Oats are a natural food, a highly nutritious grain that are the basis of the Mediterranean diet and provides to our body valuable nutrients, such as, soluble and insoluble fiber, antioxidants, protein and vitamin B.
And in case you didn’t know, oats have a significantly higher content of fiber and antioxidants compared to corn and wheat.
So it is important to know, the benefits of this special grain in our diet. According to scientific studies, oats play an important role to our diet and help us maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is because its ingredients are nutritionally valuable for the proper functioning of our body.
Precious gift of nature
Oats are rich in nutrients, so they are necessary for the smooth functioning of our body. First of all it contains soluble and insoluble fiber, antioxidants, protein and B vitamins. Soluble fiber can help regulate cholesterol, good management of blood sugar levels in the body and increase satiety, contributing in this way to control our weight.
Insoluble fibers help maintaining our digestive system healthy and functional. Antioxidants play an important role in the general good health of the body, by neutralizing free radicals, converting them into water or other non-harmful substances and thus enhancing the feeling of wellness.
Finally, protein and B vitamins contained in oats are necessary, to protect the immune system, for the formation of body tissues, for the production energy and for metabolizing carbohydrates.
Oats nutritional value
The unique nutritional value of oat flakes, lies in the rich contents of vitamins B complex, minerals, trace minerals and natural fibers (such as beta-glucans), whose beneficial action “embraces” our cardiovascular and digestive system . A portion of only 40 gr. oat flakes is enough to cover 15% of our daily fiber needs!
Antioxidants & vascular health
Eating a bowl of oatmeal, as part of a healthy breakfast, is for a long time now considered as a healthy way to start our day. This is due to the fact that oats contain soluble fiber, which has been shown to help, under conditions in regulation of LDL (bad) cholesterol as part of a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.
New studies, however, show that fibers are not the only benefit we gain from oats for the health of our heart. Until recently, scientists believed that beta-glucan, the soluble fiber contained in oats, was the only nutrient that contributed to the health of our heart and blood vessels.
Even though beta-glucan does actually play a central role in the process of regulating cholesterol it is not the only beneficial ingredient of oats. Oats, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals which are essentially antioxidants. They contain a large number of flavonoids, which can help to protect our cells from the process of oxidation.
Studies about Oats
In one of the studies, conducted at Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at the University of Tufts, researchers have isolated some of the phytochemicals found in oats and studied their effect on cholesterol and other substances found in blood circulation.
During the study, the researchers observed how easily LDL cholesterol would be oxidized with or without flavonoids, which were taken from oats. The researchers found that the oat extract prevented the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is considered by health experts an important step in understanding the process leading to atherosclerosis.
They also found that the addition of vitamins C and E, which are both powerful antioxidants, had a much stronger effect than expected. There is no doubt that oats are an important component of any healthy diet for protecting our heart. As scientists continue to study the oats they may uncover additional benefits to our heart health.
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