments. Oats have high content of fiber. Study shows that diet rich in fiber lowers the chances of diabetes by 30%. Study conducted on diabetic patients shows that intake of oatmeal lower the level of blood sugar. The level of blood sugar is reduced gradually due to high fiber diet and complex carbohydrates take much time to digest in comparison to simple carbohydrates. It helps to maintain optimal level of blood sugar.

  1. Energy source

Oatmeal is well known among athletes and body builders. It has energy boosting capabilities. Oats have complex carbohydrates and are loaded with protein that fills body with energy. Whole grains are absorbed slowly by the body that is the body remains full for longer time period. Oatmeal has niacin, thiamin and folate. Vitamin B metabolizes energy and boost energy throughout the day.

  1. Formation of hemoglobin

The serving size of oatmeal offers adequate iron crucial for formation of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is protein in red blood cells. These molecules transport oxygen to the body and return carbon dioxide from tissues to the lungs. Low content of hemoglobin results to various health problems.

  1. Healthy cholesterol level

Major health problems are associated with high cholesterol and leads to serious health conditions such as stroke, heart attack and heart diseases. Oatmeal has high content of soluble fiber reduces LDL cholesterol. Soluble fiber also helps to lower the absorption into bloodstream.

  1. Promote muscle mass

Add the bowl of steel-cut oats to the diet. Oatmeal is a great source of healthy carbohydrates as it contains low glycemic index referring it will promote fat loss and preserve muscle during workouts. The serving of ½ cup of steel cut oats contains 27 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein, plenty of fiber and 2 grams of fat.

  1. Assist weight loss

Oats have high content of nutrients boosting energy and supporting weight loss. The soluble fiber present in oatmeal takes longer time to break down in the body. It has carbohydrates that keeps one full and satisfied. Body triggers the release of digestive acids that hastens the calories burned during activity. Oatmeal also vitalizes metabolism supporting weight loss.

  1. Recovery of muscles

Proteins and carbohydrates are required to build and recover muscles. Oatmeal has complex carbohydrates and protein in it. These carbs are used by the body for building muscles. Moreover, it has iron in it which transports oxygen through bloodstream to the muscles. Carbohydrates found in oatmeal are converted into energy. Body will burn this energy during workout.

  1. Lowers the chances of asthma

Asthma is the common disease in children. It affects the lungs and airway. People with asthma experience side effects such as breathing sensitivity to extreme heat or cold, shortness of breath, wheezing, inflammation of airway, chest pain and coughing. Study shows that adding oats to the children’s diet before age of 6 months actually lowers the chances of asthma.

  1. High protein

Protein is required for making the body healthy. The daily recommended intake of protein is 46 to 57 grams per day that depends on age and gender. Protein is must for muscles, blood, skin, bone, hair and nails. It supports repair of tissues and production of hormones as well as enzymes. Protein is required for every single cell in the body. The serving of one cup of dry oatmeal offers 12 grams of protein.

  1. Balance estrogen

The addition of oatmeal to the diet helps to balance hormones in the body. The hormone imbalance in the body shows symptoms such as low libido, mental distractions, anxiety, fogginess, hot flashes, depression, fatigue and weight gain. Oatmeal has high content of fiber which bind itself to estrogen and excludes excess and unnecessary hormones.

  1. Vision health

Vitamin A contains antioxidant compounds which are required for formation of bones, vision and immune system. Vitamin A protects cornea. It halts the activity of viruses and bacteria that could cause eye infections. Vitamin A is effective for treating dry eyes. Some study shows that this vitamin lowers the chances of macular degeneration responsible for vision loss.

  1. Enhance mood

Research has shown that diet influence the mood. Intake of junk food causes depression. Withal, oatmeal combats depression and promotes mood. It has healthy carbs that stimulates serotonin production. Serotonin created by tryptophan has direct effect on appetite, sleep, impulse control and mood elevation.

  1. Healthy muscles

A serving of 100 grams of oatmeal grants 61 mg of potassium. Associated with bananas, potassium is needed for healthy muscle contraction. Potassium releases ions which are found in muscle cells. These ions aids with reflexes, brain functions and nervous system associated to muscles.

  1. Excludes excess carbon dioxide

The daily recommended intake of sodium is 1500 mg for a healthy adult. The serving size of 100 grams of oatmeal offers 49 mg of sodium. Sodium is must for discarding excess carbon dioxide that could result in respiratory problems, hypercapnia, damage to nervous system and cell damage.

  1. Prevention of migraines

Study concluded that chronic migraine patients have low levels of magnesium. The adequate intake of foods rich in magnesium helps to prevent migraines. It is the top most plentiful minerals available in the body and it is crucial for proper functioning of nerves. The serving of one cup of cooked oatmeal provides 15% of daily recommended magnesium intake.

  1. Supports reproduction

Daily intake of oatmeal maintains healthy libido, reproductive glands and sex organs. The body when lacks Vitamin A causes atrophy of ovaries and lowers production of sex hormones in both females and males. Vitamin A is required for male reproduction. Vitamin A deficiency has direct effect on spermatogonial differentiation and shrinkage of testicles.

  1. Lowers blood pressure

High blood pressure is a serious and common health condition in people. High blood pressure could result heart failure, heart attack, heart disease and arteries buildup. The conducted studies show that diet rich in fiber result to reduction in blood pressure.

  1. Combat anemia

Oatmeal is packed with iron helping to combat anemia. Anemia occurs when body lacks red blood cells. Anemia shows the symptoms such as pale complexion, fatigue, swelling of tongue, shortness of breath, tingling in the legs, headaches and dizzy spells.

  1. Healthy eating

Oatmeal helps to prevent overeating. It has a compound named beta-glucan which stimulates hormone known as cholecystokinin accountable for making the body feel full. Oatmeal has high content of fiber and protein which helps to feel full for longer time period. This prevents overeating and makes the body feel satisfied and energized.

  1. PMS treatment

Oatmeal has Vitamin B6 which effectively relieves symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. It also assist to combat mood disorders related with PMS as it assist in production of amino acid transmitters such as melatonin and dopamine. These components influence mood as well as behavior. It helps to lower moodiness and depression which is associated with PMS.

  1. Treats acne

Oatmeal helps to lower excess oils in skin without clogging pores. It is an effective treatment for acne. Apply the paste of oatmeal and let it remain on the skin for about 15 minutes then rinse off. Oatmeal absorbs and erase oil and bacteria from skin, exfoliate dead skin cells counteracting acne. Tea tree oil and honey are also considered to be helpful.

  1. Balance electrolytes

Electrolytes are essential to remain hydrated. It is formed with potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, phosphate and chloride. Its function includes regulating heartbeat, contracting muscles and balancing fluid level of cells. Body with imbalance electrolytes experiences nausea, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, cramping and headaches. Oatmeal has adequate potassium that helps to regulate electrolyte balance.

  1. Prevent heart ailments

Beta-glucan found in oatmeal lowers the chances of coronary heart diseases. Study shows that foods rich in fiber help to prevent heart problems. The participants observed low chances of coronary heart disease development.

  1. Reduce eczema

Eczema is chronic inflammation of skin. It is also known as atopic dermatitis. It shows the symptoms such as itchy red skin with rash. People with eczema experience breakouts on the body. Besides its intake, it could be applied topically to the skin. Use oatmeal when experienced skin conditions or allergic reactions to provide soothing. Oatmeal has an antimicrobial ingredient that inhibits growth of bacteria. Mix a cup of steel-cut oatmeal into warm bathwater. Soak in the bath and let it wash over the skin. For soothing irritation due to eczema, mix ½ cup of hot water, 1/3 cup of oatmeal, tablespoon of Greek yogurt into a bowl and tablespoon of honey. Mix it and apply it to the face.

  1. Lower chances of stroke

Potassium protects body by preventing oxidative damage to blood vessels and keeps blood vessel walls at appropriate thickness. It lowers effect that salt provides in the body. It also prevents high blood pressure that could lead to stroke. Study shows that lowering the intake of salt and increasing the intake of potassium could lower the chances of stroke by 21%.

  1. Prevent colon cancer

Oat meal has selenium in it which helps to repair and protect cells against damage. The antioxidants repairs DNA and combat cancerous cells. Thus, oatmeal helps to reduce the chances of colon cancer.

  1. Supports brain function

A serving of 100 grams of iron offers 6 mg of iron. Iron is required for healthy functioning of brain as it transports oxygen to the bloodstream. The oxygen reaches to all parts of the body and cells that helps to perform basic bodily functions. Brain uses about 20% of oxygen for its functioning. This makes the brain to be alert and promotes physical performance in the body. In infants, iron helps in developing brain health.

How to make oatmeal

Time for cooking oat varies from 10 to 60 minutes. Oat groat takes long time to cook whereas crushed, steel-cut and rolled oats take less time to prepare. Oat meal can be cooked by boiling oat in cow’s milk, water or plant based milk.

To cook oatmeal, follow the instructions on package which involves these steps:

  • Boil 1.5 cups of milk or water.
  • Stir one-half cup of oats.
  • Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Simmer about 10 to 20 minutes for crushed, steel-cut or rolled oats.
  • Simmer about 50 to 60 minutes for oat groat.
  • Add optional ingredients such as sweeteners or spices.

Side-Effects & Allergies of Oats

  • Though oats are organic and gluten free grain, it is better to take general precautions.
  • Perform a patch test to know how the body reacts to oats or one is allergic.
  • Before adding anything to the diet, consult with physician.
  • Read the label carefully to know about the ingredients included.
  • People with gluten allergy or celiac disease should not consume oats.









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