Oats is a staple food that’s among the healthiest grains on earth. They’re a gluten-free whole grain and contains a lot of important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants which is good for your health. People normally ask, how healthy is oatmeal? In this article you’ll see what oatmeal is, the nutrition value of oatmeal and some health benefits.
What is an Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is a breakfast food that’s made up of oats and water or milk. Oatmeal has a high quantity of fiber both in soluble and insoluble. It also has vitamins, and essential minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, and folate.
Nutrition value of oatmeal
Oatmeal is highly nutritious with a cup serving (234 grams) containing:
- Calories: 166
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Fat:5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 32 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
- Manganese: 68 percent of the daily requirement
- Phosphorus: 18 percent of the daily requirement
- Selenium: 18 percent of the daily requirement
- Magnesium: 16 percent of the daily requirement
- Zinc: 16 percent of the daily requirement
- Iron: 12 percent of the daily requirement
- Potassium: 5 percent of the daily requirement
Health benefits of oatmeal
How healthy is oatmeal ? Oatmeal is hearty food that’s nutritious to the body. Here are evidence-based health benefits of eating oats and oatmeal.
- Reduces Cholesterol Levels
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Provides antioxidants
- Promotes healthy bacteria in your gut
- Managing weight
- Eases constipation
- Improve Skin
- Lowers the risk of colon cancer
- Reduces Cholesterol Levels : When you’ve high cholesterol, it’s significant risk factor for heart disease however when you consume oatmeal regularly, it may help improve your cholesterol levels because a special type of fiber in the oatmeal known as beta-glucan, increases the elimination of cholesterol-rich bile from the body. A study said, oatmeal can reduce total cholesterol levels if people consume 3 grams (g) or more of beta-glucan a day. According to the research, beta glucan decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol,” but did not affect high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or “good cholesterol.”
- Regulates sugar levels : Oatmeal helps regulate blood sugar because of its slow-digesting. The high fiber content in oatmeal slows digestion and allows for a slow and steady release of glucose into the blood. In doing that, it helps maintain normal glucose levels and prevent glucose spikes associated with processed carbohydrates. It also contains beta-glucan that can help improve insulin response and reduces blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes
- Provides antioxidants : Oatmeal contains many powerful antioxidants including phytic acid, vitamin E, phenolic compounds, and Avenanthramides . These compounds help fight inflammation, prevent itching, and improve blood flow. According to a 2018 study published in the journal Food Research International, polyphenol antioxidants found in oats possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Again avenanthramides may help lower blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide. This gas molecule helps dilate (widen) blood vessels and leads to better blood flow.
- Promotes healthy bacteria in your gut. Oatmeal has a beta-glucan which forms a gel-like substance when mixed with water and this solution coats the stomach and the digestive tract. The coating feeds good bacteria in the gut and increases their growth rate and can contribute to a healthy gut.
- Managing weight . Oatmeal can help you lose weight by making you feel more full. Not only is oatmeal delicious breakfast food it’s also very filling. This may help you eat fewer calories and lose weight. Research shows that regular oatmeal consumers have lower body weights, smaller waist circumferences, and lower body mass indexes.
- Eases constipation. Constipation refers to infrequent, irregular bowel movements that are difficult to pass and fiber is also a key component in a healthy digestive system. Since oat bran is a fiber-rich outer layer grain, it helps keep waste in the gastrointestinal tract moving, which can relieve or prevent constipation.
- Improve Skin : Skin products with ‘colloidal oatmeal’ create a healthy skin microbiome that protects against harmful UV rays and harmful bacteria. Colloidal oatmeal also help treat dry and itchy skin. It may as well help relieve symptoms of various skin conditions like eczema and atopic dermatitis
- Lowers the risk of colon cancer. Oatmeal contains compounds like Avenanthramides that may help prevent cancer. The compound is a type of antioxidant that helps slow cell mutations. When you consume 1-3 servings of oat products daily for three months, tumors would significantly decreased in size and number. Again, Oatmeal has anti-carcinogenic compounds vitamin E, copper, selenium, and zinc which prevent colon cancer. The fiber in oatmeal can also help reduce insulin resistance which is one of the culprits in the development of colon cancer.
It is best to choose varieties of oatmeal that are less processed and to limit added sugars which will be beneficial to your health.