I love eating rolled oats, especially when they are raw, but raw rolled oats in their dry form have two counterproductive properties that make it necessary to take extra precautionary measures before consuming the delicious grain. The first property of raw oats consumption that makes it potentially counterproductive is that it absorbs stomach acids, which can lead to a buildup in your digestive system (and eventually constipation). The second counterproductive property of consuming the grain in raw form is that it contains phytic acid, which is an antinutrient that makes it difficult for your body to absorb the numerous healthful vitamins and minerals that oats (and other healthful foods) provide.
The most popular way to reduce the two negative effects caused by raw oats consumption, and, therefore, reduce your chances of a bellyache, is to cook oaks before consuming them. But, if you are like me, and prefer your oats raw as opposed to cooked, the simple solution to this problem is to soak your oats in water, milk, or any dairy-free alternate liquid overnight (preferably for 12-24 hours). This will both allow your oats to absorb moisture before entering your digestive tract (and thus reduce your chances of stomach acid absorption), and break down phytic acid in the grain, which will allow you to get the full benefits of what you are eating.
Why Eat Rolled Oats? What Are The Benefits (Other Than Deliciousness)?
- Protein: With about 11-14 grams of protein per cup, oats consumption is a great way to ensure that you are getting the right amount of the healthy building blocks that fuel your body, maintain the proper functioning of your immune system, and care for your muscles, skin, hair, tissues, and bones.
- Fiber And Gut Health: Oats consumption has been positively linked to gut health (which affects everything from your emotions to your cognitive well-being, and immune system as mentioned above), and eating the grain is an excellent way to get the soluble fiber that you need to regulate healthy elimination of waste products from your body. Oats contain one of the highest fiber and protein contents of most other consumable grains.
- Heart Health: The soluble fiber, beta-glucan, in oats helps to reduce high blood pressure, helping to reduce the chances of developing heart disease, which is the most common cause of human death worldwide.
- Regulates Blood Sugar Levels: The beta-glucan in oats, in addition to helping to maintain heart health, is also beneficial for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels in the body and stabilizing insulin production, which helps the body to effectively convert fats, carbohydrates, sugars, proteins, and starches into energy.
- Packed With Vital Nutrients And Antioxidants: Oats contain high levels of antioxidants (your anti-aging substances that prevent and delay cell deterioration and death) as well as vital nutrients like Magnesium: 17-27%, Selenium: 27-43%, Phosphorus: 17%, Potassium: 4-6%, Zinc: 17-27%, and Iron: ~8%.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Oats consumption has been positively linked to the maintenance of a healthy weight by suppressing appetite through the promotion of a feeling of fullness, which can also help with regulating food intake for weight loss.
How To Make A Customizable Rolled Oats Smoothie
- 1 Cup of Raw Soaked Oats
- 1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds-Packed with antioxidants, fiber, proteins, amino fatty acids, and vital nutrients
- 3 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter (or More to Taste)-High in protein and essential nutrients
- About 1/4-1/2 Cup of Frozen Fruits (But You Can Use More If You Wish. I Used a Mix of Bananas, Strawberries, and Blueberries For This Demonstration But Please Use Whatever Fruits You Like–All Frozen Mixes Tend To Be Delicious)-Vitamins and fiber rich
- Almond Milk (or Any Other “Milk” Choice)
- Sweetener of Choice (to Taste)
- Silken Tofu
- Other Ingredients of Choice (Spices For Example)
- Optional but recommended: Flaxseeds (added fiber, omega fatty acids, iron, calcium, potassium)
As always, chew your smoothies!
Making oats consumption a regular part of your diet is a wise and self-loving decision. Not only are oats delicious, but as you can see from the list of benefits above, they are immensely good for you as well.
Oats can be added to many common food items and meals for a boost in health benefits, from snacks, bread, and desserts to entire meals and side dishes!
Tell me in the comments section below: Do you enjoy raw or cooked oats? What are some of your favorite ways to eat this delicious and nutritious grain?
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