Where Do Oats Come From? Find Out!
Oatmeal and granola are one of the most popular breakfast foods in the world. Not only is it highly nutritious, but it’s also very tasty.
Oats are packed with vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients. One cup of cooked oats contains 11 grams of protein, 45 grams of fiber, and 20% of your daily vitamin A needs. They also contain 35% of your daily vitamin B-6 needs, 27% of your daily magnesium needs, and 43% of your daily selenium needs.
But, where do oats come from? How can you enjoy oats? Let’s talk about it in this guide!
Related: Oatmeal vs. Granola: A Healthy Breakfast Guide
Where Do Oats Come From?
Oats are the seed of the Avena Sativa plant, which grows year-round in fields that look like wheat and barley fields. Avena Sativa is a type of grass that is specifically grown for the cereal grain seed.
If you know what to look for, the Avena Sativa plant is easy to spot. Depending on the time of year, they’re either green or brown in color, and they have husks that dangle off the main stock.
When the Sativa plant is mature and ready to harvest, farmers collect the seeds that are protected by the outer hull. Inside the husk lies the bran and the germ, and beneath these layers, you’ll find the seeds.
The hull is basically inedible and needs to be removed from all types of commercially sold oats. Once the seeds are removed, they’re flattened or cooked to different degrees depending on the desired outcome.
Oats vs. Wheat: What’s the Difference?
Many people think oats come from wheat, but this is not the case. While oats and wheat both come from a cereal grain grass, they’re of a different species.
Oats are also gluten-free, so they’re safe to eat for those with a gluten allergy or gluten intolerance. Additionally, raw oats are generally considered safe for people to eat, but if you have a severe gluten allergy, you should always check the package. Look for items that say “certified gluten-free” when purchasing oat products.
Oats are also usually consumed as a whole grain, while wheat is typically ground up into flour to make other wheat products (such as crackers).
When it comes to nutritional value, oats and wheat have a similar makeup, but oats have a slight edge over wheat. Oats have a higher level of protein, healthy fats, and fiber than wheat does. Oats also contain more vitamins and minerals.
Related: Eating a Paleo Breakfast: How to Get Started
Benefits of Oats
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, oats contain a good amount of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
How does the nutritional content of oats help improve your health? Here are some of the main benefits of consuming oats:
Rich in Antioxidants
Oats contain an impressive amount of antioxidants. Avenathramides are one of the most notable groups of antioxidants found in oats. They help to lower your blood pressure by increasing nitrous oxide production. These antioxidants also have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects.
Contain Beta-Glucan Fiber
Oats also contain a very important type of fiber called beta-glucan. This is a soluble fiber that can help reduce your cholesterol levels, reduce blood sugar and insulin response, and increase your feelings of fullness.
May Help Control Your Weight
Many people on diets are afraid to consume oats because of their carb content. However, oats can help you maintain a healthy weight, as they’re a very filing breakfast food that’s low in calories.
Related: Let’s Talk About Oats!
How Can You Enjoy Oats?
In addition to being nutritionally dense, oats can also be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Here are some of the ways you can enjoy oats:
Oats are an ingredient commonly found in many granola bars. Granola bars are the perfect breakfast item when you’re headed out the door and don’t have time to cook anything. Often, oats serve as the foundation of the granola bar, and then other ingredients are added to flavor the bar, such as dried fruits, nuts, nut butter, and spices like vanilla and cinnamon.
While there are all kinds of oat-based granola bars you can buy, we suggest checking out the ingredients list before purchasing. A lot of granola bars are loaded with sugar and other processed ingredients that make them no healthier than candy bars.
Look for granola bars with simple ingredients such as almond butter, cacao nibs, sea salt, and olive oil.
Check out Nana Joes Granola assorted granola bars!
Oats are also a common ingredient found in muesli. Muesli is a cold oatmeal dish that typically consists of rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Many people eat muesli with milk (as you would with cereal) or pour it atop their yogurt, smoothie bowls, or chia seed pudding dishes.
You can also eat muesli plain as a breakfast item. You can also soak muesli overnight to transform it into a warm bowl of oatmeal that you can enjoy in the morning for breakfast!
Just like granola bars, you can also find many varieties of muesli, some of which are much healthier than others. We suggest shopping for muesli that contains oats, a variety of nuts, and fragrant spices.
Time to Give Oats a Try
As you can see, oats are a very versatile food that offers plenty of benefits. Now, you need to choose the right oat products for you.
As we mentioned earlier, you should look for oat products that are mixed with other whole foods, such as nuts, seeds, nut butter, or dried fruits. This way, you can create a nutritionally dense, tasty breakfast that will leave you satisfied until lunch.
If you’re looking to buy some oat products, check out our Original Oat Series collection.