WHY OATS ARE A STAPLE IN MY DIET?
Oats are widely popular among many, but they are especially popular in the plant-based diets. That’s no surprise since they are widely available, very affordable and so easy to cook. But there are even more benefits to oats than that.
Oats belong to one out of five basic whole-food groups: whole grains. Even quick oats and oat flour from 100% whole oats belong to that group. That means oats are a source of complex (slow) carbohydrates that fill you up for much longer than refined grains. A bowl of oatmeal will easily fill you up until lunchtime. At the same time, the caloric density is very low: only 153 calories per 1/2 cup dry oats.
Oats are also rich in the following nutrients (per 1/2 dry oats):
✔️ 5.3g protein
✔️ 81% daily recommended value of manganese
✔️ 13% of phosphorus
✔️ 21% selenium
✔️ 18% zinc and magnesium
✔️ 16% of fiber and vitamin B1
Oats have a unique compound that can help suppress inflammation called avenanthramides. This compound has shown to relieve skin irritations and at the same time has a very beneficial effect to soothe digestive system (for example, in case of gastritis).
Besides soothing effect, oats have proven to:
- lower LDL cholesterol, therefore lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke
- lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity – thanks to the thick gel formation that delays the absorption of glucose into the blood
- manage hypertension (lower blood pressure)
- decrease chances of cancer
- relief constipation – thanks to high fiber content
So given that oats have so many beneficial effects, how can we incorporate it into our meals?
First and foremost, oatmeals that can help start your day strong and nurtured (there are plenty of varieties, you can have it sweet full of berries, nut butter, and fruits, or you can opt for a savory option with mushrooms, spinach, roasted veggies, and maybe even tofu). But you don’t need to be an oatmeal kind of person to get the benefits from the oats. There are plenty of other vegan dishes where oats play the main role: oat pancakes, vegan patties made of oats, granola bars, oat cookies, and vegan muffins.
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