Tags: oats | super | food | nutrition

Oats: New Superfood?

Wednesday, 02 Oct 2013 04:27 PM

By Nick Tate

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You might want to consider trading in your sugary breakfast cereal for a bowl of oatmeal. New research suggests oats deserve the status of a "super grain" and are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that make them a superfood.
 
According to research presented at a meeting of the American Association of Cereal Chemists International in Albuquerque this week, oats can play an important role in improving diet quality and boosting health.
 
YiFang Chu, a PepsiCo nutrition specialist, presented new studies showing oats are a nutritious whole grain packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants — including carotenoids, tocols (Vitamin E), flavonoids, and avenanthramides.

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"The polyphenols, avenanthramides, are unique to oats and have been widely used in skincare products because of their anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects," said Chu. "As scientists continue to link inflammation to chronic diseases, they are also investigating whether bioactivities produced by the polyphenols in oats can be as beneficial from within the body as they are on the skin."
 
Chu noted oats contain more than 25 different biologically active nutrients. "Compared to the bioactive compounds identified in other grains — like wheat and rye — oats may be more bioavailable and possess more anti-inflammatory properties," Chu said.
 
In addition, oats and oat products meet the minimum levels of oat beta-glucan required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for them to carry a health claim for cholesterol-lowering benefits. Studies also suggest oats can enhance satiety and may also help reduce the risk of other chronic conditions.

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