Oats Are Incredibly Good for You.

Oats are a whole grain cereal that are a great source of fiber especially beta glucan (a form of soluble dietary fiber that’s strongly linked to improving cholesterol levels and boosting heart health) and also rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. 

Due to its many benefits, such as lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, oats have gained considerable attention as a “super food” 

The most common type of oats used is called rolled oats, and these absorb fluids much easily and cook much faster. 
Nutritional value of rolled oats; 

Nutrient Typical value per 100 grams 
Energy 392.5 kcal 
Protein 13g 
Carbohydrate 65.7g 
Fat 8g 
Fiber 10.1g 
Sodium 7mg 
Iron 2.58mg (7% RDA) 
Magnesium 109.00mg (31%RDA) 
Zinc 1.84mg (12% RDA) 

Oats are also rich in avenanthramides, which are a family of antioxidants that may reduce inflammation in the arteries and regulate blood pressure (1)

HEALTH BENEFITS OF OATS: Are known to have many health benefits; including lower blood pressure and reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

CAN LOWER CHOLESTEROL: Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and high cholesterol is a major risk factor — especially oxidized LDL (bad) cholesterol (2). Studies have proven that oats can lower cholesterol levels which in may reduce the risk of heart diseases (3). The beta glucan in oats is which mainly helps in lowering cholesterol (4).  

MAY PREVENT DIABETES: Beta glucans in oats are beneficial for blood sugar control (5). A study has shown that in people with type 2 diabetes with severe insulin resistance a 4-week dietary intervention with oatmeal resulted in a 40% reduction in the insulin dosage needed for stabilizing blood sugar levels (6) 

ENHANCES SATIETY: The beta glucans in oats increases fullness by delaying stomach emptying and promoting the release of fullness hormones (7). A study in the Journal of American college of nutrition revealed that oatmeal may boost fullness and reduce appetite more than ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and other types of dietary fiber (8). 

IT’S GLUTEN FREE: Individuals who suffer with gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease have no option but to go on a gluten free diet. Oats do not contain gluten, the protein in oats is called avenin. 
Studies have indicated that pure oats eaten in moderate to large quantities can be well tolerated by individuals with celiac disease (9). Oats also improve the nutritional value of gluten free diets by increasing mineral and fiber intake.

OTHER BENEFITS 
A study published in 2009 has indicated that oats may boost your immune system, enhancing your ability to fight bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites (10). 
In older individuals’ consumption of oat bran fiber has shown to improve overall well-being and decrease the need for laxatives (11). 

OATS vs RICE
Rice, white or brown are similar in calorie and fiber content per cup. Both contain roughly 45g carbohydrates per cup. Brown rice is rich in dietary fiber (3.5g per cup) while white rice is rich in protein (4g – 6.5g per cup) Like rice, oats are high in carbohydrates, relatively low in calories and an excellent source of dietary fiber. One cup of cooked, regular or quick oats has 166 calories, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber and almost 6 grams of protein. Although the carbohydrate count is high, plain oats have less than a gram of sugar per serving. 
Both oats and rice have a variety of micronutrients. Oats are a good source of calcium, phosphorous and potassium. A cup of cooked oats contributes over 2 milligrams of iron toward the recommendation of 8 milligrams for men and 18 milligrams for women per day. White and brown rice have approximately 1 to 2 milligrams of iron. White rice is an excellent source of folate with 153 micrograms per serving. 

OATS vs WHEAT
Oats, in any form, are very healthy food and are an excellent source of thiamine, iron, and dietary fiber. Whole oats are also the only source of antioxidant compounds known as avenanthramides, which are believed to help protect the circulatory system from arteriosclerosis. Oats also play an important part in lowering cholesterol levels in the body, preventing heart failure, enhancing the immune system, stabilizing blood sugar, lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes, etc. 
Wheat offers protein, fat, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, vitamin B, folate, calcium, manganese, zinc, potassium, and starch. It is said to offer health benefits such as fewer carbohydrates, helps reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, lessens chronic inflammation, helps prevent gallstones, provides protection against breast cancer, etc. 

TO CONCLUDE
Oats are an incredibly nutritious food packed with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Oats contain the soluble fiber beta-glucan and antioxidants called avenanthramides. Benefits include lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels and reduced constipation. In addition, they are very filling and have many properties that make them weight loss friendly. 
Oat, rice and wheat are all valuable cereals. They have been used for nutrition purposes by people for many centuries and have some distinct and some similar health benefits.
Supplement your daily diet with oats regularly to reap its health benefits. 

References:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19941618/
https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death 
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11840174/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7956987/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16054549/ 
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18095234/
https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/1475-2891-13-49
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24024772/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11839710/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19571787/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19214342/ 

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Rithika Rajgopal

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