What better way to gain strength and energy to go through the hectic and busy morning than with a cup of freshly cooked oatmeal.
Oats, known as Avena sativa, is a solid wheat, able to withstand adverse soil conditions, like no other crops would survive. Part of its distinctive flavor dcomes uring its maturation process after harvest. When it is peeled, it does not lose its bran and germ, which are a concentrated source of fiber and nutrients.
Composition of oats
The main ingredient of oat grains is starch - about 50-60%. In addition to starch, oats are very rich in vitamins of the B group and easy to assimilate proteins. Oat grains contain up to 5% glucose and 9% fat. They have many amino acids, phytic acid, flavonoids and saponins. Oats are rich in minerals magnesium, copper, iron, phosphorus and potassium.
Selection and storage of oats
• Buy small amounts of oats, as it has a much higher fat content than other grain products and can turn rancid.
• Check whether the packages in which you buy products oats is well sealed and does not contain moisture.
• If you buy cooked oat products such as oatmeal, make sure thy do not contain salt, sugar or other additives.
Oats are sold in stores as a ready-to-eat product. Store them in a dark, dry place. Once boiled or soaked, oatmeal can be stored in the refrigerator up to 12 hours.
Culinary uses of oats
• It is best to add the oats in cold water and cook over low heat. The ratio is one cup of oats to two cups of water and the cooking time depends on the product itself, but it varies between 15 and 30 minutes.
• When preparing porridge, use a ratio: 1:3 with water and cooking time of about 50 minutes
• Oat cakes are a favorite for kids of all ages.
• When baking bread, you can add oatmeal or whole oats.
• This is a superb base for feeding any pet birds.
There are a variety of types of oat products, which can make grain snacks, baked goods and various fillings:
• Croup: this is pearled barley, which is suitable for cereal or filler
• Oatmeal: cut into two pieces like steel knives
• Fine oatmeal: cut more finely than conventional
• Oats for fast cooking: undergo primary heat treatment and then rolled in flour.
• Oat bran: it is the outer layer that remains after peeling oats
Benefits of Oats
- Lowers cholesterol levels. Freshly prepared cup of oats is the perfect way to start your day, especially if you are trying to protect yourself, or are suffering from a heart disease or diabetes. This is due particularly to the specific type of fiber contained in oats called beta-glucan.
- Unique antioxidants in oats reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Thanks to its high fiber content, oats are known to help to remove cholesterol from the digestive system by not allowing it to fall into the blood stream.
- Protects against heart failure. In a survey in the United States, where heart failure is a major cause of hospitalization in the elderly population, it appears that people who received daily wholegrain breakfast, have a 29 percent lower risk of heart failure.
- Offer significant cardiovascular benefits for women in post- menopausal.
Taking whole grain foods such as oats, at least 6 times a week is a good idea especially for women after menopause who have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or signs of cardiovascular disease.
Improves the immune system, protects it from infections and stabilize blood sugar.
The presence of beta-glucan significantly improves the response of the immune system to bacterial infections and lowers blood sugar levels, especially in people with diabetes II.
Oats and other whole grain plants decrease risk of diabetes II.
Fiber from whole grains and fruits protects against breast cancer.
It was found that a diet rich in fiber, fruits, offers significant protection against breast cancer in women before the menopause period. Studies have shown when that taking concentrated fiber foods the risk of breast cancer falls by 52%.
Whole grains and fish act as a powerful protector against childhood asthma. Studies have shown that whole grains and fish could reduce the risk of childhood asthma by 50%.