Oats are one among the healthiest options to include in your plant-based meal plans. These gluten-free whole grains are a wonderful source of many important minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Studies indicate that oats as well as oatmeal are capable of providing many health benefits. Some of them include lowering blood sugar levels, helping to lose weight, reducing the chance of heart disease, etc. Hence, oats are a great option for you to include in your plant-based diet.
Oats can provide a wide range of health benefits for humans. Some of them are listed below:
Oats Are Highly Nutritious
Oats are known for the well-balanced nutrient composition. They are an excellent source of fiber and carbs. The presence of beta-glucan, which is a powerful fiber, makes oats one of the healthiest grains, as this compound has the capability to regulate cholesterol levels and promote heart health.
Oats are also high in fat and protein than many other grains. Also, these nutritious grains are loaded with a wide range of minerals, vitamins, and many other plant compounds. Some of the important nutrients present in oats are phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), etc.
In addition to this, oats also contain many other nutrients in smaller amounts. They include potassium, calcium, vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).
The wide array of vitamins, minerals, and other plant compounds present in oats make this plant-based food one of the highly nutritious foods on the planet.
Whole Oats Are Extremely High In Antioxidants
The high amounts of antioxidants and compounds known as polyphenols in the oats can provide a lot of benefits for humans. Also, the presence of a group of antioxidants known as avenanthramides makes oats unique, as they are almost solely present in this grain.
Avenanthramides can be beneficial for lowering the blood pressure by increasing the synthesis of nitric oxide, which are gas molecules that are capable of dilating blood vessels, thereby improving the blood flow. In addition to this, avenanthramides also exhibit anti-itching and anti-inflammatory properties.
Along with avenanthramides, another antioxidant called ferulic acid is also present in oats in large amounts. The presence of all these compounds makes oats one of the healthiest foods to add to your plant-based meals.
Oats Have High Amounts Of Beta-Glucan
Beta-glucan is a form of soluble fiber that is present in oats in high amounts. This fiber will partially dissolve in water and it can form a thick and gel-like solution in your gut. Beta-glucan can provide you a large number of health benefits. Some of them are listed below:
- It can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) thereby reducing the total cholesterol levels.
- It has the ability to regulate blood sugar levels and insulin response.
- It can promote the growth of good bacteria in your digestive tract.
- It can create a feeling of fullness thereby aiding to lose weight by preventing overeating.
Oats Can Help To Reduce Cholesterol Levels
A fiber called beta-glucan present in oats can help to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol. Hence, it can be beneficial for lowering the risk of heart diseases.
Beta-glucan is found to have the ability to promote the excretion of bile which is high in cholesterol. This can help to reduce the circulation of cholesterol in your blood which can be useful for preventing the clogging up of arteries.
The presence of high amounts of bad cholesterol (LDL) can significantly increase the risk of heart diseases and stroke. In addition to this, the oxidation of this cholesterol that can occur when it reacts with the free radicals can act as another risk factor for heart diseases. This can cause inflammation in the arteries and damage tissues thereby increasing the possibility of strokes and various heart diseases.
But a study suggests that the antioxidants present in oats together with vitamin C can be useful for preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
Oats Can Help To Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Type 2 diabetes is among the common conditions that are present in people. It occurs when your blood sugar levels increase. It is usually caused by the decreased sensitivity to insulin.
Oats are found to be beneficial for lowering blood sugar levels. It can also help with improving insulin sensitivity. Hence, including oats in your daily diet can help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The effects of oats in maintaining the blood sugar levels are related to the beta-glucan’s capability to form a thick gel that can help to delay the emptying of the stomach thereby reducing the glucose absorption into your blood.
Oatmeal Is Very Filling And Might Help With Reducing Weight
Oatmeal can be a delicious breakfast option, and it is also very filling. It can help you to prevent overeating and aid in weight loss. Hence, oats create a great option for people who are trying to lose weight.
Oats are an excellent choice for you to include in your plant-based meals, as they are highly nutritious. In addition to this, this grain can help to reduce the risk of a large number of diseases. Hence, make sure that you include this nutrient-rich grain in your daily diet.