Start Your Day With Oats


Start Your Day With Oats

A journey from the stables to the breakfast table

The Scottish have a long tradition of eating oats for breakfast. Samuel Johnson, the great English author and lexicographer, hated oats. He told his friend Boswell (a Scot), "I can't imagine eating oats. In England, we feed only the horses with oats!” Boswell immediately replied, "That's perhaps why England has such good horses and Scotland has such good men." 

If Johnson were alive today, he would have had to eat his own words and a bowl of hearty oatmeal as well! In recent years, the realization of the benefits of oats has been so pronounced that the humble stock in horse stables has become a staple in the daily diet regimen of many health-conscious people. With its innumerable healthful qualities, oats has been inducted into the elite club of super foods of the future.

Oats is one of the few grains that can hold its bran and germ intact even after the hulling process. So the fiber and nutrients are all in place, in their concentrated form. Oats provides you with your daily quota of valuable minerals like manganese, copper, zinc, and biotin, apart from fiber and protein. The beneficial effects of oats are too many to be enumerated.

Listed below are a few:

  • Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal have a particular type of fiber called beta-glucan. Studies indicate that beta glucans help in reducing cholesterol, decreasing insulin response, and improving defenses of the immune system against parasites, viruses, and fungi. 

 

  • Soluble fiber in oats arrests the build- up of plague in the arteries. This significantly reduces the risk of cardiac diseases and heart attack.

 

  • It has been proven that introducing oats in the diet of children can reduce the risk of asthma.

 

  • Inclusion of oats in gluten-free diets can improve the nutritional values of the diets, specifically the vitamins and minerals. Antioxidant levels also increase and this helps protect the brain from oxidative damage. 

 

  • Studies indicate that higher the amount of beta glucan, higher are the levels of appetite controlling hormones.

 

  • Experiments conducted in hospitals indicate that a diet rich in oats, can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, reduce LDL('bad') cholesterol, and improve insulin sensitivity.

 

  • Laxatives are often used among the elderly. This can cause unnecessary weight loss and malnutrition. Regular inclusion of oats in the diet can eliminate the need for a laxative.  

 

  • Oats is a boon for postmenopausal women. Having six servings of whole grains such as oats in a week is found to be highly beneficial to postmenopausal women with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or signs of cardiovascular disease. Oats also reduces the risk of developing breast cancer because of its high fiber content.

 

Many people seem to dislike oats, presumably because of its 'gooey' consistency and sticky texture. This problem can be easily addressed by opting for one of the plethora of breakfast cereals made of oats. There are oat bars speckled with chocolate chips, fruits, and berries in order to entice children into craving for this nutritious grain.

To lead a healthy life free of diseases, start your day with a steaming hot bowl of oats. Vote for oats!