Oat is a robust grain offering much nutritional and health promoting properties. Even after the milling process, oats remain to be an excellent source of both dietary fiber as well as an array of diverse nutrients.
Oats have been cultivated for thousands of years. They have long been revered for their medicinal properties. In fact, oats are considered the “go-to” grain in many traditional cultures around the world. Oat flour has been used to treat skin conditions, help lower cholesterol and help promote optimal health.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
The consumption of oats can greatly decrease your risks of forming chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal contain soluble fiber, which directly helps lower cholesterol levels in the body.
Oats are a source of dietary fiber. Fiber may help with weight management, as well as keep your digestive health in check. Fiber also acts to prevent constipation, help lower cholesterol levels, reduce cancer risk, as well as relieve other gastro-intestinal issues. Specifically, consuming regular amounts of high fiber foods, such as oats, may help reduce cancer risk.
Anti-Oxidants and Flavonoids
Oats are an excellent source of phytonutrients with anti-oxidant activity. Anti-oxidants, such as avenanthramides, play a role in decreasing cardiovascular damage. These beneficial compounds neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals directly damage blood vessels and can cause cholesterol to build up in artery walls; therefore, anti-oxidants can be helpful in preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis, stroke, heart disease and arthritis. Avenanthramides have been shown to directly lower LDL cholesterol.
Stabilize Blood Sugar
The fiber in oats may have promising results in the management of Type 2 diabetes. The rise in blood glucose levels is much lower after eating oats compared to eating foods such as white rice. The presence of minerals such as magnesium further helps your body use glucose.
Rich Source of Manganese
Oats contains the trace mineral manganese, which is a critical component in energy production in the body. Manganese is required for bone health, and is used in the formation of both fatty acids and cholesterol. Manganese also plays a role in the maintenance of nerves, and protects the body from oxidative damage.
Source of Selenium
Oats are a rich source of selenium, which acts along with fiber to help lower certain forms of cancer including colon cancer. Selenium also works with vitamin E to act as a powerful antioxidant, which in turn protects the body from heart disease, atherosclerosis and stroke. Selenium also plays a role in protecting against inflammation and thus provides relief from the symptoms of arthritis.