Oatmeal, Not Just a Breakfast Darling
Sure we all know what oatmeal is, especially since its name kind of tells us what it really is. We might have been eating it for years now by the knowledge that it is good for our health because it is grain, and that’s about it. We are not in the wrong room with that, because oat itself is full packed with fiber and has versatility more than other healthy food as a basic ingredient to make other beautiful dishes than just mushy oatmeal.
All types of oat in general come from groat, a hulled whole grain that has a really hard and impossible-to-chew texture. To be able to properly enjoy groat, it needs to be roasted in low temperature. This process is important since it will give a natural preservative to the oat by making the enzyme inactive while giving the medium charred flavor to oat.
Groats are then being processed into oats that is more tolerable to eat, and probably the one we consume right now.
- Steel-Cut Oats
Steel-cut oats are the result of the splitting of a whole groat into smaller pieces. They are simmered in the water and still have the original shape of groats. The texture is chewy and the flavor is nutty.
- Rolled Oats
The groats are steamed to get a soft texture. After that, the groats will have to be pressed in between rollers and dried. Rolled oats then will easily be eaten because it absorbs water and cooks fast. In theses days’ packaging, rolled oats sometimes is referred as Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats.
- Quick Oats
As the name goes, this type will cook faster but doesn’t have much of the original texture because it has been pressed thinner.
- Instant Oats
This oats has even more thinner shape than quick oats and usually looks more like a powder. When it is cooked, it has the mushiest texture among the other types.
A Bowl of Nutrition
It doesn’t make its way to the go-to breakfast choice if it is not jammed with nutrition. Let us tell you what you’ve been missing by not making it a breakfast habit.
- It has 0 mg cholesterol
That is why the elders are flocking in the whole grain aisle down in the supermarket. No cholesterol is the best policy, especially if we’re looking to give our heart its best shots at surviving.
The no-cholesterol charm is due to its richness in dietary fiber that is half soluble and half insoluble. The soluble fiber happens to have beta-glucans starch, the hero in lowering the bad cholesterol and hypertension. That is why it manages to get rid of LDL or bad cholesterol while maintain the level of HDL, the good cholesterol.
Even the insoluble fiber seems less rocking than the cousin, it, in fact, helps to eliminate the risk of having gastrointestinal cancers while avoiding constipation at the same time.
- And more about beta-glucans
Beta-glucans has an ability to form a gel inside the digestion, that helps it slowing down and stall the carbohydrates from entering bloodstream. This is what makes the blood sugar is dramatically changed when we start eating oatmeal.
Not only the gel makes it sticky for diabetes and pretty much all other diseases to emerge, the gel also helps our stomach to feel full in a longer time. In result, it will help us achieving the desirable and healthy weight quicker.
- Phytochemicals powerhouse
Grains and vegetables are alike, there are there so that we don’t have to worry about cancer. And in this matter, the phytochemicals found in plant is also available in oats. For women, the 8 gram dietary fiber in a cup of oatmeal is proven to reduce the risk of having breast and ovarian cancer. The same thing goes for men, but the cancers to beat are prostate cancer.
- Don’t forget about carbohydrate
That is basically the main reason behind eating oatmeal as a breakfast: the carbs. In total, there are 56 grams of carbohydrate or 19% of its daily value in one cup of oatmeal cereal. Read that as energy and metabolism in the same sentence. It will drastically change the way we exercise by eating it approximately an hour before.
- Amino acid in the protein and the wholesome vitamins
For a cup of oatmeal, we have got 11 grams of protein, and within that is the ruler of our body function, amino acid. Oatmeal also serves us the benefits of thiamin, folic acid (moms-to-be alert!), biotin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin E for skin. Not to mention the complexity of zinc, selenium, copper, iron, magnesium, and manganese, all just in a bowl!
A Note from Gluten Land
In general, oatmeal doesn’t contain gluten, but it might have picked it up along the processing way. That is why gluten-sensitive people used to choose not to eat oatmeal.
But fret not since the recent study by Scandinavian Journal of Gastrointerology confirmed that there are no elevation in Immunoglobulin type A when people who live gluten-free way do eat oatmeal. Immunoglobulin A is the antibody that rises to the top when wheat is entering the gluten intolerance’s blood stream.
Bottom line is, oats are fine for people with gluten intolerance condition as long as it is only eaten for about half a cup a day. Pick the purest oat you can find and always look for a gluten-free sign in your oatmeal choice.