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Use them to make pancakes, porridge, or oatmeal; throw them in yogurt or smoothie! This is one ingredient we definitely shouldn’t skip out on to have a healthy breakfast. As always, it’s important to choose quality oats- organic, gluten-free, and that have no added sugars or sweeteners.
It’s easier said than done! If you look at the labels of oats sold at the supermarket you’ll see that most of them have added sugar and traces of gluten which is why I always go with my favorite: Natruly’s Oat Flour– besides being 100% natural, it has an incredible flavor. Choose either Vanilla or Chocolate, you will be amazed at the intense flavor that it adds to all your recipes and no one will believe that it has absolutely zero sugar!
A little background
Oats date all the way back to the Bronze Age, although it was not cultivated until much later, it was mainly used as fodder for livestock. It gradually became popular as healthy food and today elite athletes such as triathlete Gwen Jorgensen or celebrities like Miranda Kerr boast of eating oats daily.
Natural properties of Oats
They are one of the most complete and balanced cereals in existence. They contain fiber, healthy fats, and a high content of proteins that are of high biological value. What makes it really stand out from other cereals and grains such as rice, is that it has “slow absorption carbohydrates”, the healthiest kinds of carbs, because they don’t produce any peaks in glucose levels and keep us full longer.
Plus, they contain vitamins B, E and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and sodium to name a few.
Benefits of Oats:
- Helps balance cholesterol due to its soluble fiber content.
- Easily digested: it eases intestinal transit and fights constipation.
- Combats fluid retention.
- It’s filling: helps avoid binge eating and is useful for weight loss.
- It has soluble fiber: helps to balance cholesterol.
- It relaxes the nervous system and fights anxiety and stress thanks to
- avenin- an alkaloid with a sedative effect.
Did you know that stress contributes to poor digestion and bloating?
- Many studies, such as the one recently carried out by the University of Turin, support its important anti-inflammatory properties.
- Reduces blood sugar levels. Recommended in cases of diabetes.
- Provides long-lasting energy. This is why it’s an ideal food to have for breakfast and is a must for many athletes.
- Its beta-glucans strengthen the immune system.
- It prevents cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer.
- Good for bone health and muscles thanks to its calcium, proteins, and essential amino acids.
- Great for the skin: its high protein and fat content maintains hydration levels, while avenanthramide, a phytochemical with antioxidant properties, soothes irritations.
The Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN) recommends eating oats, especially for people with cardiovascular/gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndromes.
Still not sure how to add Oats to your diet?
Try any (or all) of my 10 favorite Oat recipes: