Oats are a simple but amazing whole grain that offer numerous health benefits. You may know that Oats are well-known for their cholesterol-lowering powers. They contain a soluble fiber, called beta-glucan fiber. Beta-glucan fiber acts like a sponge, soaking up the cholesterol and transporting it out of the body.
But did you know the other health benefits oats offer? There are at least four additional benefits:
- Because of their complex carbohydrates and fiber, oats can promote the feeling of fullness, allowing you to eat less throughout the day.
- Oats may also play a role in maintaining normal blood sugar levels due to the beta-glucan fiber.
- If you suffer from constipation, oats may promote regularity because of its fiber content.
- Finally, the same components in whole grains that helps protect against heart disease may help prevent certain cancers such as colon, stomach, and prostate cancers.
So how much oats do you need daily to reap the health benefits? Just ½ cup of dry oats (or 1.5 cups of cooked oats) provides you with 3 grams of soluble fiber, which studies have shown can lead to a reduction in LDL or “bad” cholesterol and total cholesterol. Eating oatmeal or porridge isn’t the only way to get your daily serving of oats. Try mixing in some ground oats with white flour when baking, substituting ground oats in place of white flour when breading meat or vegetables, using oats to thicken soups and sauces, mixing oats in with your ground meat (e.g, meatballs, burgers, or meatloaf) and sneaking oats into casseroles and stuffing mixtures.
Oats are so versatile and healthy. Try experimenting with it today to find out what health benefits oats can offer you and your family!