Avena sativa (Oats): A Cereal Par Excellence
Is there anyone who had not tried an oatmeal or oat milk? Oats are regarded to be a well-balanced and wholesome meal. Most of the people take oats for their regular breakfast meal and some would prefer to have it for snacks. Oats is an easily available meal that everyone would love. This cereal has a much higher dietary fiber content than most of the other species of cereal grains.
What is Avena sativa?
Avena sativa is commonly called as oat, is a cereal grain grown for its seeds. There are three most important parts of Avena sativa plant namely, the seed (oat), the stem and leaves (oat straw), and the bran (seed covering). Oatmeal is considered to be one of the healthiest grains which are suitable for human consumption. Oatmeal is a chief source of antioxidants, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Production of Avena sativa:
Avena sativa is cultivated mainly in the temperate regions of the world. Wet areas are commonly chosen for cultivating oats. The production of this crop keeps increasing every year as the demand for oats increases.
What do Oats Contain?
|Polyunsaturated||Niacin (B3)||Manganese||Dietary fibers|
|Pantothenic acid (B4)||Magnesium||Anti-oxidants|
Whole grain oats contain a lot of antioxidants and because of the activity of their unique polyphenols, a particular antioxidant which is famed called avenanthramides, has got anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties, thus keeping the skin well-nourished.
Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber present in oats. It reduces the sugar level in the blood and increases the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. Beta-glucan also increases the production of bile juice in the liver preventing high cholesterol levels and thus it is a very powerful lipid-lowering agent. Immune response to diseases is enhanced by this fiber.
Eating an Oatmeal:
Oatmeal is mainly consumed as porridge. It takes very limited time to cook oatmeal. Oats are generally consumed for breakfast by boiling them in milk or water and some salt to taste. Fruits, nut, and seeds can be added on to oatmeal to brighten up the taste buds. Some kinds of cookies, muffins, and other baked products also contain oats in them. Oats are used as livestock feed and given to horses, particularly the racehorses when more carbohydrates are required as it boosts their energy.
Different Forms of Avena sativa:
- Oat milk-
Rolled oat which is thick or thin is blended with water and then strained to get creamy oat milk.
- Oat bread-
Oats can also be baked into a loaf of bread using flour, oats, and water. Oat bread can be used for morning toast or sandwiches.
It is a mixture of oats, nuts, and sweeteners, cooked together to give a healthy cereal meal.
Various ingredients like oats, nuts, grains, seeds, and fruits mixed with almond milk or any other plant milk, is called muesli. It is a cold oatmeal course.
Oatcake is roasted in a griddle and then baked using an oven. Some nuts and sweeteners can also be added.
- Oatmeal cookies-
It is a flavorsome dessert that can be loaded with raisins, crunchy walnuts, and chocolate chips.
- Oat forage-
The oat forage is used as a feed for cattle. This crop can also be used to cover the soil, during winter to protect it from erosion.
- Oatmeal stout-
Oats can be used in brewing beer. Oatmeal stout contains the right proportion of oats in moderate quantities. When they are added in large amounts, it can cause a bitter or astringent taste.
- Oat groats-
Groats are whole grains which include cereals and are produced from seeds such as buckwheat.
Oat straw is obtained from the stem, and the leaves of the crop which chiefly contains iron, zinc, and manganese. In some places, oat straw is found to profit aged people to increase their brain function. It is used for making beds for horses and cattle since it is soft and dust-free. Nowadays oat straw is powdered and capsuled. Oat straw is also used for making corn mothers (harvest costumes). Oat straw is available online and in health stores, in various forms, and you can choose the best ones.
Benefits Obtained by Consuming Oats:
Oats and oat-based products, when consumed lowers blood cholesterol levels, and ultimately it has proved to prevent the heart from coronary diseases. Studies reveal that an intake of 10 grams of fiber per day, lowers the risk of colorectal cancer. Oats can also be used as a medicine for hypertension, alternating other tablets. Oats ensure metabolic health and reduces the possibility of obesity. Researchers comment that consuming oats for a meal, keeps you full and reduces hunger. This would keep you away from overeating, hence promotes weight loss. Oats also help in regulating bowel movements and reduces constipation in elderly people. Asthma is the most prevalent chronic disease, most commonly observed among children. It is suggested feeding oats to infants may decrease the risk of asthma. Avenanthramides an antioxidant found in oats helps in the production of nitric acid and dilates blood vessels. This also prevents the body from urinary infections. Oats furnish a glowing skin and stronger bones as it treats osteoporosis. Oat extracts are used to soothe skin and are also used in the cosmetic industry.
Are There any Drawbacks by Consuming Oats?
There is no particular disadvantage in consuming oats. Sometimes oat gets contaminated with gluten, which is harmful when they are grown in wheat or barley fields. A person who has celiac disease is recommended to consult a doctor before adding oats into his/her diet.
Most people seek foods that satisfy their taste buds rather than satisfying their health. However, wise people would turn even a healthy whole grain meal into a delicious one. Summing up the benefits, a robust and health-conscious person would grab at the opportunity to utilize oats as an important part of any meal.