The Wonderful World of Oats

Oats have made a name for themselves as a breakfast power food. In fact, when it comes to superfoods, oats ticks all the right boxes, keeping you healthy and energised. And when combined with a nutrient dense milk, you get a drink that is packed with wholesome goodness and enough protein to kick-start the day perfectly.

However, many of us don’t know much about this superfood, its interesting history  and alternative uses. For example, the oldest known cultivated oats were found in caves in Switzerland, dating back to the Bronze Age. The Greeks, meanwhile, were the first to turn oats into porridge.

Oats are processed in a way that does not strip out their nutritious bran, ensuring a concentrated source of fibre and nutrients. About 12 percent of the energy from oats is protein, making it a valuable grain for vegetarians. Combined with milk, they provide a protein powerhouse.

Oats and Nutrition

As a wholegrain, oats are rich in “smart carbs” – carbohydrates that are healthy, slow digesting and nutrient-rich. The Singapore Health Promotion Board (HPB) points out that the fibre in oats, beta-glucan, helps to regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels, promoting healthier bowel function. In addition, oats may also help in weight management[1].

The HPB adds that wholegrain food like oats also contains other nutrients including antioxidants and biological active components like B-vitamins, Vitamin E and phytochemicals, which can offer protection against chronic diseases like colorectal and oesophageal cancers[2] [3].

Including oats and milk in your diet therefore contributes to a healthy lifestyle and the easiest way to do this is by making them your go-to breakfast. As mornings can be hectic, one of the best ways to enjoy a fast yet nutritious breakfast is by drinking your oats rather than cooking them. This ensures you get a good mix of healthy protein, complex carbs, a little healthy fat and plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, ensuring your day starts off on the right note.

Natural Beauty Source

Oats have been used for personal care purposes since antiquity. Wild oats for example, were used in skin care in Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula as early as 2000 BC. The ancient Egyptians and Arabs used oats as a skin beautifier — while the Greeks and Romans largely used oat baths for healing skin ailments such as acne and eczema.

A Dryness Buster[4]

Many facial scrubs, facial masks and moisturisers contain oats as a key ingredient, helping to keep dry and itchy skin at bay. Anti-inflammatory properties also make oats suitable for all skin types; and as a natural moisturiser, oats remove dead skin cells, penetrating deep into the skin.

Benefits of Oats on Hair[5]

Oats are just as good for hair. When applied topically, they can make hair soft, shiny and strong. Known as a natural moisturiser as well as beneficial in treating dry and itchy scalps by removing excess sebum, oil and dirt in the scalp, oats are often used as an ingredient in shampoos.

Sources

[1] http://www.healthxchange.com.sg/healthyliving/DietandNutrition/Pages/Why-Is-Dietary-Fibre-So-Important.aspx

[2] http://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/15/dietary_guidelines_adults

[3] http://www.healthxchange.com.sg/News/Pages/wholegrain-goodness.aspx

[4] http://www.dermatocare.com/blog/10-benefits-of-using-Oats-for-skin:-know-from-a-Dermatologist

[5] http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-health-benefits-of-oats/