What else is better than starting your day with a warm bowl of oats? This super grain curbs your cravings and boosts your body performance. That is why it is so popular among the fitness community.
If you have made up your mind to incorporate oats into your diet, you might wonder what will work the best for you. Shall you eat them raw or cooked? And is it common to have them uncooked?
You can eat raw oats as they are safe and do not cause any harm to your body. Taste-wise, cooked oats are more appetizing cooked ones can feel dry and hard to digest. If you want, you can soak raw oats in water or milk as then they are easier to swallow and taste good. Unprocessed oats have a higher nutrient value than processed types. They help to maintain blood and sugar levels.
As a breakfast food and mid-meal snack, oats are undoubtedly the best option for you available in the market. But, sometimes the time is short, and you might not be able to cook and prepare them. Let’s find out if you can go with the raw oats option and the dos and don’ts attached.
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Are Raw Oats Edible? Why Or Why Not?
Oats are among the healthiest grains and a great source of fibers, vitamins, and minerals. Eating fiber-rich food throughout the day keeps you fit and energized. It is a popular breakfast staple throughout the world, and you can enjoy them raw and cooked.
Raw oats are edible and safe for consumption. It is up to you to boil the oats when preparing oatmeal or porridge or eat them uncooked.
However, sometimes the type of oats you choose can determine if you can eat them raw or not.
Most processed oat varieties are pre-steamed and heated to destroy harmful pathogens. So, it makes them safe to eat raw. Less processed types, including groats and steel-cut oats, do not undergo steaming and thus, are at risk of carrying germs. Still, they are harmless if you use them as a topping for your yogurt.
But, oats taste much better when you cook or soak them. Also, raw oats are dry, and eating them can irritate your stomach or colon. So, it is ideal dunking them in liquid before you consume them as it reduces the chances of a bloated stomach.
Is It Healthy To Eat Raw Oats?
Oats are loaded with high fiber content, healthy fats, and essential nutrients. These include calcium, iron, and manganese. Aside from this, oats contain more high-quality protein than other grains and offer many vitamins and nutrients.
Eating raw oats provides a similar amount of nutrition. Thus, they are also good for your body. If you have them regularly, it will help lower cholesterol levels and promote blood sugar control. They also possess a larger quantity of soluble fiber that may lower blood pressure and insulin levels.
Besides, raw oats also give a sense of fullness that can encourage weightlessness. Nevertheless, it all comes down to personal preference if you like eating them raw or soaked in some liquid. Either way, they are packed with health benefits.
What Is Better? Raw Oats VS Cooked Oats
While there is no harm in eating raw oats, many people opt for cooked oats, and there are many valid reasons behind it. Firstly, having uncooked oats does not sound appetizing. Also, they are a little harder to chew and digest and give a feeling of discomfort. As they are relatively dry, you have to make sure that you drink a sufficient amount of water after consuming them.
Secondly, cooking oats help in releasing some nutrients that your body fails to extract from raw oats. From a taste point of view, cooked and liquid-soaked oats are much more pleasant to the taste buds, and you enjoy them. Besides, as oats contain a lot of starch, eating them raw is tough to digest and absorb.
Cooked oats are an all-rounder and the ultimate winner. However, if you still want to try raw oats, you can soak them in some liquid like water, milk, or cranberry juice to make them a little supple and easy to digest. They also taste better this way, and if you want, you can let them soak in the liquid overnight.
How Can You Add Raw Oats To Diet?
Now that you finally decided to give raw oats a try, you’ll be surprised to see how versatile they are as an ingredient. They are great for topping your favorite yogurt, and you will love the unique combination. You can also blend them and create a smoothie out of them.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to enjoy the raw oats is to let them soak in water or milk overnight in a refrigerator. It allows them to absorb maximum liquid, and when you eat them in the morning, they will be easily digestible.
To further enhance the flavors of your soaked raw oats, you can add a sweetener such as honey, maple syrup, sugar, or another sugar substitute. You can also add fresh fruits to them like banana or apple slices. Mix all these ingredients and place them in a lidded container. It will prevent the oats from drying out while you leave them in the fridge overnight.
Which Types Of Oats Are The Most Nutritious?
If you are a regular oat buyer, you might have noticed many types of them on the market shelves. It is no secret that oats are a part of a healthy and balanced diet. Most of them offer similar nutrient values regardless of how they are processed.
However, some variants like steel-cut oats and oat groats are considered more nutritious. They are less processed than instant oats and have a lesser effect on blood sugar levels. Oat groats are usually hard to find at the grocery store, but if you do, they are the healthiest among all.
Quick and instant oats undergo a lot of processing, and they have added sugar, fruit, or flavoring. So, they aren’t the best choices, and the same is the case with rolled oats. Still, they can create a decent breakfast menu and provide you with a good dose of nutrients.
Possible Drawbacks Of Eating Raw Oats
Raw oats are not unsafe for you, and you can eat them without worrying too much. But, they have some downsides too, and you should be aware of them. The biggest problem with eating raw oats is the unappealing taste. They turn more delicious when you cook them. And, you can always enhance their flavor by the addition of your favorite sweeteners.
There is no difference between cooked and raw oats from a health perspective. However, the cooking process may release nutrients that your body cannot extract from raw oats by itself. Also, you might struggle a bit while digesting them uncooked, so it is not a good option. In the end, it depends upon your liking if you want to stick with a raw or prepared bowl of oats.
To conclude, raw oats are safe to eat and full of health benefits. They are high in fibers that help lose weight and maintain blood sugar levels. Consuming them every day can reduce cholesterol and improve’ heart and gut health.
Raw oats might feel dry, so it is better to soak them first before adding them to your diet. It will increase digestibility and nutrient absorption. Steel-cut and oats groats are the most nutritious varieties as they are less processed. Instant oats are comparatively less beneficial for your well-being.
Although raw oats are harmless, they might not taste great. Their cooked counterpart is rich in flavors and can pair it with nuts, seeds, and fruits. Uncooked oats can also irritate your gastrointestinal tract and give a sensation of discomfort.