Monday, April 6, 2009
What better way to gain the strength and energy to carry you through a hectic day schedule than with a steaming bowl of freshly cooked oatmeal.
Oats are grown throughout the temperate zones. They have a lower summer heat requirement and greater tolerance of rain than other cereals like wheat or barley, so are particularly important in areas with cool, wet summers such as Northwest Europe, even being grown successfully in Iceland. Oats are an annual plant, and can be planted either in autumn (for late summer harvest) or in the spring (for early autumn harvest).
Oats have numerous uses in food; most commonly, they are rolled or crushed into oatmeal, or ground into fine oat flour. Oatmeal is chiefly eaten as porridge, but may also be used in a variety of baked goods, such as oatcakes, oatmeal cookies, and oat bread. Oats are also an ingredient in many cold cereals, in particular muesli and granola. Oats may also be consumed raw, and cookies with raw oats are becoming popular.
The health benefits of Oats:
1.Oats reduce the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, stabilizing blood sugar levels which, in turn, may help diabetics.
2.Oats are a great source of dietary fiber – they consist of approximately 55 percent soluble fiber and 45 percent insoluble fiber.
3.Oats contain a high percentage of desirable complex carbohydrates, which have been linked to: reduced risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancer; better management of diabetes; and fewer bowel problems such as constipation.
4.Oats have a high Vitamin B1 content, which is required by the body for carbohydrate metabolism.
5.Oats contain one of the best amino acid profiles of all grains. Amino acids are essential proteins that help facilitate optimum functioning of the body.
6.Oats are naturally low in fat. Nearly everyone – men and women of all ages and races – benefits from eating a low-fat diet.
7.The lipids present in oats contain a good balance of essential fatty acids, which has been linked with longevity and general good health.
8.On a per gram basis, oats contain a higher concentration of protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, thiamin, folacin and Vitamin E than any other unfortified whole grain, such as wheat, barley, corn or rice.
9.Oats has been known to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack.
Eating a bowl of oat at least six times a week is a good idea for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other signs of cardiovascular problem.