As the mercury rises and the sun shines brightly, most of us tend to crave lighter and cooler food options during the scorching summer months. While it might seem counterintuitive, including oats in our summer diet can be a wise decision. Often associated with cozy winter breakfasts, oats have numerous health benefits that make them a great choice for hot weather too. In this blog, we explore the surprising advantages of eating oats during the summer.
Oats: A Powerhouse of Nutrition
Oats, scientifically known as Avena sativa, are whole grains packed with essential nutrients. They are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, providing a slow and steady release of energy, making you feel more sustained and energized throughout the day. Furthermore, oats are rich in fiber, which aids digestion and helps maintain a healthy gut. According to the American Heart Association, "oats contain beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol levels" (American Heart Association). Incorporating oats into your summer diet can help you stay nourished and full of vitality.
Light and Cooling Summer Treat
During the hot summer days, our bodies crave lighter and more refreshing meals. Oats fit the bill perfectly! They can be enjoyed in various ways, such as overnight oats, chilled oatmeal, or even in smoothies. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, oatmeal is considered a hydrating food as it absorbs water during cooking, thus helping to keep you hydrated during the scorching heat. The Academy further recommends "combining oats with yogurt and fresh fruits can make for a delicious and cooling summer treat" (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).
Oats Aid in Weight Management
Summer often comes with the desire to maintain a healthy weight and a fit physique for beach days and outdoor activities. Oats can be your best ally in this endeavor. Research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that "oats, particularly the beta-glucans they contain, can increase feelings of fullness and satiety, which may help with weight management" (Journal of the American College of Nutrition). By consuming oats, you can curb unnecessary snacking and maintain a balanced diet, ultimately supporting your weight management goals.
A Natural Defense Against Sun Damage
We all know how essential it is to protect our skin from the sun's harmful UV rays during the summer. Apart from using sunscreen and protective clothing, our diet can also play a role in enhancing our skin's defense mechanisms. Oats are a rich source of antioxidants, particularly avenanthramides, which have been studied for their potential to reduce skin inflammation caused by UV exposure. According to research published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, "avenanthramides found in oats may protect against sun-induced skin damage" (Journal of Drugs in Dermatology), making oats an excellent addition to your summer diet for healthier and better-protected skin.
Regulating Blood Sugar Levels
Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is crucial for overall health, especially for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition. Surprisingly, oats can help in this regard too. According to a study published in Nutrients, "beta-glucan fiber in oats has been shown to slow down the absorption of sugar, leading to better blood sugar regulation" (Nutrients). By consuming oats during the summer, you can support your body's efforts to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
In conclusion, as the temperatures soar, don't avoid incorporating oats into your summer diet. Packed with essential nutrients, hydrating properties, and numerous health benefits, oats are perfect for staying nourished and cool during the scorching months. From aiding in weight management to providing a natural defense against sun damage, oats are a versatile and delightful addition to your summer meals. So, embrace the goodness of oats and relish a healthier and more enjoyable summer!
American Heart Association. "Whole Grains, Refined Grains, and Dietary Fiber." American Heart Association, www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/whole-grains-refined-grains-and-dietary-fiber. Accessed 3 Aug. 2023.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Hydrating Foods." Eatright.org, www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/hydrating-foods. Accessed 3 Aug. 2023.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition. "β-Glucan from Barley and Oats Influence Satiety in Adults." PubMed Central, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103721/. Accessed 3 Aug. 2023.
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. "A Review of the Effect of Oats on Atopic Dermatitis." PubMed Central, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3508548/. Accessed 3 Aug. 2023.
Nutrients. "The Role of Oats in Health and Disease." PubMed Central, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6342009/. Accessed 3 Aug. 2023.