Oatmeal, oatmeal, oatmeal, oat bran - the possibilities of using the grain type oats (Avena) for human nutrition are manifold. In the Middle Ages people from oats even brewed beer. Today, this type of grain is used primarily as animal feed for animals, especially horses taste of oats. No wonder, because in comparison to other cereals such as rye, wheat or barley, oats are particularly nutritious.
Oats: Rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids
Oats are considered the most nutritionally valuable cereals, which is mainly due to the high protein content of almost twelve percent. In addition, the proteins in oats mainly consist of essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are building blocks of proteins that the body can not build itself. These essential amino acids include, among others, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and valine. In addition to the twelve grams of protein, 100 grams of oats also contain:
- 13 grams of water
- 7.1 grams of fat
- 59.2 grams of carbs
- 6.2 grams of fiber
- 2.9 grams of minerals.
The minerals contained in oats include potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc and phosphorus. The grain also has important vitamins, especially vitamins from the B group and vitamin E. Since oats have many calories - 100 grams bring it to about 337 calories (kcal) - oat products are especially popular with athletes: they deliver a lot Energy, but hardly burden the stomach.
The healing effect of oats
Especially in naturopathy the cereal oats is said to have a healing effect, but also a positive effect on certain diseases has been scientifically proven. In natural medicine, green oats, which are harvested shortly before flowering, are used: as a tea, the green oats free the body of metabolic end products and as a bath additive, it helps with skin impurities and ensures a soft and supple skin. Likewise, such a bath should relieve rheumatism and body aches.
Due to many dietary fiber, cereals are used in natural medicine as a remedy for gastrointestinal complaints. The indigestible fibers form a protective layer on the stomach and intestinal mucosa and thus keep the acidic gastric juice away from the mucous membrane. In addition, two servings of oatmeal a day should help reduce the level of LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein cholesterol) in the body. In traditional Chinese medicine, oats are even used to regulate blood sugar levels.
Oats: gluten present only in small amounts
In comparison to other cereals, only a little gluten is present in the oats. Gluten is a mixture of proteins, which ensures that bread can rise when baking and also retains its shape after baking. Hypersensitivity to the gluten gluten can lead to chronic inflammation of the mucosa of the small intestine. This is called gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Symptoms of celiac disease include weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue.
Although oats contain only a small amount of gluten, the problem is that oats are often contaminated with other cereals that have a high gluten content. Oats should therefore not be eaten better in the case of gluten intolerance. Non-contaminated oats are now also available on the market, but caution is also required here: individual responses to non-contaminated oats are difficult to assess. As a rule of thumb, people with intolerance to gluten should consume a maximum of 50g of uncontaminated oats per day, and only under medical supervision.
Worth knowing about the oats
The grain oats belongs, as well as numerous other crops, to the plant genus of sweet grasses. However, the oats differ from other cereals in that they produce no panicles but spikes. The flowering time of the oats is between June and August, the grain is harvested from about mid-August. Oats prefers high rainfall and a temperate climate, but also guarantees stable yields in unfavorable weather conditions than, for example, spring barley.
Presumably, oats were already grown during the Bronze Age, later the grain was especially popular with the Teutons. It was not until the 17th century, when the potato became popular in Europe, that oats slowly became less important. Today, oat farming only plays a minor role compared to other cereals.