Oats are the best source of protein and fat among all grains. They also contain antioxidant compounds and lots of fiber. So, what are the benefits of oats (avena sativa)?
Avena sativa, commonly called oats, is a plant that has been around for quite a long time. Its health benefits are well documented even with research still going on about the plant.
What is avena sativa?
Avena sativa is the scientific name for the plant popularly known as oats. Oats are a group of plants belonging to the grass family (which has the likes of maize, wheat, grass, barley and others).
- Avena sativa was initially fed to cattle and horses given the high amount of nutrients it has. With time, however, the nutrients were found to have benefits for human beings as well.
- Oats have a high amount of minerals and other nutrients such as chromium, potassium, manganese, iron, magnesium, zinc, proteins, fiber, vitamins and many others.
For instance, in a hundred grams of oats, you can obtain 44% of your daily fiber needs and 34% of your RDA protein needs. That is much higher than what most other natural foods can offer you.
Benefits of avena sativa
The benefits of avena sativa transcend most parts of the body including the blood and the nervous system.
There are many ways one can use oats to improve their health. The various benefits you can derive from using oats include:
1. Constipation relief
The high amount of fiber in oats helps in doing away with constipation and other issues that afflict the bowel movement process.
While one can use laxatives for the same purpose, they have side effects such as:
- Lower quality of life
- Loss of weight
2. Reduces the risk of childhood asthma
Conventional wisdom in taking care of kids states that early introduction of solid foods in their diet may increase their chances of developing asthma. However, specific solid foods such as oats have the opposite effect.
Rather than making them vulnerable, avena sativa protects them from the occurrence of this disease.
When introduced to kids before or at the 6th month of their growth, oatmeal helps them overcome some early developmental issues such as childhood asthma.
Before you make this introduction to solid foods for your baby, however, consult your doctor to do it without major risks.
3. Improves the nervous system
If you suffer from nervous system issues such as anxiety, stress and insomnia, taking avena sativa in its various forms can help in doing away with these issues. For this reason, avena sativa is considered as one of the best solutions to nervous exhaustion.
Mood stabilization and boosting of your energy levels are other benefits you get from the inclusion of avena sativa in your diet.
4. Stabilization of the menstrual cycle
The high amounts of minerals and other nutrients in oats can be used in treating amenorrhea. Amenorrhea is a condition in which the periods come to a sudden halt due to a hormonal imbalance.
- The compounds and nutrients in avena sativa help in stabilizing the functions of the thyroid system and hormones in general.
- The benefits of including oats in your diet go beyond stabilization of the menstrual cycle to include other processes that rely on hormones.
5. Healthy bones
The presence of high amounts of calcium and other minerals in avena sativa contribute towards the formation of strong bones and teeth. This also prevents diseases such as osteoporosis and others that affect the teeth and bones.
6. Improving of sexual health
Due to the work of avena sativa in improving circulation in the body, it has been used for a long time as a natural aphrodisiac. The phrase sowing your wild oats comes from the wide use of this plant in the increase of sexual desire.
In both men and women, this plant is used to increase libido to varying degrees. While women have a higher sexual drive, men benefit by having more sexual stamina.
Men also benefit from this plant as it does away with impotence and premature ejaculation.
Oats are also a major ingredient in products meant to increase of stamina and cure for impotence such as Biogra, Cobra and \herbal V. Taking the products of the plant also has the same results as the sexual enhancement products.
7. Blood sugar stabilization
After a meal especially which contained a lot of carbohydrates, you blood sugar is likely to spike. Due to the high fiber content in the oats, they will help in preventing such a scenario given that it can be dangerous when you are diabetic.
The inclusion of oats in your meal also improves on your metabolism. You will thus feel full and have better bowel movement. This can help in the improvement of athletic performance and loss of weight.
8. Improvement of cardiovascular health
Due to the high amount of fiber in avena sativa, it helps in lowering the blood pressure in the body.
The high fiber content in avena sativa plays a major role in balancing the levels of good and bad cholesterol. For this reason, the quality of your circulatory system will be high.
Again, the antioxidant properties of oats play a major role in preventing skin inflammation and redness. Given that redness and inflammation are the major causes and symptoms of skin conditions such as acne, avena sativa provides an avenue for preventing such cases.
Random blood clotting may cause heart attacks and other conditions if not rectified early on. With the compounds in avena sativa, random clotting of blood is not such an issue since they work by preventing such cases.
Research is also underway to prove whether the same qualities found in this plant can be used in treating heart palpitations. Already believed to treat this condition, oats may find another major role as far as the circulatory system is concerned.
9. Skin beautification
For a long time, oats have been used a beauty product. The ancient Romans and Greeks employed oats in beautifying the skin and treating skin conditions.
Even today, most skin products used in preventing sunburn and other such cases have avena sativa in its various forms. These include soothing creams and lotions.
- Having antioxidant properties makes avena sativa one of the best ingredients for skin products. Antioxidants help in the elimination of free radicals from the skin.
- These radicals are the main cause of unwanted blemishes on the skin such as rashes, pimples, wrinkles and others
With this plant, therefore, you have a better chance at having skin free of blemishes compared to other products.
The seeds of the avena sativa plant also have immense benefits to the skin. With exfoliating qualities, the seeds and their extracts can be used to keep the skin bright and free from dead cells which may cause infections.
The exfoliating qualities of avena sativa seeds can be used to prevent and treat cases such as fungal infections, acne, skin inflammation and others.
10. Treatment for withdrawal symptoms
Among the most difficult aspects of an addiction treatment is withdrawal symptoms. While there are medications meant to help with these kinds of symptoms, focusing on natural remedies can help keep the body free of chemicals.
Using oats can help do away with the symptoms (or at least reduce their severity) for most common addictions such as morphine, nicotine, coffee, cigarettes and others.
Ways of taking avena sativa
There are many ways you can take oats. It all depends on your preference and the available form of this plant. Among the most popular ways include:
Supplements for avena sativa are readily available if you prefer them over other forms. They exist as capsules, tinctures and tablets.
Given that most of these supplements will be mixed with other compounds, you will need the dosage to be regulated by a medical practitioner for the best results.
Oatmeal is a popular breakfast meal easily available in stores. A bowl of oatmeal is easy to make, fulfilling and can be mixed with milk, water or other liquids of your choosing.
You can improve its taste nutrition by adding a fruit such as bananas, blueberries and even dried figs.
Avena sativa has been used for many years without any adverse side effects. However, proper consultation needs to be done to ensure that you do not overdose on it and its products.
The recommended dosage for this product is 300 milligrams each day. Any more than that and you are bound to have side effects such as:
- Rapid heartbeat
If, on the other hand, you are allergic to oats or gluten in general (Celica’s disease), eating them or using their supplements will lead to an allergic reaction characterized by:
- Breathing difficulty
- Chest tightness
Lastly, there are no reported or documented negative interactions between avena sativa products and drugs. If you have any reaction to this remedy, report it directly to the doctor.