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“Is oatmeal high in fiber?” Yes, oatmeal is high in fiber, making it such a healthy food to incorporate into everyone’s diet. Oatmeal has both insoluble and soluble fiber, which provides all the health benefits to its consumers.
What is oatmeal?
Avena sativa is commonly called oats. It is a variant of cereal grain obtained from the plant that belongs to the Poaceae grass family. These fiber-rich grains are obtained from the edible seeds of oat grass.
Oats are one of the healthiest grains among whole-grain foods. These are gluten-free whole grains and dense sources of vital vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
These nutrient-rich grains are commonly consumed for breakfast in the form of oatmeal. Oatmeal is widely regarded as porridge. It is cooked by simply boiling oats in water. Water can be replaced by regular milk, or one can also opt for almond milk.
Oat groats are the most common form of whole oats. These are a highly processed variety of oats. Hence it takes a long time to cook. Due to this, most people prefer rolled oats, crushed or steel-cut oats, and dry oats.
Instant oats are easier to make and the most common form of oats eaten during breakfast.
Is Oatmeal High in Fiber: Nutritional Value of Oats
Oats are the storehouse of all vital nutrients. It is a potent source of carbs and dietary fiber, including a robust, crucial component known as beta-glucan fiber.
They also contain a good amount of protein and fat and have fewer calories when compared to other foods. This fiber-rich dish is an excellent addition to the daily diet, maintaining one’s health.
Half a cup of dry oats contains the following nutrients:
- Manganese: 191% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 41% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 34% of the RDI
- Copper: 24% of the RDI
- Iron: 20% of the RDI
- Zinc: 20% of the RDI
- Folate: 11% of the RDI
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 39% of the RDI
- Vitamin B5: 10% of the recommended dietary intake
It also contains small quantities of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and vitamin B3 (niacin).
Oatmeal is Rich in Fiber
Oats are potentially rich in highly soluble fiber, and it has many health benefits. It aids in reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, promotes gut health, and increases feelings of fullness.
Oats are loaded with dense amounts of beta-glucan, soluble fiber.
The health benefits of this soluble fiber are as follows:
- It reduces LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and total cholesterol levels in the body.
- It lowers blood sugar and insulin response
- Elevates the feeling of fullness
- Aids in digestive health by increasing the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract.
High in antioxidants
Oatmeal is very rich in antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds, which are known as polyphenols. One vital component present in oats is the antioxidant group known as Avenanthramides. These are present abundantly in oats.
This component may aid in lowering blood pressure in the body by increasing nitric oxide production. It is a gas molecule that helps dilate the blood vessels, leading to proper and better blood flow in the body.
Avenanthramides also show an anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effect.
Besides the antioxidants mentioned above, Ferulic acid is also observed in large amounts in oats. Ferulic acid is another vital antioxidant available in it.
Health Benefits Of Oats
Oats are very good for our health, and eating them in any form, be it oatmeal or raw, the benefits will remain the same.
Some of the benefits of eating oats are mentioned below:
1. It May lower cholesterol
Oats prevent coronary heart disease by lowering the levels of cholesterol in the body. Cardiac disorders often lead to the death of the affected individual globally. One significant risk factor is high blood cholesterol. The beta-glucan fiber in oats effectively reduces both total and LDL cholesterol levels.
This fiber, beta-glucan, elevates the release of bile rich in cholesterol. Due to this, the cholesterol levels in the blood are decreased.
Oxidation of LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, occurs when it reacts with free radicals in the body. It is another important step in the progression of heart disease. This leads to inflammation in arteries, and damaged tissues and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The antioxidants in the oats work along with vitamin C to prevent LDL oxidation.
2. Aids in weight loss
The health benefits of oatmeal (porridge) are limitless.
Oatmeal makes you feel full, and eating filling foods lead to eating fewer calories, which helps you lose weight.
By delaying the time our stomach takes to empty food, the beta-glucan present in oatmeal may elevate the feeling of fullness.
This fiber may also lead to the release of peptide YY (PYY), a hormone produced in the gut in response to eating. This gut hormone helps reduce calorie intake and may decrease the risk of obesity.
3. It may Help to Relieve Constipation
Constipation is one common problem that is frequently noticed. It is usually observed in older people/elders.
These individuals use laxatives to relieve constipation, leading to regular bowel movements. Though these are effective, they are always associated with minor ailments.
Oat bran is high in fiber content. A good amount of fiber intake can prevent constipation in elders.
A small wellness experiment was conducted with 30 elderly patients. They were asked to consume a soup or dessert containing oat bran daily for 12 weeks. This improved their well-being of them.
Almost 59% of those patients were able to stop using laxatives after the 3-month study, while overall, laxative use increased by 8% in the control group.
4. Skin Care with Oats
Oats are often observed in most skincare products. Usually, the product manufacturers mention the finely grounded oats as “colloidal oatmeal.”
In 2003, the FDA approved colloidal oatmeal as a substance that behaves as a skin-protective component. However, oats have a long history of treating itch or any other irritation that may occur in different skin conditions.
Products made with colloidal oatmeal are also used in the treatment of eczema. It is proven to relieve the symptoms of eczema.
5. Controls Blood Sugar
Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder common in people of all age groups nowadays.
Type 2 diabetes is a common type. It occurs due to decreased sensitivity to the hormone insulin. It is characterized by significantly elevating the blood sugars in the body.
Oats may aid in lowering blood sugar levels, especially in people who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes.
It may also improve their insulin resistance.
6. It May Reduce the Risk of Childhood Asthma
Among kids, asthma is a very prevalent and the most commonly seen chronic disease.
It leads to inflammation of the tubes that carry air to and from the person’s lungs.
All the children don’t show the same symptoms, and many may experience recurrent coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
It is believed that the early introduction of solid foods in children may increase the risk of developing asthma and other allergic disorders in children.
One should remember that this is not applicable to all food items. When certain foods like oats are added to the children’s daily diet, they may develop protection against ailments like Asthma.
Fun ways of eating oats
You can enjoy oats in several ways. Here are some effortless ways to make delicious oatmeal:
- Take half a cup of rolled oats
- One cup (250 ml) of water or milk
- A pinch of salt to taste
- Mix all these ingredients in a pot and boil it. Keep stirring the oats occasionally until they attain a soft texture.
2. Overnight Oats
Here is an easy, quick way to make nutrient-dense overnight oatmeal.
- Take a medium-sized glass jar and add one cup of old-fashioned or rolled oats and ½-1 cup of soy milk or nut milk.
- Add half a cup of chopped fresh fruit like banana, melon, apple, and grapes.
- Add a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt, 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds or flaxseeds, nuts, and brown sugar. This added sugar brings flavor and sweetness to the dish.
- Place the lid on the jar and shake the jar vigorously until all ingredients are mixed well.
- Please put it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least four hours. This leads to softening of oats, and the mixture will thicken into a texture similar to that of pudding.
3. Oat Flour
It is made by grounding the oats into a flour-like consistency. Oats generally are free of gluten, and so is oat flour. Gluten present in regular flours is known to add proper moisture and enough volume to baked products, maintaining their structure. Hence attaining the same quality with gluten-free flour is not possible.
Hence replacing around 25-30% of regular flour with oat flour in desired recipes is recommended for best results. The oat flour can add to the chewiness of cookies, increasing the nutritional value of bread.
It is observed that oats are often used in baked goods, muesli, granola, and bread.
If you are among those who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, try to opt for oat products that are certified as free of gluten.
The Goodness of Oats
Oats are highly nutritious and are power-packed with all types of vital nutrients.
In addition, they have high fiber and protein content compared to other grains.
Benefits of eating them include lowering blood sugar levels, protection against skin irritation, and reduced constipation.
It also provides friendly food for those on their weight loss journey.
Finally, eating oats can help you maintain your overall health in an easy and tasty way. So, by the end of this article, I guess you have your answer to the question, “is oatmeal high in fiber?”
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