Feb 02, 2019
Feb 02, 2019
Tired of eating the same breakfast of eggs, toast or chapatis every morning? A quick and healthy alternative is oats with milk! One might have guessed cornflakes since it is the go-to quick meal for most of us, but in recent times studies have shown that oats are healthier. Before we delve deeper into the benefits and nutritious elements of the same, let’s get to know more about what people usually think of this, ‘horse-food’.
What are oats and why is it so popular?
Oats are grains from the cereal plant, Avena Sativa, and once harvested are processed for use in animal feed, skin products or food. An introduced crop in India, oats is extensively grown and cultivated in Jammu and Kashmir, along with regions of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, although not as vigorously. Called a superfood, it is the preferred food of most Indian households. As per a recent Nielsen India report on Indian breakfast consumption habits, oats occupies a 26 percent share in the Rs 720-crore breakfast cereal market. What's even more interesting is that oats as a category has seen a 38 percent growth in the last one year.
Why should I care?
Because oats are considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet! Eating oatmeal for breakfast supplies you with calories, protein and fat needed to fuel your day. Oatmeal is also a good source of healthy carbohydrates. Because oatmeal is a whole grain, it contains complex carbohydrates, such as dietary fiber. Because fiber swells in your digestive tract, it also encourages digestion after a meal and may aid in your weight-loss or weight-maintenance efforts. Oats are also high on antioxidants, which help lower blood pressure and also has anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects. Oats also help in controlling the blood sugar level. With so many health benefits, it is almost impossible to miss out on this cereal!
It doesn’t just end there. Oats has a lot of different types to choose from!
Whole grain oats: Also known as oat groats, whole grain oats have a chewier texture and are best eaten hot as breakfast porridge. They take the longest to cook, approximately an hour.
Steel cut oats: Also known as Irish oats, they take about 20 minutes to cook on a stove pot.
Scottish oats: More popularly known as oatmeal, they have a creamier texture than steel cut oats and take about 10 minutes to cook on flame.
Rolled oats: Here, the oats are steamed to soften them and then rolled into flakes.
They take 10 minutes to cook on a stove pot.
Instant oats: These can be prepared by simply adding hot water and letting them stand for a few minutes.
Oat bran: It can be cooked into a hot, creamy cereal in two minutes on the stove pot or added to other cereals, yogurts and smoothies to increase daily fibre intake.
With people getting more health conscious and investing on healthier, fresher foods, oats seem to be the best and the most accessible option to choose from. A quick 10-minute saucepan affair away, it takes the least amount of time and gives you the most amount of nutrients. A win-win situation for the diet-conscious Indian!