Oats Through The Ages: The Origins Of This Timeless Superfood
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We frequently lose sight of what is truly healthy as health trends come and go, yet "oats" are still the most popular superfood. For years, this nutritious whole grain has been boosting our breakfast with tonnes of nutrition and taste. It's one of the few comfort dishes that tastes as nice as it looks. Oat has relatively humble beginnings, despite the fact that dietitians and health experts now recommend it and that its many recipes make it seem exotic to many. So, let's discover the history of oats and how they evolved into a staple around the world.

What Is Oat?

Animal feed and human consumption are two frequent uses for cereal grains like oats. These are frequently a part of a balanced diet since they are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and protein.

Rolled, steel-cut, and quick oats are just a few of the varieties of oats available. After the oat groats are steamed and flattened, they become rolled oats, which are the most popular kind. The oat groats are sliced into smaller pieces to make steel-cut oats, whereas instant oats are precooked and frequently flavoured with sugar and other ingredients. Oatmeal, granola, cookies, and bread are just a few of the foods that may be made using them. They are also utilised to thicken soups and stews.

The History Of Oats

Even while oats are highly recommended by dietitians and health experts these days and may seem lavish to many, oats really come from very humble beginnings. Oats, the final cereal grain to be domesticated by Western Civilization 3,000 years ago, originated from weeds that flourished in areas meant for other crops.

The World Porridge Making Championship is held in Carrbridge each year to celebrate the sacred meal known as oats, or porridge, in Scotland. The climate and topography of Scotland meant that, even if they did not cultivate oats initially, they were among the first to appreciate them. The earliest documented oats date to the 12th Dynasty in Egypt, which began approximately 2000 B.C., while the Chinese may have known about them much earlier. Oats have been consumed for thousands of years. On the other hand, oats were not highly valued or cultivated by the Egyptians, in contrast to wheat and barley.

It took another thousand years for the first efforts at oat production. On the other hand, people weren't particularly drawn to oats. The Greeks and Romans regarded them as foods fit for barbarians. The Romans used oats as cheap horse fodder because they thought they were inferior to wheat. The Germanic tribes that invaded the West Roman Empire and the Scots, whom the Romans never subdued, were among the populations that the elite denigrated for including oats in their diets. It almost appears as though the Romans should have eaten their oats after all. Nonetheless, almost all oats cultivated commercially are still farmed for animal feed rather than for human consumption, even today.

Thanks to the Romans, oats were brought to Britain, where the temperature was perfect for growing the grain, especially in Scotland. Oats quickly gained popularity as a national dish, along with haggis, which also contains oats.

Nutritional Benefits Of Oats

Rich in vital vitamins, minerals, and fibre, oats are a complete grain that is full of nutrients. Manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron are among their most abundant elements, together with being a great source of soluble fibre that lowers cholesterol and increases satiety, according to the journal, Current Opinion in Food Science. Beta-glucan is another kind of soluble fibre that is well-known for its heart-healthy properties. Moreover, antioxidants included in oats aid in the body's fight against inflammation and oxidative stress.

A great breakfast option for encouraging fullness and avoiding mid-morning cravings, oats deliver a steady delivery of energy. A good option for people with diabetes or insulin resistance, oats' soluble fibre helps control blood sugar levels. The fibre level of oats has been linked to better digestive health as well because it promotes regular bowel motions and a balanced gut microbiota.