The cultivation of oats for the first time was done in 1,000 BC in Central Europe. Ancient Greeks and Romans considered oats as “barbarian” food and gave it to their animals. However, Germanic Tribes used to consume oats, so they continued using it even after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
European explorers brought oats to America in 1600’s for the very first time. It was Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, who planted oats off the coast of Massachusetts. Scottish and Dutch immigrants used them in the form of traditional puddings and baked products. At present, Vermont is the state in the US that has the highest per capita oatmeal consumption; there it is often consumed with maple syrup, which is also their local favorite.
Oatmeal has soluble fiber which tends to stay in the belly for long time and, as a result, one doesn’t starve much rest of the day. This way anyone can avoid overeating and maintain healthy weight. Have oatmeal every day to garner its manifold health benefits. It also saves you from all the troubles associated to overweight. It also helps maintain gastrointestinal (GI) health along with preventing the occurrence of constipation and piles.
Health Benefits of Oatmeal
1. Lowers the Cholesterol Levels
Start your day with a bowl of cooked meal, especially if you are suffering from heart ailments or diabetes. The fiber present in oats is called as beta-glucan. Several studies have proved the positive effects of oatmeal by lowering down the cholesterol. High cholesterol levels results into the buildup of plaque in the blood vessel walls. If these plaques damage or grow larger, they may end up breaking down or blocking a blood vessel. Then you suffer heart attack, stroke, or blood clots in the body. Hence, cholesterol levels must be checked in order to decrease the chances of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
2. Controls Blood Pressure
The rich fiber content of oatmeal makes it a heart-healthy foodstuff. It has a lot of benefits for cardiovascular patients, especially when it comes to blood pressure. It’s said that after menopause, women must have oatmeal on a daily basis due to the increased risk of high blood pressure. Men should also intake this healthy foodstuff to reduce the peril of heart failure.
3. Packed with Antioxidants
The antioxidants present in oatmeal are known as avenanthramides, which combat free radicals along with promoting LDL, and hence, reduce the risk of cardiovascular ailments.
4. Good for Arteries
Avenanthramides are also known for saving the arteries from hardening. These antioxidants also restrain the production of molecules which let monocytes stick to the walls of the arteries. As per a research, women who consumed oatmeal after menopause were not found to develop plaque build-up along the passageways of arteries.
- Consider combining oatmeal with vitamin C for the best results.
5. Stabilizes the Blood Sugar Levels
Including oatmeal in your diet will also help you stabilize blood sugar levels. Oats have low glycemic index and that’s what helps prevent diabetes by slowing down the capacity of vacating stomach, which leads to a positive effect on insulin sensitivity. Since oatmeal is a great source of magnesium, consume it to regulate the insulin and glucose levels of your body. Have oats with milk for the best results.
6. Boost Immune System
Oats have a specific fiber called beta-glucan, which safeguards against heart-related ailments along with boosting up the immune system. It effectually fights bacterial infections and other common diseases.
7. Checks Weight Gain
Having foodstuff which keeps your belly full for long is indeed a great idea to keep yourself from gaining weight. So, include healthy oatmeal in your daily diet to stop the habit of snacking on every now and then and, hence, putting on weight.
8. Energizes You
Oats are extremely rich in proteins and carbs; therefore, energizes your body. According to a study, it was discovered that having a low glycemic foodstuff, for instance, oatmeal, before a strenuous workout or running can enhance your strength and stamina.
9. Colon Cancer
Colorectal cancer can be thwarted by increasing the consumption of fiber rich diet. According to a study, the fiber obtained from whole grains or cereals is also believed to reduce the chances of colon cancer.
The insoluble fiber present in the oats acts as a laxative and makes stool bulky. It also averts constipation. This kind of fiber pulls water and speeds up motion. On the contrary, the soluble fiber dissolves in water and impede vacating abdomen by making you feel fuller for long.
10. Treats Poison Ivy and Chicken Pox
If you are troubled with the itching caused by poison ivy, chicken pox or sunburn, then grind oats / oat flour to obtain a fine powder and transfer it into cheesecloth. Rub this pouch on those areas where you perceive itch the most.
11. Prevents Skin Diseases
The large amount of proteins in oatmeal safeguards the skin from all sorts of harsh chemicals. It also prevents the development of many skin ailments such as eczema, rosacea and rashes. The lubricating fats present in oats moisturize the skin naturally along with forming a protective shield over the skin which fights the ill effects of UV rays.
12. Best Substitute for Gluten-free Diet
Though oatmeal comprises of a small amount of gluten, but it is the best alternative for those who can’t eat gluten due to celiac disease.
Beauty Benefits of Oatmeal
13. Maintains the pH of Skin
Oats are good for skin as they help normalize the pH balance of the skin. It is generally used in many face masks too. Oatmeal baths are also suggested to those suffering from itchy skin. This kind of bath can moisturize and soften the skin along with protecting it against irritants.
14. Treats Acne
Boil some oatmeal to make it soft and apply it on the affected area after it reaches room temperature. Wash off after 10 minutes.
15. Ease Dryness
Oats effectually treat the dull, flaky and dry skin by forming a fine layer on the skin. Cereals are considered to be great when it comes to deal with peeling, scales, rashes, itching, etc. Mix up grounded oatmeal with a mashed banana and lukewarm milk. Apply it for some minutes and then remove with cold water. It will keep your skin hydrated.
16. Acts As A Moisturizer
Mix milk, honey and oats to form a mask which will work as a natural moisturizer for your skin. It will help penetrate the skin and remove the dead cells. It also aids in healing wounds.
17. Relieves Itchiness
Powdered form of oat is proved to have healing properties when it comes to skin irritation. Mix it with lukewarm water and then spread over itchy areas to get relief. Another alternative could be an oatmeal bath to get relief from neurodermatitis.
18. Improves Skin Complexion
Oats are useful if you want even toned, smooth and soft skin. For this purpose, oats are often used in scrubs as they are great exfoliators. Mix oats with lemon juice and honey; scrub your facial skin with this. You will witness brighter skin afterwards.
Saponins in oats are responsible for skin cleansing, as they help slough off all the dust, dirt, and oil. It gives you soft and smooth skin along with lessening pore size. Therefore, include oatmeal as a part of your skincare regimen. Soak oats in water at night to prepare oat milk in the morning and utilize it as a natural toner and cleanser. Use a cotton pad to apply it on the face. You can also store this milk in the refrigerator.
19. Stop Hair Fall
Being rich in magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium, oats significantly promote re-growth of hair. Also, consider having oats, berries and pumpkin on a regular basis, as all these are rich sources of vitamin C, A, and other nutrients. Vitamin A boosts hair growth while vitamin C helps prevent scurvy, i.e., a disease that triggers hair fall.
20. Use As Shampoo
Ground oats can be used in the form of dry shampoo, especially for those who have blond hair. You simply need to rub ground oats all over the scalp. Thereafter, brush out the excess oats with the help of a boar bristle brush.
21. Bath Soak
Oatmeal works wonders on sensitive skin owing to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Use oatmeal while bathing for a soft touch and mild exfoliation. In winters, skin becomes harsh and rough due to chilly winds. Just put in oatmeal in your bath tub along with lavender essential oil.
22. Heals Dry Scalp
Since it acts like a moisturizer, feel free to spread it on your scalp and hair for softer strands. It will help ease the itch, roughness, and dryness.
23. Reduces Dandruff
Massage your scalp and hair with colloidal oatmeal. After 1 hour, rinse off with water. It will hydrate hair follicles and keep your scalp healthy.