Oats: The Super-Cereal You Need In Your Kitchen Cabinet

From Hollywood icons like Robert Downey Jr and Ariana Grande to B’town stars like John Abraham and Kiara Advani, here’s why oats has emerged as the go-to breakfast cereal.

The breakfast cereal market has been projected to hit $75 Billions the next five years, and oats as a category is stacked up against hundreds if not thousands of processed competitors.

Yet, unlike most of its sugar-coated, color-coded, attractively shaped counterparts, oats has maintained a clean image, especially in the health-food section.

Apart from being a great source of complex carbs, it also has several other nutritional benefits which makes it a hit among health experts and fitness enthusiasts alike.

What are oats?

Scientifically known as Avena Sativa, oats is one of the world’s most ancient whole-grains. Whole oat grains are called oat groats, and look a lot like wheat. The best part about the grain is that the texture and mouth-feel of oats can change as the treatment and processing changes.

What are the various kinds of oats?

There are many variations in the way oats are processed to make Steel Cut Oats, Rolled Oats, Instant Oats, Oat Flour and Oat Bran.

On a scale of 1 – 10 of processing, you could say that whole-grain oat groats and steel cut oats are a ‘1’ because they are least processed, while rolled oats, instant oats would be a ‘5’ and oat flour would be a ‘10’.

Yet surprisingly, the nutritional value of oats remains pretty much unchanged throughout the spectrum right from whole oats to oat flour, compared to other grains like – corn or maize.

Even the byproduct which is called Oat Bran, is a nutrient dense food with as much as 12-15 grams of protein per 100 grams of bran. This also makes it a lucrative option for manufacturers since the grain offers infinite ways to experiment with it.

How healthy are oats?

Susan Downey divulged in a tête-à-tête with The Hollywood Reporter on how her husband and Avengers star Robert Downey Jr bought his own packs of “superfood” – oats to the sets. Which gets you thinking – if Iron Man’s eating it, there’s definitely more to this grain than what meets the eye, right?

The most known benefit of oats is its high protein content which makes it a great post or even pre-workout snack. 100 grams of oats can contain upto 12-13 grams of protein, which is equivalent to protein from 2 Whole eggs.

Oats are also a good source of Iron, since 100 grams of oats can contain upto 4.5 mg of Iron.

However, what makes oats truly special is its fibre component – Beta Glucan. Oats are one among the only two grains that have abundant beta glucan. Beta Glucan is a soluble fibre that may help in lowering LDL and Cholesterol levels in the body.

Oats also contain antioxidants that are beneficial for good health – in fact, oats are the only grains to contain avenanthramides, a unique antioxidant. One study has reported that the antioxidants in oats work together with Vitamin C to prevent LDL oxidation thus lowering the risk of heart diseases.

Apart from these, oats also have numerous trace elements like Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus and Vitamin B1 and B5.

Benefits of eating oats

Interestingly, over a hundred years ago, Dr Bercher Benner, the original inventor of oat based muesli intended it to be the cure for tuberculosis! There’s also tons of evidence and studies showing the multiple benefits of including oats in the diet.

Urmi Kothari, a wellness and fitness expert based out of Mumbai explained how oats can be a great way to beat cravings and include whole grains in one’s diet. Kothari, who also specialises in creating nutrition and fitness plans for women suffering from PCOS uses social media to advocate for oats as an effective ingredient to combat the disease. There are also others like Dr Rini Selvagiftson, an Onco physiotherapist & rehabilitation specialist from Tata Memorial who suggests oats as nutritious meal option for building strength to patients and clients alike.

From aiding better digestion to improving skin health, to reducing LDL there are plenty of known and proven benefits of oats for everyone to be including it in their diet.

Rolled, Instant, Steel Cut, Oat Flour? Which one is for you?

Well, here comes the part where personal tastes and preferences come into play. If you’re putting a salad together, par-boiled steel cut oats would be a great addition in place of quinoa. For baking, oat flour or oat bran is a great option to fortify or use as an alternative to regular refined flour. If you’re pressed for time, Instant oats, or Muesli is your best bet.

There are also many healthy flavoured versions available in the market. Whatever the mood, chances are, there’s a oat-based alternative out there for everyone.

A Guide To Eating Oats Like Your Favourite Movie Stars

It’s no secret that your favourite stars keep a close tab of what they eat. After all, it’s no easy task to look fit all the time (especially with the paparazzi scooting around).

From special smoothie bowls to customised protein shakes, each celeb swears by foods that hold a special place in their diets, and it’s not hard to see why oats is taking a front seat. The power packed grain is one of the most nutritious sources of energy one can get. Full of protein, iron and fibre, oats make a great addition to one’s diet. If you don’t know how you should really go about that bowl of oatmeal – these celebs are spilling some hot cues!

1. Ariana Grande -Singer

Age – 27 years

Nationality – American

Grande’s recipe is straight to the point and doesn’t require much effort. Her recipe for vegan overnight oats has the perfect flavours of sweet and tangy mixed together.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup gluten free oats
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons dairy free yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon maca powder
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ cup blueberries

Method:

  • Add in all the ingredients except for the blueberries in a bowl
  • Mix it well and cover it then pop it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least three hours
  • The next heat up the blueberries in a pan with a splash of water on medium heat
  • Once the fruit has soften and the juice comes out turn off the heat and add it on top of your premade oats bowl
  • Enjoy!
2. Ben Affleck – Actor

Affleck shares with the media how he had oatmeal during his practice days for his batman role. He stated how steel cut oatmeal was his main source of carbohydrate in the morning, and a protein shake by his side before and after workout training were the two things that helped him keep the perfect shape needed for his role.

3. Robert Downey, Jr. – Actor

Downey was able to leave a good impression on Susan (his wife) thanks to oatmeal. Susan mentions how they had a lunch meeting for the discussion of the film Gothika

With the director and the female actress, Robert surprised everyone by bringing packets of oatmeal. Whilst everyone ordered for Japanese food he explained how it is a superfood. This sparked up an interest and Susan explained how she thought he was weird yet interesting. The happy Downey couple has been together since 2005 all thanks to oatmeal.

4. Antoni Porowski – Television Personality

Porowski literally invented his own iced coffee recipe. The food guru says an iced oat milk latte is the best thing to get you awake after a half sleepy wake up call. His perfect latte calls for thick and creamy oat milk to give the perfect latte consistency and he prefers a medium amount of sugar. A clear glass, ice cubes, slow poured espresso, and a straw are basically what you need.


5. Gabrielle Union – Actress

Gabrielle’s personal chef made whole wheat hotcakes for her one day, and he was very nervous throughout the whole time. He informed the public that it was a false alarm and that Union still enjoys the hotcakes to this very day.

Ingredients

  •  1 cup whole wheat flour
  •  ½ cup grounded flaxseed
  •  ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup or ½ stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 sliced bananas
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup chocolate hemp seeds
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Nonstick grape seed oil spray

Method

  • In a large bowl combine whole wheat flour, flaxseed, oats, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon
  • Whisk together buttermilk, vanilla, eggs, and butter in a separate medium sized bowl
  • Mix the buttermilk to the dry ingredients to combine
  • Lightly coat the nonstick pan or griddle with the spray and heat it over medium high heat
  • Spoon the batter to the heated surface and cook until bubbles form on the sides and top
  • Flip the pancakes and cook until its golden brown
  • Repeat with the rest of the batter
  • Serve with sliced bananas, blueberries, hemp seeds, and maple syrup
  • Enjoy!

6. Hilary Duff – Actress

Rather than the typical oatmeal, Hilary likes it extra flavourful and extra healthy. She adds almond butter for protein, golden raisins and maple syrup for a hint of sweet note. That’s all there is but in Duff’s opinion this is quite good that it is one of her three main breakfast ideas!


7. Khloé Kardashian – Media Personality

Khloé says that losing weight literally changed her life and motivated her to start anew, after losing 11 pounds she says she gained more confidence. The Kardashian mentions how she stopped her dairy consumption and paid daily morning visits to the gym, which then was followed by an oatmeal and a protein shake to replenish her energy. Her ideal oatmeal requires steel cut oats, flaxseed powder, and water or almond milk. Khloé loves fruit toppings on her bowl of oats and really recommends it.


8. Kristin Cavallari – Television Personality

Kristin’s calls for an overnight oats bowl which is so simple to make and is just breakfast on the go when you make it the night before. Here is how you can make your own serving of nutritious oats.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup thick rolled oats
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • Toppings of choice

You can use a bowl but ideally a mason jar works

Method

  • First add in the oats to your jar
  • Next add in the milk, chia seeds, and maple syrup then give it a good mix
  • If you are using a bowl cover it with cling wrap or foil paper and put in the refrigerator overnight
  • The next morning you can stir your oats and start munching them
  • If you prefer your oats a bit warm you can always pop it in the microwave and give it a good stir
  • You can now add your favourite toppings, be it fruits, chocolate chips or syrups

All these go wonderfully with the bowl of oats!