Oats are whole grain cereals like barley and wheat, commonly used by the people for eating purposes as a oatmeal and rolled oats especially for the women and kids of any age group because of its high level protein, dietary fibers and folates availability. The botanical name of it is Avena sativa and commonly known as the Jaei in Hindi. It was first originated in the East regions of the Bronze Age Europe and considered as a secondary crop means derived from primary cereals of wheat and barley. Generally, it is grown in the temperate regions of the world annually during late summer season. In India, it is grown in the regions of foothills of Himalayas in the states of UP, Punjab, Bihar and etc. Oats are wonderful cereal for the human health as it contains all the essential building blocks of the body. I have discussed both aspects of the oat means pros and cons of the oats in this article. Please have a look to get nourished and prevented from various health disorders.
Benefits of Oats (Jaei)
Oats are cheap, easily available and health nourishing gift from God can be eaten as a whole grain, porridge, powdered form, oat cookies, oatcakes, oat bread and etc during breakfast or dinner. There are various types of oatmeal available in the market in any season such as porridge, steel-cut oats, oat bran rolled oats, instant oats with sweeteners and etc. Oat consumption is mostly liked by the people especially in the breakfast with milk. The month of January has been announced as the national oatmeal month as oatmeal is mostly purchased by the people in this month.
Oatmeal is a whole grain food containing essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers, phytonutrients, folates, energy, protein and healthy fats. It becomes more nutritious when cooked into the milk as milk enhances its level of healthy nutrients. I have mentioned below some astonishing health benefits of the oatmeal which really help you all:
Benefits of Oats for Heart
Maintains Heart Health
- It is highly loaded with the soluble and insoluble dietary fibers in comparison to other grains and has bad cholesterol level lowering property thus wonderful grain for the heart health.
Keeps Heart Diseases Away
- Eating a bowl of freshly cooked oatmeal in the breakfast is the perfect habit of starting a healthy day and keeping away heart diseases.
Regularizes Cholesterol Level
- It contains a specific type of soluble dietary fibers called beta-glucan which is very beneficial for lowering the bad cholesterol level and enhancing the good cholesterol level thus very effective for the heart health by reducing the risk of heart diseases.
Maintains Normal Blood Flow
- Soluble dietary fibers help in preventing from the formation of plaques in the walls of blood vessels and maintain the normal flow of blood all through the body thus reduce the risk of blood clot formation, stroke, coronary heart disease, heart attack and other chronic and acute heart diseases.
Prevents from Free Radicals
- It contains a unique antioxidant compound known as avenanthramide which effectively helps in preventing from the harmful effects of dangerous free radicals and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Increases Life of Heart
- Avenanthramide antioxidant found in the oatmeal protects LDL cholesterol from getting oxidized and increases the life of heart.
Maintains Blood Pressure
- Regular intake of oats helps in reducing the need of anti-hypertensive medications as it naturally maintains the blood pressure among people suffering from hypertension.
Benefits of Oats for Immune System
Boosts Body Immunity
- Regular consumption of the oats in any way helps in boosting the human immune system thus prevents from various infections caused by the bacteria, virus, fungus and etc.
Prevents from Infections
- A soluble fiber (beta-glucan) found in it helps neutrophils to work actively at the site of infection as well as make them capable to efficiently eliminate the cause of infection.
Promotes Wound Healing
- It enhances the body own healing power to heal the wounds on the body by eliminating the cause of wound means bacteria or virus.
Benefits of Oats for Diabetes
Reduces Risk of Type-2 Diabetes
- Soluble and insoluble dietary fibers found in it have beneficial effects for the health by reducing the chances of type-2 diabetes by stabilizing the sugar level.
Controls Glucose Absorption in Blood
- Regular consumption of the oatmeal helps in lowering down the raised blood sugar level by controlling the absorption of glucose in the blood.
Stabilizes Sugar Level
- It is a type of whole grain food thus has high amount of magnesium mineral which actively takes part as a co-factor in the actions of various enzymes including insulin thus helps in stabilizing the blood sugar level.
Delays Carbohydrate Absorption
- Beta-glucan found in it forms a gel like substance in the stomach and slows down the digestion process which in turn delays the carbohydrate absorption in the bloodstream thus reduces blood sugar level.
Benefits of Oats for Cancer
Prevents from various types of Cancer
- Eating fibers rich diet at least once a day provides a powerful protection against developing any type of cancer in the body especially breast cancer in the pre-menopausal women.
Rich Source of Phytochemicals
- It contains a special phytochemical called lignans which gets converted into the enterolactone by the help of friendly bacteria in the intestine which in turn protects from the breast, prostate, endometrial, ovarian cancer and other cancers caused due to hormonal problems.
Reduces Risk of Colon and Rectum Cancer
- Its high level of insoluble dietary fibers helps in lowering the risk of colon and rectum cancer by maintaining the normal functioning of large intestine and bowel movements.
Prevents from Cancer of Gastrointestinal Tract
- Higher level of insoluble fibers in it reduces the carcinogens from gastrointestinal tract thus prevents from the cancer of gastrointestinal tract.
Benefits of Oats in Weight Loss
Keeps Stomach Full for Longer Period
- It is fibers rich food which makes stomach feel full for longer period of time thus reduces the frequency of taking food frequently and helps in the weight management.
Maintains Healthy Body Weight
- Its high protein level, essential fatty acids and B group vitamins helps in maintaining the healthy body weight.
Blocks Fat Absorption
- Its total dietary fibers help in decreasing the risk of fat accumulation in the body by blocking fat absorption in the gut thus beneficial for the weight conscious people.
Benefits of Oats for Digestive System
- The insoluble fibers found in it does not dissolve in water however have tendency to absorb more water which makes stool softer and easy to pass through the gut thus provides help in relieving the constipation.
Prevents from Digestion Problems
- It helps in preventing from various digestion problems such as diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, stomach cancer and etc.
Benefits of Oats for Bodybuilding
Enhances Athletes Performance
- It is mostly liked and eaten by the people involved in the sports activities in any ways such as athletes, wrestlers and etc as it enhances the their performance because of being energetic and high protein diet.
Source of Instant Energy
- It is good source of carbohydrates and fatty acids which helps in providing the instant energy needs.
Makes Muscles and Bones Strong
- It helps in making muscles and bones stronger and powerful as it is good source of protein, vitamins and minerals.
Benefits of Oats for Aging and Longevity
Delays Aging Process
- It helps in enhancing the longevity by delaying the aging process among people consuming it regularly.
Prevents from Chronic Diseases
- It delays the aging process by keeping body healthy and away from all the chronic diseases and common seasonal infections.
Contains Essential Amino Acids
- It keeps all the essential amino acids required for the normal body growth and development as well as facilitates the optimum body organs functioning thus enhance the longevity.
Benefits of Oats for Skin
Treats Skin Problems
- It has been topically used for years for treating the skin conditions like dryness, itching, oiliness, eczema, dermatitis, chicken pox and etc.
Remedy to Dry Skin
- It provides a natural shield to the skin and used as a facial mask by mixing with yogurt and honey to get relief from the dry skin problem.
Makes Skin Soft and Smooth
- It contains starch which helps skin to hold moisture whereas its fibrous husk acts as a gentle exfoliant which makes skin soft and smooth.
Treats Acne Problem
- Acne problems can be treated naturally by applying cooked oatmeal to the affected area and wash after 15 mins which helps in removing excess oil including dead skin cells.
Moisturizes and Nourishes Skin
- It contains polysaccharides which is very effective to combat with dull and dry skin with rashes, acne and etc if applied to the face skin as a facial mask by mixing with smashed banana and milk for 10-15 mins wash with cold water. It moisturizes, nourishes and rehydrates the skin.
Removes Dead Skin Cells
- It helps in removing dead skin cells, deeply moisturizing the skin, enhancing wound healing process, improving collagen deposition as well as activating immune cells within skin.
Fit for all Skin Types
- Its anti-inflammatory property makes it fit for all the skin types to treat dry, inflamed and itchy skin.
Improves Skin Tone
- It helps in improving the skin tone by lightening the skin color and texture.
Used in various Cosmetic Products
- It is used in the manufacturing of various cosmetic products for skin beauty such as skin lightening cream, scrub, soap, exfoliation creams, natural skin toner, skin cleanser and etc.
Treats other Skin Problems
- It is a cheap and natural home remedy has been used for years to treat eczema, insect bites, blemishes, skin infections, skin inflammations, sunburn and etc.
Natural Skin Cleanser
- It has a natural skin cleanser called saponins which helps in removing skin dirt, oil and other skin impurities without any side effects and irritation.
Delays Skin Ageing
- It prevents skin from sun rays and sun burn as well as delays the skin ageing.
Benefits of Oats for Hair
Makes Hair Healthy
- Whether it is eaten or applied topically on regular basis makes hair soft, shiny, lengthy and strong.
Treats Dry and Itchy Scalp
- It is used for the treatment of dry and itchy scalp problems which provides relief from such problems by deeply moisturizing the scalp skin.
Removes Dandruff and Dirt
- It helps in removing the dandruff, excess oil and dirt from the scalp if it is applied to the scalp before shampooing.
Deeply Clears Scalp
- Its natural cleansing property deeply clears the scalp by removing all the impurities from the scalp such as excess sebum, dirt and etc.
Prevents Hair Loss
- It helps in preventing the hair loss because of unknown reasons or some known reasons such as alopecia, some chemical treatments, irregular diet plan, hormonal imbalance, unhealthy lifestyle, malnutrition, lack of essential vitamins and minerals and so many reasons.
Promotes Hair Growth
- Its richness of some important minerals like zinc, potassium, iron, magnesium and etc helps in promoting hair growth and development naturally.
Benefits of Oats for Women during Pregnancy
Prevents Baby from Birth Defects
- Its richness in the B group vitamins helps body to metabolize energy, maintains proper growth and development of the fetus, keeps nervous system healthy, assists in the red blood cells formation during pregnancy as well as prevents baby from various neural tube birth defects.
Maintains Health of Both
- It is rich in protein, antioxidants and healthy fats which all are very necessary for the pregnant women for maintaining her own health as well as her baby health.
Prevents from Digestive Disorders
- It keeps a pregnant woman away from the digestive disorders during pregnancy such as constipation and other pregnancy symptoms like nausea, vomiting, weakness and fatigue.
Prevents from Chronic Illnesses
- It is considered as the very healthy breakfast diet during pregnancy as it nourishes the body as well as prevents from chronic illnesses.
Reduces Risk of Chronic Disorders during Pregnancy
- It prevents from the risk of hypertension, heart disorders, kidney ailments, liver diseases and type-2 diabetes during pregnancy.
Regulates Bowel Movements
- It helps in relieving tension, stress, anxiety and depression by regulating the bowel movements and digestive system functioning.
Benefits of Oats for Postmenopausal Women
Prevents from Postmenopausal Problems
- Regular eating of the oatmeal helps postmenopausal women by reducing the level of high cholesterol, high blood pressure including various other developing signs of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Maintains Regular Blood Flow
- It helps in reducing the postmenopausal symptoms among women by maintaining the regular flow of blood all through the body.
Prevents from Atherosclerosis
- It prevents them from the atherosclerosis which leads to the serious heart disorders in the future by protecting the formation plaques in the blood vessels.
Benefits of Oats for Kids and Infants
Reduces Risk of Allergy and Asthma
- It is very beneficial for the kids on growing age as its regular consumption reduces the occurrence of allergy and asthma during childhood.
Prevents from Childhood Problems
- It is the rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which are very essential for the growing age children and required to prevent them from childhood problems.
Prevents from Respiratory Problems
- It helps in preventing kids from other respiratory problems like bronchial hyper responsiveness which lead to the narrowing of airways.
Good for Growing Age Kids
- It is the rich source of fatty acids, phytonutrients, magnesium and vitamin E which are mostly required by the kids during their growing age to get prevented from the common problems and grow fluently.
Benefits of Oats with Milk
Boosts Energy after Workouts
- Cooking oats with milk instead of water enhances the level of calcium, vitamin D, and protein of the oatmeal which aids to the muscle growth, power and recovery. It helps in the early healing of body energy needs after workouts in the morning.
Benefits of Oats during Night
Prevents from Acidity, Heartburn and Constipation
- Eating oatmeal 2 hours before going to the bed is not bad habit however it is good to maintain the energy level for the hard exercises in the morning. It makes stomach full for longer period of time during whole night thus helps in maintaining the digestive system functioning and preventing from the acidity, heartburn and constipation.
Benefits of Oats in Breakfast
Loaded with Essential Vitamins, Minerals and other Nutrients
- It is very true that good morning habits are the reason for good start of the day. In this condition taking good, heavy and proper diet after some physical exercises in the morning lead to the healthy life. Oatmeal is counted as the perfect breakfast for getting required energy, essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers, antioxidants, healthy fat and protein. This whole-grain food is heart friendly and stabilizes blood sugar level for whole day.
Benefits of Oats Porridge
Contains all the Healthy Nutrients
- Porridge is a warm oatmeal food prepared by boiling first and cooking until it becomes a thick consistency. It is loaded with the healthy nutrients which involves in nourishing the body completely.
- It helps in regulating the frequency of taking food throughout the day as it is a whole grain food rich in dietary fibers, minerals, protein, healthy fat and vitamins. It also involves in the weight management if eaten daily in the breakfast. It keeps blood sugar level and cholesterol level under control according to the body need.
Boosts Muscle Power
- It is carbohydrate rich food thus boosts the energy level throughout the day especially for the kids and athletes. It boosts the muscle power and makes them healthy by enhancing the oxygen transport all through the body by boosting the production of required protein called myoglobin and hemoglobin.
Produces Instant Energy
- High level of protein and phosphorus helps in the instant energy production for providing fast muscle recovery after heavy cardio exercises.
Rich Source of Calcium and Phosphorus
- High level of calcium and phosphorus boosts the power of teeth, bones and joints as well as regulates hormone secretion, immunity functioning and nerve transmission.
Destroys Free Radicals
- It is the rich source of antioxidants as it contains vitamin A and E which have antioxidant property and helps in destroying free radicals as well as reducing the risk for chronic diseases thus delays aging.
Benefits of Quaker Oats
- Eating quaker oats regularly helps in the weight control so it is good to add it to the diet plan. It helps in lowering the bad cholesterol level because of the richness of soluble fibers which encourage body to absorb only required cholesterol. It helps in reducing the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disorders by boosting the body immune level. It keeps the digestive system healthy by maintaining the regular bowel movements and solving the problem of acid reflux.
Other Health Benefits of Oats
- It helps in increasing the level of appetite controlling hormones if eaten regularly on daily basis.
Relieves Pain and Inflammation
- Regular intake of oats helps in relieving joint pain, rheumatism, weakness, fatigue, neurasthenia syndrome, withdrawing the habits of nicotine and narcotics, lowering down the high uric acid level, preventing from gout and etc.
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
- It helps in reducing the anxiety and stress level thus keeps mind healthy and well functioning.
Provides Relief from Major Problems
- It also provides relief from the bladder, kidney, liver, eye, bones and connective tissue problems.
Prevents from Age Related Health Disorders
- It helps in preventing from gallstones formation, nerves disorders, joint and tendon disorders and etc age related health age disorders.
Rich Source of Manganese
- It contains a trace mineral called manganese which plays a great role in the formation of connective tissues, blood clotting factors, bones, sex hormones, and etc.
- It also contains zinc, phosphorus, iron and selenium which help in boosting immune system, strengthen bones and teeth, red blood cells formation and etc.
Benefits of Oats Soup
- Oats can be used alone to make a tasty oat soup or oat flour can be added to other soups to thicken them. It is very delicious and healthy diet keeps body energetic and active all time.
Nutritional Benefits of Oats/Jaei per 100 g
(Source: USDA Nutrient Database)
Energy: 390 kcal
Carbohydrate: 66 g
Dietary fibers: 11 g
Soluble Fibers (Beta glucan): 5 g
Insoluble fibers: 6 g
Total fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1.217 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.178 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.535 g
Protein: 17 g
Calcium: 54 mg
Iron: 4.72 mg
Magnesium: 177 mg
Phosphorous: 523 mg
Zinc: 3.97 mg
Copper: 0.626 mg
Manganese: 4.916 mg
Potassium: 429 mg
Sodium: 2 mg
Thiamine: 0.763 mg
Riboflavin: 0.139 mg
Niacin: 0.961 mg
Pantothenic acid: 1.349 mg
Vitamin B-6: 0.119 mg
Folates: 56 mcg
Tryptophan: 0.234 g
Leucine: 1.284 g
Lysine: 0.701 g
Methionine: 0.312 g
Phenylalanine: 0.985 g
Tyrosine: 0.573 g
Valine: 0.937 g
Arginine: 1.192 g
Aspartic acid: 1.448 g
Cystine: 0.408 g
Threonine: 0.575 g
Isoleucine: 0.694 g
Glutamic acid: 3.712 g
Glycine: 0.841 g
Proline: 0.934 g
Histidine: 0.405 g
Alanine: 0.881 g
Serine: 0.750 g
How to Select and Store
To get fully benefited of oats, always go for buying small quantities of oats as it gets rancid more quickly because of the availability of higher fat content. It is available in the market at affordable prices in the prepackaged airtight containers. Take care of things while purchasing oats from the market such as packets should be fully packed and free from debris, moisture, read expire date or packaging date to get ensures about its maximal freshness, free from the use of salt, sugar or other additives and etc. It can be stored in the airtight container at dry, dark and cool place and away from direct sun light at room temperature at least for two months.
How to Enjoy
To really get all the health benefits of oats, it can be enjoyed in different types of ways and recipes such as hot cereal or porridge, cooked rolled oats or steel-cut oats, oats with milk, cooked oat added with favorite nuts and fruits, oatmeal cookies, oats smoothies, sauces and soups, pancakes, pasta, oat bread, muffins, sprinkled oat bran on other cooked cereal, stuffed oat, added with blueberries, mashed bananas, cinnamon, strawberries, chopped apples, raisins or cranberries, wheat germ, honey, pecans, vegetables, olive oil, sunflower seeds, sweetened, salted and etc.
Precautions, Side Effects and Disadvantages
In spite of lots of amazing health benefits, eating oats regularly needs some precautions as eating oats carelessly may cause some serious side effects and health disorders. I have discussed below some of its precautions, side effects and disadvantages:
- Naturally it contains purines to which some people are very susceptible to the problems caused by purines on excessive intake of oats. Purine enhances level of uric acid in the body which may cause gout, kidney stones formation and etc.
- Oats contain a substance called gluten which may cause gluten-sensitive enteropathies thus it should be avoided by the people having gluten intolerance.
- Eating oat is safe however sometimes can cause intestinal gas or bloating problems so, it should be started slowly.
- Sometimes applying oats on the skin topically may cause problems.
- Eating oats should be avoided by the person suffering from digestive tract disorders such as esophagus, stomach, small intestines and large intestine.
- Before cooking raw oats, should be steamed or soaked for whole night in order to break down its starch content.
- It contains phytic acid to which some people are sensitive thus it needs soaking before cooking as soaking process slightly reduces the level of phytic acid.
How Much Oats to Eat a Day
As we have read all the pros and cons of the oatmeal, it has been confirmed that eating oats need some precautions however it depends on the age, weight and health conditions of the person. A normal healthy person can eat cooked oats on daily basis however a person already suffering from any health disorder must consult to the doctor for adding oats to his daily diet plan.