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Benefits of Oats And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2020

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What are Oats?

When it comes to foods that are ideal for healthcare, oats are one of the top grains to choose. Different variants of ‘instant oats’ have begun to crop up in the market to inspire more and more people to consume these healthy grains. But what exactly are oats?

These are basically whole grains that are gluten-free, making them extremely beneficial to eat. Oats can be mixed with a variety of freshly cut fruits, milk, and even vegetables to create a wholesome meal that makes this grain appropriate for any time of the day – breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Many people have begun to substitute their evening snacks with oatmeal just to add a boost of nutrients to their diet.

Oats Nutrition - Nutritional Value Of Oats

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Oats are filled with amazing nutrients that are great for your body. In 100 grams of oats, you will find a total of 389 calories.

Types Of Oats

For such a simple grain, there are quite a few varieties out there! All oats start as oat groats, the only difference lies in their processing that alters its taste, texture and cooking time. The popular types of oats are:

  1. Instant oats

    Also known as quick oats, instant oats cook so well & instantly. These oats are precooked, dried, rolled and pressed to form thin flakes. Just add some ingredients of your choice and you're good to go!

  2. Rolled oats

    Similar to instant oats in terms of processing, Rolled oats are classic old-fashioned oats. They are steamed and pressed, however not precooked. They usually need a longer time to cook and have a thicker texture.

  3. Steel-cut oats

    Steel-cut oats are created by cutting the oat groat into tiny pieces. These oats have a very chewy texture. They go under minimal processing and are not teamed or flattened due to which they take the longest to cook.

How To Eat Oats?

Wondering how to eat oats to get the most out of this healthy grain? Well, you should consume oats for not less than one or two meals a day with low-fat healthy toppings.

The best part about oats is that they can be customized as per your health needs. You can add multiple toppings to make oats more than a warming breakfast.

Whether you add cold yogurt, drizzle them with honey, dust with grated coconut and dried fruits or top them up with nuts or seeds – You can also add more fruits and veggies to make it a wholesome meal.

Oats are endlessly versatile and healthy.

Best Time To Eat Oats

Nothing is better than a warm bowl of oats for a Good Morning! This healthy food can help you start your day in a wholesome way.

  • The best time to eat oats is right in the morning to provide your body an energy boost that sustains throughout the day.
  • Rich in soluble fiber, oats will keep you full for a longer time and will control your hunger pangs for rest of the day to help you shed those extra kilos.
  • Whether you cook them in milk or relish with fruits, oats make a perfect breakfast alternative.

Health Benefits of Oats

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Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Oats

1. Oats For Digestion - High fiber content, thereby aiding in better digestion

Oats are high in fiber and they are great for your digestion. Fibers tend to regulate your bowel movements, keeping your digestive system running smoothly and efficiently. Oats digestion time is approximately 90 minutes in comparison to pulses and beans that usually take 120 minutes.

Oats can help you prevent a host of problems such as gas, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, and even irritable bowel syndrome. Therefore, if you are suffering from any digestive issues, a bowl of oats should do the trick!

2. Oats For Cholesterol - Protect the heart from cardiovascular diseases

Oats helps in lowering cholesterol levels. High amounts of bad cholesterol (LDL) can lead to various heart problems including clogged arteries, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Including oats in your diet can help you decrease the bad cholesterol, thereby protecting you from heart problems. It can also help you reduce your blood pressure. Furthermore, oats can help you reduce other signs of heart disease, such as hypertension.

3. Oats For Diabetes - Lowers the absorption of sugar by the body

Oats can prevent diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels. Diabetes can be highly dangerous and can cause a range of problems if not controlled properly, including death. Oats are complex carbohydrates due to which the breakdown of sugar in your system can be slowed down.

Low in glycemic index, the wonder grain can also reduce the dependency of insulin injection and aid in effective diabetes management by improving the overall health.

4. Oats For Weight Loss - It has low-fat content and low amounts of calories

Oats work on multiple levels to help you lose weight. To start with, since they are high in fibers, they simulate the feeling of a full stomach, thereby reducing your need to eat.

Oats also have low-fat and low-calorie content, which makes them an excellent food for losing weight. Finally, you can create healthy meals with oat by adding fresh fruit and making sure your body, though full, is still healthy and not gaining weight.

5. Oats For Babies - Serves as an excellent alternative to rice cereal who suffer from constipation

Oats for babies who have started eating solid food is an excellent meal choice, without a doubt. Oats are highly nutritious and rich in essential nutrients required for the baby’s development.

Steel-cut oats are the best types of oats for babies’ health as they are the least processed. Apart from mixing them with milk, you can also add oats to other baby food recipes.

6. Oats During Pregnancy - Provides enough carbohydrates and calories to give an energy boost

A healthy diet during pregnancy greatly benefits both mother and baby. Incorporating healthy food and whole grains like oats in the dietary regime supports a healthy pregnancy.

Pregnant women require an energy rush to sustain throughout the day. You can pair up oats with different flavorings and toppings to satisfy your pregnancy cravings and also ensuring normal growth of your baby.

7. Oats For Skin - Acts as a natural cleanser for healthy and glowing skin

The magical cereal is full of anti-oxidative & anti-inflammatory properties and can do wonders for your skin. They can soak up the excess oil on your skin and combat acne.

Oats contain a natural ingredient termed as saponins that act as natural cleansers. So, include this versatile grain, oats for skin regime to have healthy, glowing and clear skin.

8. Oats For Cancer - Helps prevent cancer due to its antioxidant content

The reason why oats are such a rage right now is because they are known to prevent cancer. Oats contain enterolactone, as lignin that has a lot of phytochemicals in them. Phytochemicals have the properties of antioxidants.

This means that oats expel free radicals from the body. When free radicals are left to accumulate in the body, it can lead to various types of cancer. Thus, a bowl of oats can go a long way in helping you protect your body from cancer.

9. Oats for Bodybuilding - Rich in proteins and aid in bodybuilding

Oats are rich in proteins. Proteins are one of the most important nutrients needed by our body. They are called the building blocks of the body as they help with many functions that enable growth and development.

Oats are a good source of protein and can be included in the bodybuilding diet. Oatmeal after workout helps to regenerate new cells, building muscles & tissues and maintaining an overall healthy body.

10. Oats Boost Immunity - Boosts your immune system and help fight off infections

Oats boosts the immunity. Your immune system is your body’s main line of defense against diseases and infections caused by bacteria, viruses, microbes, and fungi. Therefore, it is vital to keep the immune system functioning well.

Oats are rich in beta-glucan. These nutrients are vital for the health of the neutrophils. They strengthen the system as a whole and help your body fight off infections and diseases, keeping you safe and protected.

11. Oats prevents Celiac disease - As it is gluten-free food

Celiac disease occurs mainly in the small intestine and interferes with your body's ability to absorb nutrients from food. It is, therefore, a very dangerous disease. Oats are gluten-free, which is why they help prevent this disease.

12. Oats For Weight Gain - A way to increase the calorie intake!

If you wish to gain muscles, it is best to include high-protein rich food in your oats recipe or maybe add a spoon full of protein powder in it. Drizzle some honey if you like your oats sweet.

Add on some wholesome ingredients like full cream milk or yogurt to your oats for weight gain goal - this way you can increase the calorie intake!

Uses of Oats

Oats are used widely for culinary purposes.

  • They can be used in any cuisine to create a simple and wholesome meal.
  • Oats are used in a ton of natural energy bars, as they tend to boost the body’s energy levels without adding any harmful chemicals or caffeine into the mix.
  • Many people also use oats as an ingredient while creating homemade face packs or mud packs. For instance, oats mixed with honey and turmeric can be used on the face for its astringent properties, and its ability to lighten the skin & prevent acne.
  • Oats are also used to create instant meals. These are pre-cooked and you just need to put them in a microwave or oven for a predetermined amount of time.

Oats Brands

Oats are delightful, inexpensive, conveniently available and an excellent source of protein & fiber. A majority of the time, they are loaded with artificial flavors.

An assemblage of oats brands are available in the market, not all these are nutritious!

To ensure you are eating healthy and rich in protein & fiber, cherry-pick the best oats brands to get the most of this wonder grain.

Side effects of Oats

Oats are a totally organic and gluten-free grain and do not have any side effects to speak of. However, it’s always better to take a few common precautions.

  • You can always conduct a brief patch test to determine how your body reacts to oats and whether or not you are allergic.
  • On a general note, it is always better to speak with your physician before adding anything new to your diet or lifestyle.
  • If you are opting for instant oats, always read the label carefully in case it contains any ingredients that you might be allergic to or are not supposed to consume due to any health reasons.
  • Oats are safe for children and infants too.


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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist

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