Oats and Quinoa come under the family of whole grains. Let’s talk about both these foods in detail and learn how it is beneficial in our daily lives. Oats and quinoa are well-known foods for breakfast meals. Both oats and quinoa are healthy and nutritious.
What are oats?
Oatmeal is a type of porridge made from millet, steel-cut, or rolled oat grains. An ancient cereal grain, oats come in many forms—from rolled oats to instant oatmeal to whole oat groats—but all start as seeds of the oat plant. Oats are mainly eaten as porridge, as an ingredient in breakfast cereals, and in baked goods (oatcakes, oat cookies, and oat bread). Over the past few decades, oats have become a very popular “health food.” When cooked, oatmeal typically has a subtle, sweet flavor and a creamy, sometimes chewy, texture. It’s usually served warm straight from the saucepan, but oats that are soaked overnight are often eaten at room temperature.
Oats are believed to have been cultivated as early as 1000 B.C. by the Greeks and Romans, who primarily harvested them for animal feed. While oats have been a staple form of nourishment in Scotland for centuries, oatmeal’s presence as a mainstream breakfast food is relatively recent.
There are five basic varieties of oats you can find in your grocery stores- whole oat groats, Scottish oats, steel-cut oats, rolled oats, and instant oatmeal. When you take rolled oats and steam them for even longer, you get instant oatmeal.
Nutrition in Oats –
Nutritional Info Per Serving (100g )
- Calories – 389 kcal
- Carbs – 66 g
- Dietary Fiber – 9 g
- Fat- 6 g
- Protein- 13 g
- Water – 8 %
Oats are a low-calorie healthy breakfast meal option if you are trying to lose some weight. It keeps you full for a longer period of time and you can avoid frequent snacking in between meals by having oats as a meal in the morning to keep you full for the rest of the few hours in a day. Oatmeal is a good source of plant-based protein, which helps you feel fuller for longer, repairs muscle, and regulates metabolism. Oatmeal is full of complex carbohydrates, which provide your body with energy over a long period of time.
Benefits of Oats –
- High in Fibre and Low in Calories-
Oats work on multiple levels to help you lose weight. To start with, since they are high in fiber, they simulate the feeling of a full stomach, thereby reducing your need to eat. Oats also have low-fat and low-calorie content, which makes them excellent food for losing weight.
- Highly nutritious food for pregnant women and babies’ development– A healthy diet during pregnancy greatly benefits both mother and baby. Incorporating healthy food and whole grains like oats in the dietary regime supports a healthy pregnancy. Pregnant women require an energy rush to sustain themselves throughout the day. You can pair up oats with different flavorings and toppings to satisfy your pregnancy cravings and also ensure the normal growth of your baby. And oats for babies who have started eating solid food is an excellent meal choice, without a doubt. Oats are highly nutritious and rich in essential nutrients required for the baby’s development.
Rich in Proteins
Oats being rich in proteins helps in bodybuilding and weight gain. Proteins are called the building blocks of the body as they help with many functions that enable growth and development. Oatmeal after a workout helps to regenerate new cells, build muscles & tissues, and maintain an overall healthy body.
Boosts our immune system
Oats help in boosting your immune system and fights off infections. Oats are rich in beta-glucan. These nutrients are vital for the health of neutrophils. They strengthen the system as a whole and help your body fight off infections and diseases, keeping you safe and protected.
- Consumption of oats and oat-based products significantly reduces cholesterol levels in your body. This whole grain also lowers your blood pressure levels.
Improves overall body health
Oats play an important role in improving satiety, diet quality, and digestive, cardiovascular, and general metabolic health. Also, oats and their fiber content help keep the gastrointestinal tract running smoothly; they can help reduce constipation.
Side effects of Eating Oats –
- Although oats don’t contain gluten, in rare cases, they are grown in the same fields as wheat or barley, and these crops can sometimes contaminate oats with gluten. Therefore, those who have gluten intolerance or celiac disease may have to exercise caution when eating oats.
- Oats can cause intestinal gas and bloat. To minimize side effects, start with a low dose and increase slowly to the desired amount. Your body will get used to oat bran and the side effects will likely go away.
- Consumption of oats in a day should be not much, you need to keep in mind how much you intake. Right portions won’t affect your body.
Recipes /Ideas to cook Oats-
Oats are endlessly versatile and healthy. You can mix it with a variety of freshly cut fruits, milk, and even vegetables to create a wholesome meal that makes this grain appropriate for any time of the day – breakfast, lunch, or dinner! The best part about oats is that you can customize them as per your health needs. You can add multiple toppings to make oats more than a warming breakfast. You can make mouthwatering oatmeal recipes. You’ll find both sweet and savory recipes including oatmeal cookies, oatmeal muffins, oatmeal pie, and even a veggie-topped oatmeal bowl. You can make easy, delicious, and healthy recipes to work more oatmeal into your diet.
Three Quick and Easy Oats Recipe –
- Oats Porridge Recipe- A quick porridge made with oats, water, or milk. Both quick-cooking oats or rolled oats can be used. Making porridge with oats just takes about 5 to 6 minutes to cook and is a really quick recipe.
- Oats Kheer Recipe -A delicious kheer made with quick-cooking oats or rolled oats, milk, ghee, and dry fruits. You can serve the kheer for breakfast or as a dessert after meals.
- Overnight Oats Recipe– No cook recipe method of quick-cooking oats or rolled oats soaked overnight in water, milk, or yogurt. Later topped with fruits and dry fruits and then served. This oat recipe is good for folks who do not have time to make elaborate breakfasts during morning hours.
You can use low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, and low-carb dry fruits or nuts in the above recipes. You can easily cook these recipes within 10-15minutes.
Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They’re a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Oats are one of the best options for a healthy morning breakfast.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. It is a herbaceous annual plant grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds; the seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. Quinoa is not a grass, but rather a pseudocereal botanically related to spinach and amaranth (Amaranthus spp.), and originated in the Andean region of northwestern South America.
It was first used to feed livestock 5.2–7 thousand years ago and for human consumption, 3–4 thousand years ago in the Lake Titicaca basin of Peru and Bolivia
Today, almost all products in the Andean region are done by small farms and associations. Its cultivation has spread to more than 70 countries, including Kenya, India, the United States, and several European countries. As a result of increased popularity and consumption in North America, Europe, and Australasia, quinoa crop prices tripled between 2006 and 2013
Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is a type of edible seed that comes in various colors including black, red, yellow, and white.
Nutritional Values of Quinoa
The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (185g) of cooked quinoa with no added salt or fat.
- Calories: 222
- Fat: 4g
- Sodium: 13mg
- Carbohydrates: 39g
- Fiber: 5g
- Sugars: 2g
- Protein: 8g
The carbs in quinoa consist mainly of starch, insoluble fibers, and small amounts of sugar and resistant starch. Quinoa is a complete protein and provides 2 grams of fat per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). Quinoa is a good source of several minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, and zinc. It is also a great source of iron and fiber for vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike.
Benefits of Quinoa-
- Gluten-free – Quinoa is naturally gluten-free. Our modern diets are heavily dependent on gluten-rich wheat and wheat products. Replacing these occasionally with gluten-free cereals is a good break for our digestive system. For people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, this complete food is a boon to have.
- Contains Healthy Fats – The fats present in quinoa support health. It is a rich source of oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. It also contains alpha-linolenic fat, an omega-3 fatty acid known to decrease the risk of inflammatory diseases.
- Aids in Weight loss – Quinoa is weight loss-friendly food. It’s high in protein and fiber. The GI value of quinoa is relatively low, and low-glycemic foods have been shown to prevent overeating and decrease hunger.
- Lower blood sugar levels – Fiber is the indigestible part of a carbohydrate that helps with satiety, prevents and alleviates constipation, can help to pull cholesterol away from the heart, and is important in keeping blood sugars stable. The extra fiber in quinoa allows the digestion of carbohydrates to be slowed, assisting with blood-sugar control.
- Lower cholesterol- Fiber has a beneficial effect on cholesterol, and so do plant compounds called phytosterols. Quinoa contains several different phytosterols.
- Excellent source of vitamins and minerals – It has high amounts of phosphorus which is good for bone, teeth, and energy metabolism. Quinoa also has more riboflavin and folic acid than wheat and rice. Riboflavin deficiency is related to poor iron absorption and anemia. Folic acid prevents birth defects in babies. Vitamin E provides anti-inflammatory benefits.
How to Enjoy Quinoa in your Meals –
- Combine cooked chilled quinoa with pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, scallions, and coriander. Season to taste and enjoy this south-of-the-border-inspired salad.
- Add nuts and fruits to cooked quinoa and serve as breakfast porridge.
- For a twist on your favorite pasta recipe, use noodles made from quinoa.
- Quinoa cooked with oranges, nuts, chickpeas, and herbs, experience wonderful flavors coupled with the goodness of nutrients.
- You can use quinoa, asparagus, lentils, and pomegranate come together to make the healthiest salads. Add a drizzle of sweet lime along with a zingy mustard dressing.
- Sprouted quinoa can be used in salads and sandwiches just like alfalfa sprouts.
- Add quinoa to your favorite vegetable soups.
- You can use ground quinoa flour to make cookie or muffin recipes.
Quinoa is likely safe when eaten as food. It packs more nutrients than most other grains and is relatively high in quality protein. It’s gluten-free and aids in weight loss.
Both oats and quinoa are rich in soluble fiber and carbohydrates. Hence, both oats and quinoa help with controlling hunger and are good additions to a weight-loss diet. Including such nutritious whole grains like oats and quinoa helps maintain heart health, aids with weight loss and helps those with various diseases like diabetes. Oats and quinoa are versatile foods and you can cook them with a variety of foods available at your place like fruits, veggies, water, etc. You can make amazing recipes with oats and quinoa.
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