Are Oats a Super Food?
Are Oats a “Super Food”? There is a new term going around the internet calling some foods “Super Foods”. This term is mainly used for foods that have a variety of health benefits. Oats definitely fit this category. They have Protein, Fats and Carbs., all necessary for a healthy diet. They also have many nutrients as well as antioxidants.
Oats come in many forms. Whole oats (groats) take the longest to cook, at least 20 minutes, however, they may be cooked the night before and then reheated in the microwave.
Steel cut oats can take just as long to cook; unless you buy the fine cut oats which take around 3-4 minutes.
Whole goats and steel cut oats have the most nutrients because they are the least processed. However, there is a new fine steel cut oat that cook in 3 minutes.
Rolled Oats have been processed more and cook in 3 minutes.
Your quick or instant oatmeal has salt and sugar added. These usually have much lower nutrient, fibre and protein levels. Read the labels.
Nutrients found in Oats
Medical News Today (1) lists all the nutrients per 100 gm of oats.
Health Line.com(2) lists all the nutrients according to 1/2 C. of uncooked oats. Oats also have carbs, fibre, protein and fats.
I am only listing the vitamins, and minerals in oats. The measurements given on various sites list the amount by 1C or 1/2C. They provide a different measure in gr That is due to the fact that cups are a volume measure. While grams are a weight measure. The different types of Oats are going to have a different weight/C. For example, steel cut oats will weight differently from rolled oats.
The total nutrient value of oats will be affected by how processed they are.
The following Vitamins and minerals are found in Oats.
Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, Manganese and Zinc.
Oats also contain antioxidants, Protein, Carbs, and Fats.
Oats have beta glucans according to Webmd.com this a form of sugar. beta glucans(3) are sometimes used in medicine.
Healthline.com (2) quotes from the
American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine “Consumption of Oats and Oat-based products significantly reduces total Cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations without adverse effects on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or triglyceride concentrations.”
To translate this Oats were found to lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) but not affect your good HDL (good cholesterol). Triglycerides are the most common form of fat in your body. The triglycerides are necessary to produce energy for your body.
Oats may lower your blood pressure
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that three portions/day of whole grains such as oats and other whole grains can “significantly reduce cardiovascular disease risk in middle-aged people mainly through blood pressure-lowering mechanisms.”
Oats may have an effect on Cancer
According to the Livestrong .com (5) website, Oats may have an effect on preventing some types of Cancer. However, they do state that the research has been inconclusive.
An article published in The Telegraph News Science(6) reports that a study done at Harvard confirms that whole grains have a beneficial effect in reducing death from cancer by 20%.
Oats have long been known as a 'Super Food'. Research is backing up the benefits of Oats. Just be sure to stay away from highly processed instant Oats.
The trend is to add seeds and grains to the oats. Now some brands are available with some extras added to increase the nutritional value.