We all know about the cholesterol lowering benefits of oats from those breakfast cereal commercials. There are at least five more health benefits of oats. In fact, the health benefits of oats are quite extensive. This fiber rich powerhouse breakfast cereal is better for you than you might have realized. In fact, there is evidence to indicate that oats can help prevent or cure several other major diseases. Oats lower cholesterol, we all know that by now. What are some other health benefits of oats we may not know about? Here are five you may not be aware of.
1. Oats don’t just lower cholesterol, they also remove it. How does this health benefit work? Oats contain a special soluble finer. It’s known as beta-glucan. This fiber traps cholesterol within a gel-like substance in your intestines. Since the gel cannot be digested, it passes through the system, carrying the trapped cholesterol with it.
2. Oats may kill HIV. The jury is still out on this one, but there is evidence that oats may disable the HIV virus. Research to date points to the saponins, food compounds found in oats as the probable deterrent to HIV. Imagine if with all the research and money we have spent on AIDS research, the cure may have been in our morning cereal bowl all along.
3. Oats prevent heart disease. Of course, oats prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol. The tocotrienols in oats do this by reducing cholesterol production in the liver. You may have heard that Vitamin E stops oxidation to keep LDL cholesterol from sticking to artery walls. The tocotrienols in oats do the same thing, but 50% better for further health benefits.
4. Oats prevent cancer. Is there no end to the health benefits of oats? How do they prevent cancer? Bile acids in the large intestine can be converted by bacteria into secondary bile acids. These acids can damage intestinal walls and lead to cancer. Oats work to bind the acids and prevent this process. Some other compounds in oats also fight free radicals before they can cause cancer and other health issues.
5. Oats reduce glucose intolerance and insulin sensitivity. High blood sugar levels in those with glucose intolerance can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Large amounts of insulin are produced to combat high blood sugar as well. How do the health benefits of oats work in this respect? The soluble fiber in oats slows carbohydrate absorption and reduces hormone production to keep blood sugar levels stable.