Oatmeal: 9 effects + 2 tips for use

It is probably the healthiest type of grain in the world: oats. Processed into oat flakes, our health can benefit every day from the valuable super grains. Here you can find out what healing effects oatmeal has and how to prepare it correctly.

Interesting facts about oatmeal

Oats – also known as Avena sativa from its Latin name – are not a newly discovered superfood . The low – gluten whole grain product has been cultivated for over 3,000 years and has long been an important part of natural medicine . Although oats are far superior to other types of grain in terms of their health-promoting effects, wheat, rye and the like were already cultivated 10,000 years ago , i.e. right at the beginning of agriculture. These varieties were significantly more productive and could be harvested better.

However, its health-promoting effects did not go unnoticed for long, and so oats were considered an important staple food well into the 19th  century . There is also a simple reason why oats are so valuable compared to other grains: only the non-edible parts, such as the germ, are removed from the grain. In contrast to wheat and other hulled cereals, the nutrient-rich outer layers are retained.

Oatmeal for gluten intolerance

Almost every grain contains what is known as  gluten , which can cause intolerance in some people . If you are looking for alternatives, you should definitely look more closely at oatmeal. Although they have gluten, this is only in very small quantities and usually less  genetically modified than is the case with wheat, for example.

The fact that oatmeal contains very little gluten is particularly noticeable if you want to bake bread with the grain, for example. Since there is little of the popular glue , the mixture is difficult to mix. Therefore you should only use a small amount of oat flakes for baking and mix them with suitable binding agents.

If you want to eat gluten-free or even have to because of an illness, you should definitely pay attention to the label ” gluten-free” . With these oatmeal products, care is taken during cultivation to ensure that the grains are not contaminated. This happens quite quickly, for example, when a wheat field is next to an oat field. The oats used in these products do not come into contact with any gluten-containing foods during production or further processing either.

Studies with children have shown that oatmeal is well tolerated even if the person has celiac disease. However, you should always test small amounts first to see how your body reacts to the product.

ingredients of oatmeal

Why oatmeal is so valuable for your health becomes apparent quite quickly when you look at the ingredients. The small grains are packed with important protein, fiber, all kinds of minerals and essential vitamins.

No type of grain has such a high proportion of vitamin B1 as oats. The superfood also scores with its abundance of vitamins B6 and B9 . Both are essential for healthy psychological well-being . While vitamin B6 primarily promotes serotonin production and thus reduces the risk of depression, vitamin B9 is responsible for the formation of red blood cells.

But the high proportion of plant-based iron in oatmeal also contributes to its popularity and is a valuable addition , especially for vegans and vegetarians .

Calories and Nutritional Facts of Oatmeal

nutrient per 100 grams
calories 370 kcal
protein 13,5 g
fat 7 g
carbohydrates 59 g
fiber 10 g
Vitamin B1 0,59 mg
Vitamin B6 0,16 mg
copper 0,53 mg
Mangan 4,5 mg
Zink 4,3 mg
Requirements 5,8 mg
Magnesium 130 mg

Effects: Oatmeal is so healthy

Eating oatmeal every day is doing your health a huge favor. Your body benefits both externally and internally from the small super grains and the best thing about it: They can be wonderfully integrated into the daily menu.

For more energy

One of the top strengths of oatmeal: It provides a lot of energy and keeps you full for a long time . Oatmeal is also highly recommended for non-athletes. Because the combination of valuable dietary fiber and vegetable protein turns the grains into real energy suppliers. The dietary fibers present are difficult to break down in the stomach and therefore pass very slowly into the blood sugar. This ensures a regulated blood sugar level and at the same time long-lasting satiety without cravings.

The vegetable protein in oats also ensures rapid muscle growth and the magnesium protects against unpleasant muscle cramps after exercise. To top it off, magnesium also helps the body regenerate faster.

For athletes and fitness enthusiasts, an oatmeal breakfast is the perfect pre-workout meal. Because a rich porridge with fruit and nuts is not heavy on the stomach and does not use a lot of energy to digest.

For beautiful skin and healthy hair

But oatmeal not only has a healing effect on your inside – you can also observe the health benefits externally. The reason for this is the optimal combination of B vitamins, trace elements such as zinc , manganese and copper, but also silicon. The best part is that just 40 grams of rolled oats cover about 20 percent of your daily copper and zinc needs. So you’re already doing something good for your body if you have muesli with oatmeal for breakfast every morning.

The trace elements ensure stronger fingernails and  clean skin,  because copper is responsible for the smooth formation of melanin. Melanin, in turn, is responsible for the pigmentation of the skin. Unbalanced production can lead to unsightly pigment spots, among other things. Along with manganese, copper is also responsible for building and protecting elastin and collagen . And without them, our skin would look saggy and age quickly.

But manganese and copper are not the only things that help the skin retain its youthful appearance . The B vitamins contained in the oat flakes act as free radical scavengers . They protect your cells from damage caused by UV rays and premature skin aging. But they also ensure shiny hair and clear skin.

Especially those who suffer from hair loss need an increased supply of biotin . Since this vitamin is responsible for strong hair and this effect is enhanced in combination with zinc, a meal rich in oats is the optimal basis for healthy hair.

For strong nerves

Hardly any vitamin has a greater impact on the health of our nerves than vitamin B1. It maintains the nervous system and supports its regeneration after illness. Unfortunately, our body can only store a small amount of vitamin B1 and is therefore dependent on a regular supply. After about two weeks of a deficiency, dizziness, insomnia, listlessness and neurological disorders can occur.

With just 40 grams of oatmeal you can already cover a quarter of your daily requirement of vitamin B1. This is precisely why you should opt for a breakfast rich in oatmeal more often.

Lowers cholesterol levels

Oatmeal is good for the heart. They are rich in beta-glucan , which protects the lining of the digestive tract and is believed to be involved in binding bile acids. As a result, oatmeal promotes the excretion of bile acid and encourages the body to produce new bile acid . However, the body needs cholesterol for this , which is why it has to fall back on the reserve and thus creates a balanced ratio of cholesterol in the body.

This use of cholesterol can reduce the risk of a heart attack or gallstones. It also protects against other heart diseases that can be attributed to high cholesterol levels.

Against gastrointestinal complaints

The satiating oat flakes not only provide a lot of energy – they also have a preventive effect on diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. The valuable dietary fibers contained in oats are indigestible plant fibers . They have the property of swelling in the gastrointestinal tract and thus increasing the volume of the stool. This gently stimulates digestion.

But the dietary fibers can do even more: They form a kind of protective layer on the mucous membrane that protects the gastrointestinal walls from acidic gastric juice. This prevents diseases of the stomach and intestines, while oatmeal can also help with indigestion.

Preventive for Alzheimer’s

If you look at the composition of their ingredients, it quickly becomes apparent why oatmeal has long been used in naturopathy to treat memory disorders. Today, some studies prove that the silicon they contain could be the reason for this and  can improve brain performance .

A high intake of aluminum through food or drink can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The substance also ensures that cognitive abilities are degraded more quickly and brain performance is impaired. However, silicon reduces this risk, and a high intake and the integration of oat flakes into the everyday diet can significantly reduce the risk.

On a diet

It may sound paradoxical that oatmeal should support rapid weight loss when it provides a lot of calories. In the right measure, however, oats actually help with healthy weight loss . Their dietary fiber keeps you full for a long time, is very difficult to break down and therefore slowly migrates into the blood sugar. In this way, they prevent sudden food cravings that can make any diet difficult. At the same time, oatmeal stimulates intestinal activity and provides you with plenty of energy for a workout.

Despite the positive effects of oatmeal, you should of course pay attention to the correct dosage, especially when losing weight. Because with around 370 calories per 100 grams of oatmeal, they provide an enormous amount of energy, which you should of course also consume to lose weight. But you can’t go wrong if you eat no more than 50 to 100 grams of oatmeal per day.

For vegans and vegetarians

With a diet without animal products, it is extremely important to still supply the body with all the essential nutrients . Despite a healthy diet, there is often a lack of important B vitamins and iron . Luckily, oats are one of the grains that are surprisingly high in iron. Only quinoa, amaranth and millet can top the oats.

With around 40 grams of oatmeal, you already get 2.4 milligrams of iron , which already accounts for a good portion of your daily needs. For women it is about 15 milligrams per day , for men 10 milligrams are enough .

To really get the most out of the oatmeal, you should always combine it with vitamin C if you have an iron deficiency. This also promotes absorption into the blood and can thus be best utilized. (Soy) yoghurt, fruit such as strawberries, kiwi or orange and of course oatmeal are enough for a hearty breakfast.

For diabetics

Hardly any other effect of oatmeal has been researched as well as that on diabetics. One study had insulin-dependent diabetics eat only oatmeal-based foods for a full day twice a month . As a result, the diabetics were able to reduce their insulin requirements by a third . According to the scientists, the effect of this short diet should last after around three weeks .

Again, the dietary fiber is believed to be related to this beneficial effect. The beta-glucans prevent a sharp and sudden increase in blood sugar levels, which is particularly beneficial for type II diabetics. In addition, oats contain so-called saponins , a type of secondary plant substance. If the blood sugar level is too high, saponins are involved in regulating it again.

The long-chain carbohydrates in the oatmeal have to be broken down in the intestines and only slowly migrate into the blood. However, this health-promoting effect on diabetics is nothing new, which is why there are already countless cures and therapies with oatmeal. However, an everyday integration of the super grains is definitely recommended.

Prepare oatmeal properly

Oatmeal can be wonderfully prepared and used in a variety of ways. Not only do they taste great in muesli in the morning, they also enrich all kinds of baked goods and desserts .

Be moderate

As with any other food, the same applies to oatmeal: moderation . Even if you are convinced of the health benefits and want to do something good for yourself with a large portion of oatmeal, the amount is always crucial. On the one hand, of course, this applies primarily to people with gluten intolerance, who have to watch their gluten intake anyway. But even if you want to lose weight or eat healthier, you should not exceed a total intake of 200 grams per day. Because the small oat grains are very high in energy and could possibly lead to weight gain.

Combine correctly

In order to really get the most out of the oatmeal, it is worth combining it with the right foods. In order to benefit more from the contained iron, you should combine the oats with vitamin C. Kiwis, oranges or even a dash of lemon juice go perfectly with the muesli. If you want to stay full for a long time and exercise, you should eat oatmeal with protein-rich food. A porridge with (soy) milk instead of water would be the perfect pre-workout meal for this. Chia seeds , nuts and the right fruit round off the combination perfectly.

Make porridge yourself: A recipe

One of the most popular oatmeal dishes is definitely porridge. The recipe is incredibly easy and ready in no time. All you have to do is boil the oats in four to ten times the amount of water or milk. The whole thing should then simmer for about two to three minutes , stirring regularly. Finally, just add a pinch of salt . Your porridge is now ready and can be refined with fruit, nuts and other ingredients as you like.

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