About Oats

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Oats hold a special place as a staple in many people’s diet and are considered a true super-food giving us the energy we need to face the day! But let’s look at what exactly is an oat, and what makes them so special.

Oat grains grow on ‘panicles’, which are free hanging pod-like forms. As a wholegrain, oats are nutrient dense. They provide a range of B-group vitamins, which are important for metabolic processes, as well as Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant, and iron for oxygen transport. Being a complete powerhouse of health benefits, oats are an ideal source of fibre and carbohydrates that can help you feel fuller for longer.

When it comes down to oats, there isn’t just simply one type available. There are different varieties that all have unique benefits, textures, and tastes. For example, some cook quicker and others are processed differently. But it’s okay, because at the end of the day,
they’re all still oats!

Porridge Bowl Breakfast

Health Benefits of Oats

Every morning should start off with a delicious breakfast. Whether you’re running out the door or able to sit down with a coffee and newspaper, breakfast is still an incredibly important meal of the day. With such a large variety of cereals, toast with spreads, and other breakfast items available, it’s hard picking something that will not only keep you full but is also filled with healthy ingredients. Oats are a staple that are used for baking, cooking, creating your own skin care products, and of course, for breakfast!

But how does something so simple and delicious help our bodies? Well, oats contain plenty of vitamins and minerals to help prevent chronic diseases and illness.

Five ways oats help our health shine!

  1. Oats are heart healthy thanks to their ability to decrease the build-up of cholesterol, meaning that they reduce the chances of your body having a heart attack or stroke. The high content of soluble fibre in oats has also been connected to reducing blood pressure and the risk of heart failure.
  2. Plenty of fibre is packed into oats, as one serving of 30 grams has a whopping 11% of fibre. That’s a quarter of your daily needs if you’re male and around half if you’re female! Soluble fibre has the ability to keep you fuller thanks to its slow digestion rate.
  3. Oats are also a go-to snack or meal for those looking to get fit and strong. They’re a great form of carbohydrate that is beneficial for growth and recovery. The B vitamins in oats also serve metabolic purposes, meaning they help play a role in yielding energy from the calories we consume.
  4. Why reach for a protein shake when you can have a bowl of oats after your workout? A ½ cup serving of oats has 13 grams of protein!
  5. Replacing your daily cereal or toast with oats can help your daily calorie consumption. It can help decrease body fat and prevent daily snacking and overeating.

Now you’ve got plenty of good reasons to ditch sugary, processed breakfasts for a healthy bowl of oats instead!

The Oat Body

A wholegrain oat has three main parts of a seed: the germ, endosperm, and bran.

Germ

The core of the oat and what helps it grow is the germ, similar to an embryo in that it gives new rise to a plant. Filled to the brim with B vitamins and poly monounsaturated fats, protein, and vitamins, it’s the heart and soul of an oat.

Endosperm

Of each oat element, the endosperm is the largest part of the kernel. The middle layer is energy for the seed to grow and has protein and carbohydrates (in the form of starch). This is also where the soluble fibre and beta glucan are held,
which help lower cholesterol re-absorption.

Bran

The outer layer of the oat is the Bran, and it helps to protect the seed and fibre contents. It’s similar to the germ in that it contains B vitamins and minerals, both of which are soluble
and insoluble fibres.

Wholegrain & Refined Oats

Wholegrain Oats haven’t had the bran and germ removed during the milling process, meaning that all the nutrients and minerals remain intact. Refined grains are milled, where the bran and germ have been stripped out meaning that the texture is much finer.

Steel-cut, Rolled & Quick Oats

It all comes down to how much the groat is processed.

Steel-Cut Oats

Using a steel blade during milling, Steel-cut oats are made when the whole groat is cut into several pieces. The result is a nuttier taste and chewy texture. The cooking time is much longer, and can take up to 10-20 minutes depending on the texture you’re after.

Rolled Oats

To prevent breaking or cracking, the oat is first steamed before being rolled through and then flattened. The end result being a rolled oat – a slightly squashed, round textured oat. You can cook rolled oats over the stove to get a soft, fluffy consistency, or pop them in the microwave with milk or water for a slightly dense and chewy oat.

Quick Oats

Quick Oats are rolled flatter under heavier rollers, before being lightly toasted and cut finer than Rolled Oats. This means they cook faster and result in a creamy consistency.

There you have it! Remember that all three types of oats have the same nutritional value. Incorporate oats in your daily life for breakfast or use them as a substitute in a favourite recipe for added nutrients.

Bowl of Porridge