Oats, like barley and wheat, is one of the most common cereal grains.
Oats is a member of the grass (Poaceae) family and is closely related to barley and rye.
The word “oat” derives from the Old English word āta which it shares with Germanic languages such as Danish and Swedish.
This term in turn derives from Proto-Indo European root *h₂wódr̥ (water).
Thus, this article will explore multiple health benefits associated with regular consumption of oats.
These include their ability to protect against metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Oats are a type of cereal grain, but they aren’t technically grass.
They’re considered part of the Gramineae plant family, which includes more grains like wheat and rice.
However, oats have their own unique classification as a member of the Avena genus.
Which also happens to include plants commonly called wild oats!
Regardless of their grass-like appearance or place in a separate genus from other cereal grains.
One thing is certain: oats are some seriously nutritious stuff.
In fact, just half a cup of dry whole oats contains 16 grams of carbohydrates (four from dietary fiber).
Four grams of protein, 2.6 grams of fat and three milligrams each of and sodium.
On top can be found B vitamins, iron and minerals such as magnesium and manganese.
Oats also pack a big antioxidant punch, containing both likopen and avenanthramides.
Which is an antioxidant compound specific to oats.
Likopen has been shown to protect against cancer by blocking the formation of carcinogens and enhancing DNA repair mechanisms in human cells.
Avenanthramides have been appreciated for their anti-inflammatory effects on lab rats’ blood vessels.
In terms of carbs, oats are fairly low-GI (glycemic index) compared to other grains like white bread or potatoes.
That means oatmeal isn’t likely to cause a spike in your blood sugar levels.
That could leave you feeling lethargic or hungry soon after.
Oats are also low on the GL (glycemic load) scale—about half that of other cereal grains.
And while oatmeal is an incredibly healthy way to start your day.
It’s not the only way you can get your daily oats.
Here are just a few of our favorite ways to enjoy oats every day:
Topping for yogurt or hot cereal
If you’re looking for some creative ideas, try using rolled or quick-cooking oats in place of bread crumbs in meatballs or meatloaf.
Crushed whole grain oats make a great crispy coating on baked fish, too.
Rolled oats can be soaked overnight and ground into flour.
Which yields a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour in baked goods.
But, when it comes down to it, nothing beats a steaming bowl of oatmeal for the perfect breakfast—or any meal.
So, try one of these tasty recipes today.
Oatmeal Pancakes with Honey Cinnamon Syrup
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Honey Cinnamon Syrup Ingredients:
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4 teaspoons honey pinch cinnamon
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together oats through salt until well combined.
- Add in milk through vanilla extract and stir until just combined.
- Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls, in batches, onto a hot non-stick skillet or griddle.
- Cook until small bubbles form and the edges look dry, flip to cook other side until lightly browned.
- In a small saucepan combine all syrup ingredients over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
- Pour into a bowl to serve alongside pancakes.
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 2 pancakes with toppings
Amount Per Serving:
Total Fat: 18 g Saturated Fat: 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 8 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 53 mg
Sodium 412 mg
Potassium 441 mg
Carbohydrate: 71 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Sugars: 21 g
Protein: 13 g
Orange Cranberry Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups of water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons orange juice
- 6 tablespoons white sugar
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup of dried cranberries
- Rinse quinoa well, drain.
- Place in saucepan with the water and salt.
- Bring to a rolling boil
- reduce heat to low
- Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from heat.
- Fluff with fork and transfer to serving bowl to cool (can be made the night before).
Orange Cranberry Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 teaspoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Combine all ingredients except for the olive oil in a blender.
- With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil until emulsified.
- Yield: 6 servings
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 451
- Total Fat: 27 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 7 g
- Monounsaturated Fat 19 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 426 mg
- Potassium 51 mg
- Carbohydrate 42 g
- Dietary Fiber 4 g
- Sugars: 25 g
- Protein 5 g
Oats are an incredibly healthy way to start your day, it’s not the only way you can get your daily oats.
Although oats are technically considered a grain, they are used more like a vegetable.
This is especially true in Scotland, where oatmeal has been a traditional staple food for centuries.
People who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance should avoid eating oats since they gluten just like other grains.
Oats have been shown to be a good source of various nutrients including magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.
The grain also contains a fair amount of protein suitable for a vegetarian diet.
In fact, research has established that oats can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the chances of heart diseases.
Moreover, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved labeling foods containing whole grains.
As “healthy” since they have been linked with reduced insulin levels and blood pressure.
In addition to decreased risks of chronic disease such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
The good news is that oatmeal has been shown to reduce several metabolic syndrome parameters.
Which can help prevent the onset of complications associated with this condition.
In fact, oats contain various compounds known as beta-glucan polymers.
Which have been linked with benefits such as improved insulin sensitivity and increased feelings of fullness following meals.