One of reasons that oats are so healthy compared to other grains, is because when they are milled, oats still retain the bran and endosperm, the parts that contains most of the nutrients. Oats can help lower cholesterol and help keep the immune system strong because they contain beta glucan. The FDA in 1997, recognized that beta glucan in oats lowered cholesterol and gave oat companies permission to add that statement to their food labels.
What are Beta Glucans? They are sugars, more specifically they are polysaccharides, that are found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, seaweed, oats, barley and rice. What does beta glucans do? Well this is where is gets a little tricky, beta glucans are called immunomodulators, which according to https://www.cancertutor.com/beta-glucan/, “helps make your immune system smarter. It can help raise your immune system’s response so your body can naturally fight off and kill cancer” and many other diseases and infections. Beta glucans have also been used to help diabetes and HIV as well. Studies have shown that beta glucans activate the white blood cells in the body, which protect against invaders and disease. This activation helps the cells recognize and kill tumor cells, repair damage that occurs through oxidation and helps damaged tissue recover quicker.
For those with Celiac and following a gluten free lifestyle, oats can be a little tricky, as they may be cross contaminated with other grains such as wheat, or cause symptoms similar to feeling glutened. The best thing would be to use certified gluten free oats.
- It is a trace mineral in the body that helps to form bones in the body and is a cofactor in helping to make collagen in the skin and build cartilage
- It works as an antioxidant by protecting the skin from sun damage and from oxidation of free radicals
- This trace mineral also helps in gluconeogenesis, similar to biotin in helping to convert substances in to sugar and create energy for the body
- Good Sources: Oats, almonds, flax seeds, garbanzo beans and spinach
- Deficiencies may impair growth, energy metabolism and produce bone abnormalities
- RDA 1.8mg for women and 2.3mg for men
- Fact: Manganese was first isolated in 1774 and can be dated back to the Stone Age in cave paintings contained in the pigments used
- Helps keep your immune system and nerve cells healthy
- Is a very important coenzyme that aids in energy release, production of melanin, collagen, and elastin
- It helps make red blood cells
- It aids in iron absorption
- Cofactor in an enzyme called superoxide dismutase, which when deficient is linked to Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Good Sources: Flax, Sunflower and sesame seeds, almonds, soybeans, walnuts, oats, organ meats & shellfish
- Deficiency may cause Menkes Syndrome, and maybe be present in those with gastric bypass surgery.
- Fact – Dark chocolate has 89% of the RDA
- RDA for both men and women is 900 micrograms per day
- Fiber is crucial to the body because it helps to keep all 28 feet of your intestinal track clean
- It keeps the body regular and promotes a healthy digestive system
- Helps keeps Cholesterol low and one of the factors in preventing heart disease & colon cancer
- Foods contain Fiber will make you feel full longer and discourage overeating
- Assists in preventing diabetes by regulating insulin response and slowing down the rate of sugar absorption in the body.
- Good Sources: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes
- Deficiencies can lead to all sorts of intestinal issues like diverticulitis, heart disease, cancers, and Type 2 diabetes
- Fact: Fiber is a carbohydrate that cannot be digested by the body. Instead, it passes through your digestive system – stomach, intestines, colon – pushing the necessary waste through and out.
- RDA for both men and women is 25-30 grams a day from food not any type of supplemental fiber
- Vitamin E isn’t just one vitamin, it is actually made up of 8, four different types of tocopherols and four different tocotrienols
- Helps to prevent free radicals from damaging the body and protects red & white blood cells
- Strong Antioxidant
- Helps to reduce bad LDL cholesterol
- Supports in strengthening the immune system and cognitive function
- May lower risk of heart disease, macular degeneration, cancer and alzheimer’s disease
- Food Sources: Sunflower & Flax seeds, spinach, asparagus, almonds, green leafy vegetables, & shellfish
- Deficiency is very uncommon in humans except for people with certain genetic disorders or issues with fat malabsorption. Though a deficiency may be one of the causes of neurological abnormalities, but not enough studies have been done to prove that theory.
- RDA for adults is 15mg a day
- Fact: Body fat holds about 90% of the vitamin E reserves
Omega 3 Fatty
- They are essential for brain function and central nervous system health
- Lower the risk of premature death & help curb hunger by making you feel satiated longer
- Crucial for cognitive thinking and brain behavior
- Key to the production of message sending neurons that communicate with the whole body
- Anti-inflammatory, lubricate joints and boost immune function
- Promote bone health by helping to balance calcium
- Help to stimulate muscle growth by synthesizing protein quicker
- Food Sources: Walnuts, avocado, wild salmon, quinoa, flax seed
- Deficiency can cause mood swings, foggy brain, lack of energy, insufficient blood circulation and
- RDA is 1000mg a day
- Fact: Healthy fats are essential to human growth and function, we NEED fat to survive and so does
- Ever organ in the body needs magnesium, especially the kidneys, muscles, and heart
- Contributes to energy production, activates certain enzymes and helps to regulate other nutrients in the body like, calcium, potassium and vitamin D
- 1/2 of the Magnesium, similar to calcium, is held within our bones as a reserve when we need it
- Food Sources: Beets, green leafy vegetables, avocado, whole grains and nuts
- Deficiencies can result in: restless leg syndrome, muscle cramps, irritability, low blood pressure, muscle spasms and insomnia
- RDA is 350 mg a day
- Fact: Magnesium was discovered outside a Greek city called Magnesia and it is the 9th most abundant element in the Universe
- Only second to calcium, it is the most abundant mineral in body and 85% is stored in the bone
- Works along side of calcium to build strong bones and teeth
- Is needed for growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissue.
- It also helps to activate enzymes and is imperative to the Kreb’s cycle in making energy and creating ATP production
- Food Sources: Oats, almonds, grains, meats, poultry, fish, nuts, beans and dairy products
- Deficiencies is very rare
- RDA is 700mg
- Fact: In 1669, a man named Hennig Brand discovered phosphorus and as the 13th compound found discovered, it has been referred to as the “devil’s element”
- Part of the B complex called B1
- As a conenzyme, it helps the body convert carbohydrates and fats into energy during digestion
- Is vital to the stability and structure of brain cells and deficiency has been linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- Important to nervous system, heart, and muscle function
- You get the most bang for your buck with thiamin with minimal processing in foods and when cooked on low heat. This vitamin can be easily denatured through storage, processing and heat.
- *Deficiency can cause the disease Beri Beri to occur, alcohol abuse can cause a deficiency, as well as the elderly and young children
- Good Sources: Asparagus, Sunflower seeds, Green Peas, Flax Seeds, Brussels Sprouts, meats, legumes and whole grains
- Fact – More than half of Americans would not obtain the RDA of B1 if it were not for The United States enriching wheat flour and adding the B1 back into the food
- The RDA for women is 1.1mg and for men is 1.2
- It is part of the B complex and was first identified in 1924
- Is a very important coenzyme that is a catalyst in DNA synthesis, amino acid, fat and sugar metabolism. Important coenzyme in the release of energy
- Helps build healthy fats in skin and balance out blood sugar
- Food sources: almonds, oats, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, mushrooms and eggs
- As for a Deficiency, there really is not enough data right now to specify except that very large consumptions of raw egg whites daily can cause deficiency. But deficiency may include: brittle nails and thinning hair or loss
- RDA is about 30 micrograms a day
Insel, Ross, McMahon, Bernstein, Discovering Nutrition, 2016