Adherents of healthy eating have brought to the market a number of new products. Among them are exotic superfoods, unpopular vegetables and various types of healthy flour. Oatmeal is especially popular - its properties are as close to wheat as possible, and a delicate and balanced taste does not shift the accents of familiar dishes.
But is oatmeal so useful, as nutritionists say, who is forbidden to use the ingredient and what is better - to prepare oatmeal powder at home or buy at a nearby supermarket?
What you need to know about oats
It is a genus of annual herbaceous plants that belong to the cereal family. Of the whole genus, seed oats are especially distinguished - it is this crop that is cultivated on an industrial scale and used as a feed / food plant.
There are 22 varieties of oats. They grow in temperate countries of the Old World. All members of the genus, except Avena sativa or sowing oats, are considered malicious weeds that poison the soil and interfere with the normal development of another flora.
The folded leaves of the plant hang from long chiseled stems, on which inflorescences also form. The inflorescence is a miniature panicle, which consists of large, barely hanging spikelets.
On these spikelets, 2-3 flowers develop. They are squeezed on the sides with vegetable protective scales. An ovary forms at the apex, from which cirrus stigmas depart.
The fruit of the plant is a caryopsis. It is tightly wrapped in leathery floral scales and equipped with a longitudinal groove.
It is grains used for industrial food purposes, processed and consumed as food.
Useful properties of cereal
Oats are classified as ancient cereals. Amaranth, quinoa and teff are also included in this list. How do ancient cereals differ from modern ones? First of all, by the features of the structure. Ancient cultures were not subjected to hybridization or genetic modification. They came to us almost in their original form and are no different from the same oats and amaranth that grew a thousand years ago.
Another advantage is the nutritional composition. 100 grams of whole oats contains 17 grams of protein and 11 grams of dietary fiber. For comparison, in modern rice contains 3 grams of protein and 0.4 grams of dietary fiber. Oats consume more energy for assimilation, provide the body with long-lasting saturation and enrich it with a much larger amount of useful vitamins / nutrients.
Oats are the best option for a nutritious breakfast
Nutritionists have assured us that breakfast sets the tone for full-day nutrition. If the morning meal did not work out, then it will be difficult to harmonize the metabolism throughout the day. Those who prefer carbohydrate breakfasts, it is best to pay attention to whole oats. It will help to avoid overeating, reduce cravings for harmful sweets and energize slow carbohydrates for the whole day.
The protein contained in grains helps the body start the regeneration process, carbohydrates synthesize the energy potential, and fat supports the vital activity of the body's cells. The vitamins and minerals with which oats abound will improve metabolic processes, thanks to which you can move better, think more rationally and spend the day much more productively.
The composition of oats includes soluble fiber - a rough part of the plant that acts as a prebiotic. The body cannot fully absorb and process fiber. After ingestion, the substance takes on the texture of a liquid gel and is evenly distributed throughout the body. Do you really think that's good? Yes. Fiber stabilizes the intestinal microflora and suppresses inflammatory infections. It creates additional protection for tissues and mucous membranes, which improves their work and reduces the risk of infection to a minimum.
Nutritionists have shown that fiber promotes harmonious weight loss. A daily intake of 14 grams helps to moderate appetite and reduce calorie intake by 10%.
What else is useful fiber:
- controls the level of glucose in the blood;
- acts as a prophylactic for breast cancer and intestinal cancer;
- minimizes acne and heals post-acne due to the harmonization of internal microflora;
- supports long-term satiety, which prevents the body from "breaking" into harmful snacks;
- regulates bowel function and saves you from problems with irregular stools;
- reduces the level of so-called "bad" cholesterol in the blood.
Low glycemic index
The glycemic index is the body's response to the intake of pure glucose (sugar). The higher the GI, the faster and more intense the jump in sugar, which has an adverse effect on the body.
OI GI is enough to provide the body with an impressive energy potential and to prevent sudden surges in glucose in the blood.
Only the crude oat grains have a low glycemic index. Oatmeal or processed porridge, on the contrary, are marked by high GI and minimal beneficial properties.
Possible harm to oats
Whole-grain ancient cereal has its drawbacks. They are negligible and inferior to benefits, but each consumer should be aware of the risks involved.
Abundance of starch
Almost all whole grains contain a high concentration of starch. That is why portions of oats need to be controlled. The optimal serving for men is 150 grams, for women - 100 grams. If you are engaged in intense physical or intellectual activity, then the consumption of oats can be increased.
Why regulate starch concentration? Its abundance increases the release of insulin, which is fraught with a sharp increase in body fat and the development of inflammatory processes.
High calorie content
The calorie content of ancient cereals is much higher than that of modern ones. Take this into account during cooking and reduce the usual portion by 15-30%. Even a small plate of oats will bring much more benefits in the form of calories, fiber and nutrients than twice the amount of rice, corn or wheat.
Initially, oats did not contain gluten. The causative agent of inflammatory processes appeared in it gradually during the development and cultivation of culture. How did the infection happen? Lots of oats could be planted next to fields of wheat, which contains gluten. During the joint development of plants, cross-infection occurred. Moreover, gluten can be stored in the soil and transmitted to the following crops. Joint industrial processing at the same facilities also contributes to gluten infection.
Gluten should be avoided in patients with celiac disease and acquired / congenital allergies to the substance. The manufacturer must notify the presence of gluten on the packaging. To fully verify the absence / presence of a substance, check the composition.
The chemical composition of oatmeal
|Calorie content||324 kcal|
|Alimentary fiber||8 g|
|Pantothenic Acid (B5)||0,9|
|Folic Acid (B9)||0,029|
|Macronutrients (in grams per 100 grams)|
|Microelements (in milligrams per 100 grams)|
How to cook oatmeal
The only drawback of even the highest quality industrial oatmeal is bitterness. She appears spontaneously and smears the overall picture of the dish with a completely unnecessary accent. To get rid of bitterness, you can cook flour yourself. To do this, you need only 2 ingredients: a food processor or a blender and whole grain oats.
Calculate the amount of cereal according to a simple formula: after processing, you will receive only ¾ of the original volume of oats. Pour the amount of cereal into the food processor / blender bowl and grind the contents to the desired structure. The color of the resulting oatmeal will resemble whole wheat.
What if there is no blender or kitchen machine? You can scroll oats through a conventional meat grinder. The main thing is to install a sharp knife, then swing the handle back and forth until the desired result is obtained. The disadvantage of this method is the size of the fractions. Oatmeal will be a little like flour, therefore, difficulties may arise with its further preparation.
You can also make oatmeal manually using a mortar and pestle, but it will take a tremendous amount of time. Another option is to grind the cereal yourself. Pour the grains into the bag, let the air out of it, close it tightly and lay it on a flat surface. With a rolling pin, begin to roll out the contents of the packet until the grain breaks.
Mix the finished product thoroughly and place in a tightly closed container. Own oatmeal can be stored for several months, avoiding contact with liquids and ultraviolet radiation.
Features of the gastronomic use of flour
The composition of oatmeal includes an order of magnitude less gluten (compared with white wheat), so you need to try to “grab” it. To improve the structure of the dish, you can add more liquids or thickeners like a banana or an egg. Combining several varieties of flour will also help. Corn, wheat, whole grain, barley, and rice go well with oat flour. Proportions can vary according to circumstances, but it is best to add an equal amount of all types of flour.
How to choose oats for oatmeal
Not only the taste of dishes, but also your health depends on the quality of the selected oats. Refuse to eat ready-made dry granola, granola and instant oatmeal. Such oats underwent lengthy heat treatment - it has destroyed the shell, which contains the lion's dose of useful composition.
To find quality oats - read the composition. The only line that is acceptable in the composition is whole grain cereals. If stabilizers, flavorings, additional sugars and preservatives are indicated next to oats, you need to choose a more useful option.
It is also necessary to pay attention to the packaging. Cereals or flour should be stored in an airtight container to prevent rancidity of fats. Choose organic foods and stay healthy!