It is no secret that oats have been on our health food radar for a while. In 1997 oats made a name for themselves when the FDA declared a label could be placed on any oat based product claiming an association between consumption of a diet high in oatmeal, oat bran or oat flour and a reduced risk for coronary heart disease.
And now the words ‘super food’ are buzzing around oats, hailing them the power to reduce disease and extend your life span. So what is inside of an oat that could possibly add years to your lifespan?
Well, oats are low in calories, and high in fiber and protein. Which is a winning combination. Their high fiber and protein content will satiate your hunger much longer than other sugary breakfast items and at fewer calories too. They are also a rich source in potassium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, thiamine and pantothenic acid (B5). But what do these nutrients actually do in the body? Lets break this down into simpler terms.
- Pantothenic Acid also known as B5 is most known for its ability to release energy from the foods that we eat and decrease the negative effects of stress.
- Potassium helps in maintaining the heart, brain, kidneys, muscle tissues and other organs of the body in a healthy condition.
- Zinc is important in helping the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
- Thiamine also known as B1 helps the body’s cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for the functioning heart, muscles and nervous system.
- Copper plays a key role in the production of hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells; collagen, a component of bones and connective tissue; myelin, a sheathing that surrounds nerve fibers; and melanin, the pigment that colors your hair and skin.
- Selenium helps regulate the thyroid hormones and support a healthy immune system. One of selenium’s most important roles is as an antioxidant helping to prevent cell damage due to free radicals.
- Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.
- Manganese is important in the formation of bones, connective tissues, blood-clotting factors and sex hormones, and also is involved in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption and blood sugar regulation.
Looks like oats contain a certified bouquet of nutrients. And the best part is, Oats are extremely inexpensive and very easy to obtain. So consider starting your day with a nice hot bowl of oatmeal every day and see what a difference it makes.