Nothing like a warm bowl of porridge to warm you up with winter!
Continuing research since the 1960’s has found time after time, the effect oats have on lowering cholesterol levels. Beta-glucan is the fibre component within oats that is responsible for these positive health effects. This fibre has the ability to remove excess cholesterol from our digestive system that would have otherwise ended up in our blood stream resulting in unhealthy cholesterol levels.
We all know we need fibre to keep us ‘regular’ and healthy but the fibre content of oats is not its only benefit. Oats are also rich in antioxidants, plant sterols, phytoestrogens, manganese and selenium which attributes to the reduction of the development of cardiovascular disease. One study found a high fibre diet reduced the individuals risk by up to 29%. Oats also help stabilise blood sugar levels, reducing the development of type 2 diabetes, enhance our immune system, and reduce breast cancer risk in females.
A few things to remember when buying oats:
- They do contain gluten, a very small amount but if you are a gluten sensitive person you need to be careful
- They contain purines that are broken down to acid in the body – individuals who suffer from gout or kidney stones need to limit or avoid oats
- Rolled oats are best
- Avoid flavoured oats – they contain unnecessary sugar
- Quick oats are highly processed and lose their full fibre content