Plant Magazine of Botanical-online September 2017

Natural remedies

Oats soluble fiber

OATS, ADVANTAGES OF SOLUBLE FIBER

Characteristics of oats

Oats (Avena sativa) is a plant of the Poaceae family. In fact, it is a cereal, like rice, wheat or corn. Traditionally oats has been used to feed animals, either to make or eat feed grain directly, which was really like and why which the Romans called it "aveo" meaning desire.

Oats is a plant that reaches five feet tall. Possesses lanceolate leaves up to about 4 cm long. The flowers appear in spikes, but most known are the grains ripen on the same stem. They reach 1.5 cm and have a fairly long and narrow, unlike the wheat that is more rounded. It comes from Europe, where you can still find in the wild.

It is cultivated in many parts of the world, being the central and northern Europe and North America countries, the countries where the crop is more abundant. The main producing countries are Russia, Canada, USA, Poland, Germany, Finland and Sweden.

It is currently a cereal that is very valued for its food properties, to the point that in America it has become the most used, after corn.

oats
Photo of oatmeal, along with raisins, cereals and dried fruits in the form of muesli

PROPERTIES OF OATS

Oats is very rich in proteins

Although traditionally used oats for animal feed because of its richness in proteins, allowing them to get very powerful muscles and make great efforts, it is also suitable for human consumption.

It is known that the cultivation of cereals is about 10,000 years ago and references to this food are very old as they appear in texts of historians, as when Pliny, a Roman historian of first century AD, referred to the strength of Germanic and said they ate preparations made with oatmeal.

It was in the early twentieth century when the food began to be used more widely as a food source in the form of flakes or porridge and led to the wide variety of products derived from this crop, which we have today.

The truth is that oats is that which contains more protein in cereals after wheat, which is very useful for the development of bones and other body tissues. In addition to proteins, this plant is very rich in fat, turning to wheat, the majority of which were unsaturated.

oats
Oats flakes

Oats is very rich in carbohydrates

Carbohydrates in oats are slowly absorbed into the body. This eliminates the sensation of hunger during long periods without being constantly eating, which is very useful in treatment of obesity or those who wish to feel full without being always "biting" or taking other foods that do not allow lowering the weight.

This same property may be useful in reducing the need to eat that many women during PMS, eliminating other less desirable foods such as sweets or cakes.

On the other hand the slow absorption allows for greater control of sugar levels, which determines that this cereal can be eaten by people with diabetes without having sudden sugar spikes. There have been studies that have shown that regular use of oatmeal can reduce much of the insulin dose.

Oats, advantages of the soluble and insoluble fiber

The dietary revolution began in the 1970s when several studies focused examine whether high-fiber food in African countries was responsible for the absence of disease so common in the West as varicose veins, constipation, cholesterol or colon cancer.

These studies produced a boom in consumption of bran, until Dr. Anderson of Kentucky School of Medicine showed that it was the fiber which reduced the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides and raising good cholesterol (HDL.) (More information on these two types of cholesterol)

He successfully conducted these studies in his own person with the regular consumption of oatmeal and watched as, after several weeks of consuming this grain in abundance, their cholesterol dropped from 285 to 175.

Oatmeal has a high content of two types of fiber: insoluble fiber well suited to facilitate intestinal transit and prevent constipation, and soluble fiber, which is also highly recommended to reduce cholesterol, and hindering their intestinal absorption.

This property becomes more prominent when combined with eating the cereal that contains little saturated fat (low fat content in meat, whole milk or skim milk products or cheese not quite healed).

This same fiber is a good resource for the digestive mucous, exerting a softening and protecting role, reason why it turns out from much aid to tackle problems about the digestive apparatus, like stomach acidity, stomach ache or the multiple internal problems, especially those very sensible to intestinal cramps. In a thinning diet it is very effective, and still we can increase the dose of fiber if we used the oats bran, that is the rind that covers to the grain.

This food can reinforce the laxative properties of some meals with which it combines very well, especially with soups, when forming with the broth a puree that helps to satiate hunger and helps to eliminate feces.

The benefits of soluble fiber does not end here. This type of fiber has the ability to absorb very little particles suitable for the body, such as contaminants that can cause bowel cancer, or estrogen which seem to have a decisive influence on the occurrence of breast cancers or in the pre-menstrual syndrome.

Oats contains lot of omega 6 and amino acids

It is necessary not to forget that, besides soluble fiber, its content in omega-6 fatty acids, also help reduce blood cholesterol.

It contains many amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine and threonine, necessary for infant growth with methionine which also helps to remove cholesterol by making the liver produce more lecithin, and allows the body to remove heavy materials.

Oats with many vitamins and minerals

Besides vitamins of group B, oats contains minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, silica, iodine and phosphorus. Oats are rich in iron, a mineral that the body needs to transport oxygen to body cells.

A deficiency of iron can cause anemia and consequently physical weakness and a so characteristic paleness in the skin.

Constipation can sometimes be because of lack of iron. It would be prudent to eat this cereal at certain times of life when most needed can be done, as occurs in women when they present with heavy menstrual bleeding.

Silica is very suitable for hair care, because it can prevent the baldness.

The importance of zinc in the immune system is crucial because it helps prevent many diseases by infectious as influenza. Among other properties, it promotes healing and is one of the minerals needed to keep your eyes in good condition.

It is well known the role of calcium in the proper maintenance of bones and teeth and preventing osteoporosis, a disease that makes bones weaker and more prone to breakage and which mainly affects older people.

Oats surpasses wheat in calcium, so it should be taken when children are growing normally and during pregnancy, as well as by older people.

Iodine from oats makes the thyroid work and prevents the formation of goitre.

Nutritional composition of oats

Composition of oats by each 100 gr.
Water 8.2 gr.
Energy 389 Kcal
Fat 6.9 gr.
Protein 16, 8 gr.
Carbohydrates 66, 27 gr.
Fiber 10, 6 gr.
Potassium 429 mgs
Sodium 2 mgs
Phosphorus 523 mgs
Calcium 54 mgs
Magnesium 11 mgs
Iron 4.7 mgs
Zinc 3.9 mgs
Vitamin C 0 mg
Vitamin B1 0, 76 mgs
Vitamin B2 0, 13 mgs
Vitamin B6 0, 11 mgs
Vitamin A 0 UI
Vitamin E 0, 70 mgs
Folate 56 mcg
Niacin 0, 323 mgs

How to eat oatmeal?

Porridge is eaten mainly in the form of rolled oats that can be added to yogurt or milk in the morning, being a good tonic.

Oats are especially used to make porridge and, along with fruits, is the basic component of muesli, a dish that was very popular because a Swiss physician named Bircher-Berner usually gave it to breakfast to their patients.

Can also be used also in the form of refined flour or whole wheat (the latter is more convenient) to develop varied dishes. If the flour is integral must be soaked overnight.

- Related information: Whole cereals compared to refined cereals

punto rojo More information on oats in the listing above

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