Oatmeal has been consumed as a breakfast food for centuries. Now it is time to take a closer look at the high nutritional value of oats on their own. Oats are actually one of the healthiest grains on the earth and are gluten-free. They are packed with vitamins, fiber, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Therefore, it only stands to reason that oat flour is extremely healthy for you to use when cooking. And much more nutritive than plain bleached white flour. Here are just a few of the many health benefits of trading out your flour for oat flour.
It is hard to debate the fact that oat flour is highly nutritious. In just one serving of oat flour, which is less than half a cup, you receive almost 200% of your daily intake of Manganese. You'll also get, 41% of your daily intake of phosphorus, 34% of your daily intake of magnesium, and about 20% of your daily intake of copper, iron, and zinc. Additionally, high levels of Vitamin B1, B12, and folate are found in oat flour. You would be hard-pressed to find this much nutrition in any other flour.
The term beta-glucan may not mean anything to you, but what this soluble fiber can do for you should. Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber that dissolves in water and turns into a jelly-like solution when it reaches your gut. This fiber is then able to help reduce your LDL (bad cholesterol), reduce your blood sugar, increase how full you feel, and promote the grown of healthy gut bacteria along your digestive tract helping to regulate your bowels.
Oat flour is very high in a mix of anti-oxidants and a plant compound called polyphenols. They also have a special group of anti-oxidants in them called avenanthramides. This anti-oxidant is only found in oats and is known to help lower your blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide which in turn helps to improve blood flow in the body. This same compound also helps to reduce itching and inflammation in the body helping it to heal itself and prevent future injury.
Anyone who has read the side of a Cheerios box knows that oats can help reduce the risk of heart disease. This is due to the heavy concentration of fiber found in oat flour. Regular high dietary fiber intake is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. This is because the soluble and insoluble fibers help make sure that blood is able to flow properly through vessels and the heart at all times. As a bonus, this same fiber keeps your digestive system flowing properly as well.
People who are dieting love to use oat flour because it is somewhat low in calorie count compared to its overall satiety rating. Oat flour will help you feel full longer because of the high fiber content of it. Therefore, if you add oat flour to your smoothie or your baked goods, you will be less likely to snack in between meals and will also probably eat less than you normally do. Oat flour can be used in sweets as well to help you curb how much you eat at a time.
Oat flour is a great find for people with diabetes who want to find a natural way to help compliment the way they treat their diabetes. When oats are consumed on a regular basis fasting blood glucose is reduced along with LDL cholesterol levels and total cholesterol levels. This makes oat flour a great alternative to wheat flour in the diabetic diet since it can help manage blood sugar and lipids at the same time. Plus, its carb profile is much less making it an even better choice for people with diabetes.
As mentioned above, oat flour helps you to reduce and manage your cholesterol levels if consumed on a regular basis. It can even help treat mild to moderate cholesterol problems by lowering your numbers. This is due to the beta-glucan which helps to increase the excretion of bile which in turn helps reduce the amount of cholesterol that gets into the blood. The results are even stronger when oat flour is consumed alongside a healthy serving of Vitamin C.
There is a reason why oats are a top ingredient in a lot of skincare products because ground oats can actually improve the health of your skin. Oat based skin products have been found to help relieve uncomfortable itching that is often a side effect of eczema. It has also proven effective at helping to treat other health conditions and softening the skin in general. However, it should be noted that only topical oat flour can help your skin, ingested oat flour does not show the same positive results.
The high fiber content in oat flour can help those who suffer from constipation find a natural relief. Oat grains are covered by a fiber-rich outer layer called oat bran. This element of the oat is so high in fiber that when consumed daily it can actually help produce bowel movements. The effects were even stronger in studies that featured elderly adults that suffered from constipation. In fact, in a group of 30 patients that ate oat flour on a daily basis, over 2/3 were able to quit using laxatives by the end of the study.
Asthma is the number one chronic disease that kids suffer from, so reducing the risk of your children developing it is substantial. New studies suggest that introducing oats in the form of oat flour to a child early in life might actually protect them from developing asthma later in life. This is due to the fact oat flour is highly anti-inflammatory and therefore can help prevent the airways from becoming inflamed. Of course, you should always talk to your pediatrician before introducing foods to your infant.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.