Can you eat oats raw?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat oats raw, what are oats, what are the benefits of eating oats raw, what are the risks of eating raw oats and how can you add raw oats to your diet. 

Can you eat oats raw?

Oats are considered safe to eat raw but in high amounts they can lead to constipation, they can build-up in your stomach, or lead intestinal blockage. Also, raw oats have phytic acid, which can bind to some minerals such as zinc and iron and make them impossible to absorb. 

What are oats?

Oats or also known as Avena Sativa. Is a type of whole grain or cereal that is part of the Poaceae grass family. Oat refers specifically to the edible seed of oat grass. 

According to the FDA, oats are a very healthy whole grain that has been studied for centuries and are linked to reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and other health benefits. 

Oats are an excellent source of 

  • Insoluble fiber
  • Soluble fiber
  • Phosphorus
  • Thiamine
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc

There are several types of oats that can be found in the market. The difference between these types of oats is how they are processed. 

  • Oat Groats are the whole oat kernels with just the inedible hulls removed. They have intact germ, endosperm, and bran.
  • Steel-cut or Irish: Oat groats have been cut about two or three smaller pieces.
  • Scottish oats: Oat groats have been stone-ground. 
  • Rolled or old-fashioned: Oat groats have been steamed, rolled, and flatted into flakes. Moisture is removed so it can last for longer. 
  • Quick or instant: Rolled or old-fashioned oats have been steamed for a longer time and rolled into smaller pieces so they can absorb water easily. Quick o instant oats are the ones that can have added ingredients such as sugar and flavors. 

What are the benefits of eating oats raw?

Raw oats are very healthy and can add a huge quantity of benefits if eaten every day. Some health benefits of raw oats include

  • They are very nutritious
  • Whole oats have a huge amount of antioxidants
  • Beta-glucan is a super fiber found in oats
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes
  • Improve blood sugar levels
  • Excellent to control hunger
  • Might reduce the risk of childhood asthma
  • Relieve constipation
  • Promote weight loss

What are the risks of eating raw oats?

Eating raw oats have some risk that you must be aware of such as

Heat increase some nutritional content in oats

According to a study published by Harvard. When oats are cooked, they can release some nutrients that the body can digest. This is because oats have a huge amount of fiber where a lot of nutrients are found and fiber is not always digested by our body. 

Raw oats can cause intestinal blockage

Oats have a huge amount of fiber, especially uncooked oats or raw oats. Raw oats in high amounts can cause intestinal blockage, indigestion, bloating, gas, constipation, and general discomfort. If you are planning to include raw oats in your diet, try to eat them in small amounts. 

Raw oats may lead to reduce the absorption of some nutrients

Raw oats have phytic acid. This compound can bind to some minerals, especially iron, zinc, and calcium, and prevent them from being absorbed by your digestive tract. Also, phytic acid blocks the production of some enzymes which make oats harder to digest. 

This is why oats are normally soaked, sprout, fermented, or cooked. The best way to remove phytic acid from oats is to let them soak for 12 hours overnight. Instant oats have less concentration of phytic acid. 

How can you add raw oats to your diet?

Raw oats can be added in many ways to your diet. Some ideas include:

  • Use them as topping for your favorite greek yogurt
  • Add them to your protein smoothie
  • Add them to your salad
  • Make some overnight oats 

Overnight oats are an excellent way to enjoy raw oats. For overnight oats, you let them soak overnight in water or milk, which reduces the amount of phytic acid. 

Follow this link for the overnight oats recipe.

Conclusion

This article answered: can you eat oats raw, what are oats, what are the benefits of eating oats raw, what are the risks of eating raw oats and how can you add raw oats to your diet. 

Citation

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/raw-oats#downsides

https://www.livestrong.com/article/412378-is-eating-uncooked-oatmeal-healthy/

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