Eating oats in your diet provides a wide range of important health benefits. New scientific research is also revealing exciting new information about the benefits of oats, some of it surprising.
As the soluble fiber of oats is digested, it forms a gel, which causes the viscosity of the contents of the stomach and small intestine to be increased. The gel delays stomach emptying making you feel full longer which helps with weight loss.
Oats, like other cereal grains, are valued primarily as a source of carbohydrates which provide calories for energy needs. Oats have been shown in scientific studies to favorably alter metabolism and enhance performance when ingested 45 minutes to 1 hour before exercise of moderate intensity.
Oatmeal and oat bran are significant sources of dietary fiber. This fiber contains a mixture of about half soluble and half insoluble fibers. One component of the soluble fibre found in oats is beta-glucans, a soluble fiber which has proven effective in lowering blood cholesterol.
The accumulation of cholesterol is implicated in many types of cardiovascular disease. Oats, like all cholesterol-lowering agents, are most effective when consumed as part of a low-fat, high-fiber diet taken together with plenty of exercise. The beneficial health effects of oats are best if ½-1 cup (1½-3 ounces) of oats are eaten every day.
Eating oats can spread the rise in blood sugars over a longer time period. Control of blood glucose and insulin levels is essential in preventing many of the complications associated with diabetes. Oat beta-glucan slows the rise in blood glucose levels following a meal and delays its decline to pre-meal levels. Other sources of soluble fiber are grains, fresh fuit and vegetables.
Oats, like other grains and vegetables, contain hundreds of phytochemicals (plant chemicals). Many phytochemicals are thought to reduce a person's risk of getting cancer. Phytoestrogen compounds, called lignans, in oats have been linked to decreased risk of hormone-related diseases such as breast cancer, prostate, endometrium and ovarian cancer.
A daily serving of whole oats rich in soluble fibre can reduce hypertension, or high blood pressure, and so reduce the need for anti-hypertensive medication.
Oats have a high fiber content. Fiber is necessary in keeping bowel movements regular. Oats are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It is spongy and absorbs many times its own weight of liquid. It makes stools heavier and speeds their passage through the gut, relieving constipation.
With such a big bowl of benefits available, do not delay anymore - start eating a bowl of oats from today!