The health benefits of oats are no surprise. Its growing popularity among individuals wanting to lead a healthy life is proof of its exceptional nutritional benefits. Similarly, oats flour, the grounded version of rolled oats, offers similar health benefits. In addition, it adds to the ease of consuming healthy cereal in your regular meals. Oat flour has a rich nutritional profile. It is rich in carbohydrates and contains a high amount of proteins, dietary fibre and fat. It also carries minerals and vitamins like calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Its scientific name is Avena Sativa.
Oat flour offers various health benefits. For example, it reduces the risk of heart disease, helps lower bad cholesterol, controls the blood sugar level, regulates blood pressure, aids weight management, and improves digestive health. Furthermore, it benefits children, adults, and pregnant women. In addition, oat flour is a versatile cooking ingredient; you can use it to prepare various dishes for regular consumption.
Nutritional Value of Oat Flour
As per USDA, 100g of oat flour serving contains,
Energy: 389 kCalWater: 8.86 gProtein: 13.2 gFat: 6.31 gCarbohydrate: 69.9 gDietary Fibre: 10.5 gCalcium: 43 mgIron: 4 mgMagnesium: 125 mgPhosphorous: 372 mgPotassium: 373 mgSodium: 4 mgZinc: 3.2 mgSelenium: 38.2 µgMolybdenum: 125 µg
The HealthifyMe Note
With its rich nutritional profile, oat flour can be a healthy addition to your diet. Although it is high in calories, it offers high proteins, dietary fibre, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. All these nutrients are healthy for your health. However, what makes it so beneficial is the high amount of selenium and molybdenum. Selenium makes DNA and protects against cell damage and infections. Whereas molybdenum helps process proteins and genetic material like DNA. It also helps break down drugs and toxic substances that enter the body.
Health Benefits of Oat Flour
Since oat flour has a rich nutritional profile, it offers various health benefits. Here are some of the most significant benefits of oat flour.
Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
Oats and its products benefit your cardiovascular health. Due to its soluble and insoluble fibre content, including oats flour in the diet will reduce cardiovascular issues. Oat flour contains beta-glucan, which is effective at lowering bad cholesterol and controlling the absorption of bad cholesterol.
Studies show that the people with the highest whole grain intake had a 21% less risk of cardiovascular issues than people with the lowest intake. Another study shows that oat consumption can potentially reduce LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B, three important cardiovascular risk markers.
Prevents Blood Sugar Spikes
Studies indicate that beta-glucan prevents a spike in blood sugar levels. Although oat flour is a carbohydrate-rich product, it has complex carbohydrates. Hence, people with diabetes can consume it. A study has also revealed the beneficial effects of oat intake on glucose control and lipid profiles in type 2 diabetic patients.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Oat flour is rich in antioxidants, including Avenanthramides. It lowers the blood pressure level by increasing the production of nitric oxide. These gas molecule helps widen the blood vessels and improve blood flow. According to research, oat flour reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with mild or borderline hypertension. Hence, oat flour can be a healthy food for high blood pressure patients.
Aids in Weight Management
Oat flour is rich in dietary fibre. Dietary fibre consumption can keep you satiated for long, preventing overeating and excess calorie intake. The Beta-glucan fibre in oat flour absorbs water and increases the thickness of digested food, increasing the volume of food in the gut. As a result, it slows digestion and the rate at which nutrients are absorbed, reducing hunger.
Oat flour also has a high protein content. Proteins are essential for weight loss in several ways. For example, protein consumption can prevent muscle loss and metabolic slowdown. In addition, it helps burn more calories, reduces appetite and changes the level of weight regulating hormones.
Studies show that short and long-term intake of oats can help you lose weight without depriving you of the essential nutrients.
Improves Digestive Health
The dietary fibre in oats makes it easier to digest. It softens your stools and makes them easier to pass. In addition, it improves overall gut health. The cereal fibre in oats can be more effective than those in fruits and vegetables. In addition, the breakdown and fermentation of beta-glucan oat flour fibre can increase the range of gut microbiota. As a result, it reduces digestive issues such as diarrhoea, constipation, and irritable intestinal syndrome.
Helps Sustain Energy Levels
Oat flour is full of complex carbohydrates and fibre. As a result, it increases satiety and reduces energy intake, helping you feel fuller and sustain energy levels for longer. Hence, oats are a go-to breakfast food for many.
Improves Skin Health
Research validates the claim that oats and oat products can benefit the skin. Oats contain active ingredients that can reduce irritants and soothe the skin. In addition, oats can soften and moisturise the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. When applied topically, oats inhibit anti-inflammatory properties and prevent itching. You can use oat flour to make a paste or mask and use it on your skin to reap these benefits.
The HealthifyMe Note
Oat flour has a rich nutritional profile and offers various health and skin benefits. For example, it can help you manage and lose weight, prevent cardiovascular risk, regulate blood sugar, improve digestion etc. In addition, it can moisturise, soften the skin, prevent itching and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
How to Make Oat Flour at Home?
Oats and oat flour are cereals beneficial for human health. Like oats are one of the quickest and healthiest breakfast options, oat flour can also be an easy and healthy addition to your meals.
You can make oat flour at home as well. It doesn’t take a long time.
Add some organic oats/quick-cooking oats/steel-cut oats and blend them into the food processor.Ensure that you fill the blender or food processor halfway with oatsBlend until the oats turn into a fine powder (about 20 seconds to 1 min). If there are any larger flecks of oats, blend longer.
Note: One cup of old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats gives about one cup of flour, and one cup of steel-cut oats gives about two cups of oat flour. Store the flour in a labelled air-tight container for up to 3 months.
Healthy and Tasty Recipes Using Oat Flour
Gluten-Free Banana Oat Waffles
Total time: 35 minutes
Oat flour: 200gCorn starch: 2 tbspBaking powder: 1 tbspRock salt: ½ tbspCinnamon: ½ tbspEgg: 3 largeAlmond milk: 1 cup (about 150 ml)Coconut oil: ½ tspBanana: ¾ cup (100 g)Vanilla extract: 2 tspTopping: thinly sliced banana, maple syrup, or honey
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oat flour and cinnamon. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs. Then add the milk, coconut oil, mashed banana, and vanilla extract. Whisk until the mixture is thoroughly blended.Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mix. Stir with a big spoon until combined. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes, so the oat flour has time to soak up some of the moisture. Plugin waffle iron to preheat (if the iron has a heat setting, set it to medium-dark)Once 10 minutes is up, give the batter one more gentle swirl with a spoon. The batter will be thick. Use a measuring cup, pour batter onto the heated waffle iron, enough to cover the central surface area, and close the lid.Once the waffle is golden and crispy, transfer it to a cooling rack or baking sheet. Don’t stack waffles on top of each other, or they’ll lose crispness.If desired, keep waffles warm by placing them in a 200-degree oven until you’re ready to serve. Repeat with the remaining batter and serve with toppings.
Easy Salted Oat Fudge
Yield: 36 small squares of fudge
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Unsalted almond butter or peanut butter: 100 gSemi-sweet dark chocolate chips: 100 gRaw, pure honey: 50 gButter: 4 tbspRock salt: ¾ tspCinnamon: ½ tbspVanilla extract: 1½ tspOat flour: 250 gNuts: 150 g
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. If you need to make your oat flour, blend one and ¾ cups of oats in a blender or food processor until ground into fine powder.Arrange the nuts put them in the pan, and roast it until golden brown or until a strong aroma comes. If nuts are bigger, then chop them into little pieces.In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the nut butter, chocolate chips, natural sweetener, butter, salt, and cinnamon. Warm the pot over medium heat, often stirring, until the mixture melts throughout. Remove the pot from heat.Stir vanilla extract into the pot, followed by oat flour and chopped nuts. The mixture has thickened up at this point.Carefully put the fudge mixture into a lined square baker. Use the back of a sturdy mixing spoon to push the mix across the baker to distribute it roughly evenly. Cover the bottom side of a thick, heavy-bottomed drinking glass or mason jar with parchment paper and press it down on the fudge repeatedly until the fudge is evenly packed.Cover and freeze the fudge for 30 to 45 minutes until it’s firm to the touch and no longer shiny in the middle.Use a knife to slice the fudge into small cubes.
Note: Keeping it at room temperature for a few days will survive well, or keep it in a freezer, sealed air-tight freezer bag.
Adverse Effects of Oat Flour
Research shows that approximately 10% of children with wheat allergies are also allergic to oats. Similarly, some adults with a wheat allergy may also be allergic to oats. The symptoms are skin rashes, swelling, itching, difficulty swallowing, wheezing, vomiting, and lightheadedness. So, if you observe any of these symptoms, please consult a doctor immediately.
Possible Side Effects and Precautions
Although oat flour is safe for people with diabetes, they should be careful about the quantity of consumption. Since oat flour has a high carbohydrate content, people with diabetes should calculate their daily carbohydrate intake and then decide on the amount of oat flour to consume.Oat flour is not gluten-free. Hence, people with a gluten allergy or celiac disease should avoid consuming oat flour. However, you may also look for gluten-free oat flour.You must consult your doctor before consuming oat flour if you suffer from diarrhoea or gastroenteritis.
A ‘healthy living’ is leading a healthy lifestyle and consuming healthy foods. The benefits of oats are not unknown. If looking for healthy and nutritious flour, you can consider oat flour for your daily diet. If you are gluten intolerant, go for gluten-free oat flour. With its high nutrient quality, oat flour offers various health benefits. For example, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular issues, aids weight loss, regulates blood sugar and improves skin health. In addition, it is versatile, and you can use it in various dishes. So, incorporate the healthy and nutritious oat flour into your diet and Healthify yourselves with its immense benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. How healthy is oat flour?
A. Oat flour contains various essential nutrients and minerals that can benefit your health in several ways. Oat flour is a healthy alternative for people with diabetes as it helps regulate blood sugar levels. In addition, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular issues. It is also high in dietary fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins. The soluble fibre found in oat flour increases the growth of good bacteria that help keep the digestive tract healthy.
Q. Is oat flour healthier than regular flour?
A. The entire oat is used to make oat flour, so it boosts the nutrition of whole grains. For example, a serving of oat flour of 100g of oats flour contains 3g of fibre, 4g of protein, calcium, iron, potassium, thiamin, and riboflavin. Overall, oat flour offers significantly more nutritional benefits than regular flour.
Q. Is oat flour good for weight loss?
A. Oat flour is one of the ideal foods that help in weight loss. It is rich in fibre and protein, making you feel satiated for prolonged and preventing overeating. Additionally, oat flour is rich in nutrients that are healthy for your cardiovascular health. It also contains beta-glucan and other nutrients.
Q. What is the healthiest type of flour?
A. Different varieties of flour offer different nutrients and health benefits. Hence, defining the healthiest flour depends on your nutritional requirements and health conditions. For example, oat flour is a whole grain alternative to self-rising flour that is easy to prepare. It requires more leavening agents than other flours to ensure proper rise. Furthermore, it has a rich nutrient profile making it healthier than different flour types. Similarly, coconut flour is a good source of fat, protein, fibre, and antioxidants. Buckwheat flour is rich in fibre, protein, and numerous minerals, well-known for its use in soba noodles, etc. So, you must decide on the healthiest flour depending on your body’s nutritional needs.
Q. What are the disadvantages of oats?
A. Oats do not have significant or noticeable disadvantages. However, some disadvantages resulting from overconsumption include high-calorie intake and bloating. Besides that, oat flour can result in food allergies in some people.
Q. Will oat flour make you gain weight?
A. Oat flour is beneficial for losing and managing weight. Due to its high protein, fibre and nutritional content, it is a portion of excellent weight-loss food. One must choose rolled oats, steel-cut oats, or unflavoured oat flour meal. However, overconsumption may sometimes make you gain weight due to its high-calorie content.
Q. Is oat good for skin?
A. Yes, oat flour has several benefits for your skin health. It can work as an exfoliant, which can help cleanse dirt, oil and dead skin cells. In addition, it can moisturise and soothe your skin. It is also an excellent remedy to treat itching and skin irritation. You can use oat flour to make a face mask or face pack and use it to reap its benefits.
Q. Is oat flour or almond flour better?
A. Oat flour is higher in carbohydrates and lower in calories and fat compared to almond flour. Whole grain oat flour is a good source of soluble fibre and other essential nutrients. Therefore, it is more nutrient-rich than almond flour. However, almond flour has the benefits that make it healthy as well.
Q. Which flour is best for belly fat loss?
A. No flour directly affects belly fat or fat reduction in any particular body part. However, oat flour is beneficial for overall weight loss. It is high in protein and fibre. Oats take time to digest in the body, and the digestion process burns more calories. It makes oat flour a good energy source throughout the day and lowers cholesterol. Besides oats, you can also use ragi flour and quinoa flour for weight loss.
Q. Which flour has the highest protein?
A. Wheat flour is known to contain a high amount of protein. It has 15g of protein per 100g. Other flours that are high in protein are soy flour, garbanzo bean flour, coconut flour, almond flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, buckwheat flour and gram flour.
Q. Is oat flour good carbs?
A. Oats are a nutritious source of complex carbohydrates, which play an essential role in boosting and maintaining energy levels. Flour made from oats is equally rich in complex carbs and is safe to include in your diet.