Avena sativa, also known as oats, is a cereal that can be included as part of a healthy diet. Oats plays a crucial role in the promotion of health in humans. This is because it contains compounds that have certain medicinal properties. Some of these compounds are calcium, iron and amino acids like lysine and mehtionine. In addition to this, oats also contains alkaloids, starch, iron, vitamins and flavinoids that play a vital role in the maintenance of health. Here are some of the key health benefits offered by oats:
Prevention and treatment of osteoporosis
One of the benefits of oats is that it can help reduce the progress of osteoporosis in women. Consuming oat straw can increase the level of hormones that can stimulate the growth of bone cells. This can help replenish bone cells that were destroyed due to osteoporosis. Also, if consumed before the onset of the condition, avena sativa can help prevent osteoporosis. Oats also contains two minerals, magnesium and potassium, that help promote bone health.
Lowering of triglyceride and cholesterol levels
Another health benefit offered by avena sativa is its ability to reduce the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in blood. In addition to this, avena sativa can bring down serum cholesterol too. The benefit of lowered triglyceride and cholesterol levels is that it reduces the risk of stroke and heart diseases. When consumed on a regular level, oats can bring down the levels of overall lipoprotein and low density lipoprotein (also called LDL or bad cholesterol). Also, the fiber in oats removes this cholesterol when it is in the digestive tract without affecting the high density cholesterol (also known as good cholesterol). The lowering of LDL is aided by the anti-oxidants in oats.
Oats contains lignan, a plant chemical that has the ability to lower the risk of cancer. Some of these cancers are those of the prostrate, ovaries, uterus and breast. Lignan does this by lowering estrogen levels. The cancer fighting ability of oats is enhanced by the high level of fiber in it. Studies indicate that the insoluble fibers tend to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, by lowering the carcinogens in the tract.
Reduction in symptoms related to menopause
Avena sativa has compounds that soothe and sedate both the nervous system and the brain. Owing to this, oats are capable of reducing hot flashes and anxiety that can comprise pre-menstrual syndrome. It is also capable of alleviating insomnia and fatigue.
Another benefit of oats is that it can help with de-addiction. This is owing to its sedative property which calms and reduces anxiety related to withdrawal from addictive substances. Some of the substances from which avena sativa can help overcome addiction are opium, cigarettes and morphine.
Treatment of skin conditions
Avena sativa has the ability to reduce skin dryness and inflammation – two characteristics of skin problems. Its anti-inflammatory property is provided by the silicon in oat straw. Two skin conditions that oats can help treat are psoriasis and eczema. Avena sativa helps promote skin health by keeping it hydrated.
• Oats can help control the blood sugar levels in the body by slowing digestion. This prevents the blood sugar levels from rising sharply.
• When oats is consumed approximately an hour prior to engaging in physical activity, it can enhance athletic performance and metabolism.
• As oats contains fiber, it can make you feel satiated relatively fast, and for a longer duration after a meal. This way, it can prevent weight gain that can occur due to over-eating.