ALL ABOUT OATS
Oats are among the healthiest grains on the earth. They're a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Oats are planted in the spring or early summer in cooler areas to avoid the summer heat which makes the oats go dormant. Therefore top producers of oats are mainly the countries with mild winters or cold climate. Russia is the leading producer accounting for over 20% of the world production, Canada, Poland, Finland and Australia are also one of the major countries producing oats.
TYPES OF OATS
Oats are sorted into many different types, from the least processed to the most processed, The less processing the oat grain goes through, the more health benefits it has.
Oat groats are minimally processed grains to remove their inedible hulls, bran and germ are still intact. To consume oat groats, we must cook it for a long time to soften it by soaking or simmering it in water. Due to the retention of the bran, it provides high fibre content along with B-vitamins. Keeping the germ intact resulted in the oat groats being high in polyunsaturated fats and a variety of essential vitamin and minerals.
Steel-cut oats are simply the cut-up version of oat groats. The texture and nutritional values of steel – cut oats are fairly similar to oat groats. The only significant difference is the cooking time (20 – 30 mins). It cooks faster than oat groats because water can more easily penetrate the smaller pieces.
Rolled oats are created when oat groats are steamed and then rolled into flakes. Base on the thickness of the flake, rolled oats are classified into two main types: Old-fashion rolled oat is slightly thicker (0.51 – 0.67mm), compared to Quick-cooking oats (0.36 – 0.46mm).
The most favoured type of oats on the market. These oats are pre-cooked, dried and rolled. The thickness of these oats is much thinner than the rolled oats. This shortens the cooking time by a lot. And most of the time, all you need to do is to add hot water and your oats are ready in no time.
Oat flour is a whole grain and gluten-free flour that can be used in baking, or for thickening soup and stews.
Oats are mainly eaten as porridge, as an ingredient in breakfast cereals, and in baked goods (oatcakes, oat cookies, and oat bread). Over the past few decades, oats have become a very popular "health food."
1 ounce of Oats provide
4.7g Protein (9%)
0.2mg Vitamin B1 (14% DV)
1.3mg Iron (7% DV)
146mg Phosphoros (15% DV)
Heart Health & Cholesterol Levels
Consumption of oats and oat-based products will help prevent cardiovascular diseases. Many researches have found that oatmeal acted as a great component of a fat-modified diet and helped in reducing the serum cholesterol level, including both HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body.
Oatmeal is highly recommended for people who want to lose weight without going on any crash diets. Oatmeal contains high amounts of dietary fiber, nutrients, low calories and a small amount of fat, which makes it the best food for weight loss.
Improve immune system
Vitamins found in oatmeal include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin E, and vitamin K. These nutrients are essential in building up the strength of the immune system.
Oats with its high dietary fiber content, was found to have anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting compounds with minimal side effects, especially colorectal cancer.