Oats – Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
Oats are a whole-grain cereal, known scientifically as Avena sativa.
They are a very good source of fiber, especially beta-glucan, and are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Whole oats are the only source of a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, believed to have protective effects against heart disease.
Due to their beneficial health effects, such as lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, oats have gained considerable interest as a health food.
Oats are most commonly rolled or crushed, and can be consumed as oatmeal (porridge), in baked goods, bread and muesli. Oats are among the world’s healthiest grains.
They are a good source of many vitamins, minerals and unique plant compounds.
Oats also contain large amounts of unique soluble fibers called beta-glucans, which provide numerous health benefits.
These include lower cholesterol, reduced blood sugar and insulin responses, relieved constipation and improved immune function.
Oats have a well-balanced nutritional composition, and one serving (30 grams) of oats contains 117 calories.
By weight, raw oats are 66% carbohydrates, 17% protein, 7% fat and 11% fiber.
Oats contain almost 11% fiber, and porridge contains 1.7% fiber. The majority of the fiber in oats is soluble, mostly a fiber called beta-glucan.
Oats contain more soluble fiber than other grains, leading to slower digestion, increased satiety and suppression of appetite.
Beta-glucans are unique among fibers, as they can form a viscous (gel-like) solution at a relatively low concentration.In raw, whole oats, the amount of beta-glucan ranges from 2.3-8.5%, mostly concentrated in the oat bran.
Daily consumption of beta-glucans has been shown to lower cholesterol, especially LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol, and may therefore decrease the risk of heart disease.
Beta-glucans are known to lower cholesterol levels and increase excretion of bile acids. They are also believed to cause a reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels after a carbohydrate-rich meal .
Oats contain more fat than most other grains, ranging from 5-9%. It consists mostly of unsaturated fatty acids
Oats are a good source of quality protein, ranging from 11-17% by dry weight, which is higher than most other grains
Minerals and Vitamins
Oats are high in many vitamins and minerals. The main ones are listed:
–Copper: An antioxidant mineral that is often It is considered important for heart health;
– Iron: As a component of hemoglobin, a protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood, iron is absolutely essential in the human diet;
–Phosphorus: An important mineral for bone health and tissue maintenance;
–Zinc: A mineral that participates in many chemical reactions in the body and is important for overall health;
–Vitamin B1: This vitamin is found in many foods, including grains, beans, nuts and meat;
Oats and Increased Satiety
Satiety plays an important role in energy balance. It stops eating and prevents us from eating again until hunger returns.