Since granola has conquered the market and our pantry shelves, it is important to know the oat benefits and dangers of this main ingredient of many delicious snacks.
It is an annual grass, growing beyond one meter high, varying according to the species, the form of cultivation and soil and climatic conditions*. Under favorable conditions yields 4 to 5 tillers.
The fibrous root system – small but in large numbers – facilitates penetration into the ground. It is characterized by hair format, not distinguishing the taproot. Botanically the oat grain is considered a fruit called a caryopsis, semi-cylindrical, pointed. The inflorescence is a pyramidal panicle.
It presents cylindrical stems, erect, glabrousness. The cycle is variable, depending on the species, the sowing time and the prevailing temperatures. Can vary from 4 to 8 months. Higher temperatures accelerate the cycle and lower temperatures and waterlogging has the opposite effect.
Oat can tolerate a soil pH as low as 4,5 but under moderate fertility, oat tolerates a wider pH range than wheat or barley.
Oat Benefits – Oats are a useful grain for both cattle and man
- May reduce asthma risk in children;
- Boost nutrition profile of gluten-free diets;
Adding oats to a gluten-free regime may enhance the nutritional values of the diets, especially for vitamins and minerals, as well as increasing antioxidant levels.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2010; 64:62-67, doi:10.1038/ejcn.2009.113 and
The European e-Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, December 2009; e315-e320
- Oat beta glucan improves immune system defenses;
- Laxative effect;
- Lower bad cholesterol (LDL);
The Colorado State University made a research with 36 overweight middle-aged men (picked randomy) to eat either an oat or wheat cereal daily for twelve weeks. At the end of this period, the men eating the oat cereal had lower concentrations of small, dense LDL cholesterol (thought to be particularly dangerous) and lower LDL overall, compared to those in the wheat group, while their HDL (“good”) cholesterol was unchanged. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2002; 76(2):351-8
- Oat antioxidants reduce risk of cardiovascular disease;
- Whole grains, such as oat, are concentrated sources of fiber.
*soil and climatic conditions – refers characteristics defined by environmental factors, such as climate, geographic relief, lithology, temperature, humidity, radiation, soil type, the wind, atmospheric composition, and rainfall. Soil and climatic conditions are related to the influence of the soil in living organisms, in particular, organisms of the Plantae (or plant) kingdom, including the use of the land by humans in order to stimulate plant growth.
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