So, you are always in a hurry. But you still do your best to stay fit and healthy. And now you might be wondering if it’s perfectly fine to eat raw oats added to yogurt or milk whenever you are in a time crunch.
In general, you can eat raw oats with yogurt or milk. However, it’s a good idea to soak them in yogurt and milk overnight before consuming them. This will make it easier to digest raw oats. More importantly, soaking raw oats in yogurt and milk for a while will make their nutrient content more absorbable.
Love oats but hate that they take a while to cook in the microwave or on the stovetop? Don’t stop reading now!
Are Raw Oats Healthier Than Cooked Oats
Raw oats and cooked oats have the same nutritional profile. However, since cooked oats are easier to digest, the nutrients in them can be absorbed better. Meanwhile, besides being harder to digest, raw oats have phytic acid that can prevent the absorption of certain nutrients in oats and other food.
Experiencing nausea, stomach pain and feeling of fullness after every mealtime? Chances are that your stomach is not very good or efficient at processing what you eat, especially hard-to-digest ones.
If it seems like your stomach is not the best digester on the face of the planet, eat your oats cooked.
Eating raw oats will give your stomach a hard time doing its job. More importantly, it will give you discomfort for the next couple of hours. It’s true that store-bought oats have gone through processing in order to make them more digestible. However, cooked oats are so much easier to digest than raw oats.
The problem with failure to digest raw oats properly is that it will also keep your body from fully enjoying the many health perks that the regular addition of oats to the diet can bring.
Besides being difficult to digest, there is one more thing about raw oats that can prevent you from leveraging its consumption to your advantage: it has phytic acid. Some scientists refer to it as an anti-nutrient because it can inhibit the proper absorption of certain minerals, including iron, calcium and zinc — all of which are present in oats.
Needless to say, if you eat oats raw, the said minerals are pretty much useless due to phytic acid. As a matter of fact, regular intake of raw oats may lead to certain mineral deficiencies!
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But worry not because you can get rid of phytic acid in a couple of ways. First, you can cook raw oats — the longer you cook oats, the better phytic acid breaks down. Second, you can soak raw oats — the longer you soak oats, the more phytic acid becomes powerless as an anti-nutrient.
By cooking or soaking oats, you can enjoy all the perks that oats bring.
Which Oats Should You Eat Raw
Heavily processed oats such as instant, quick-cook, old-fashioned and rolled oats are safe to eat raw because they went through a steaming process, and are thus free of microbes. On the other hand, less-processed oats such as whole groats and steel-cut may carry disease-causing microorganisms.
Earlier, we established the fact that oats are best eaten cooked or soaked.
But in case you have no choice but to eat oats raw, it’s a good idea to choose which oats you will eat straight from the packaging. That’s because oats you can buy at the store are not cut from the same cloth — one look and it’s plain to see that different oats come in different shapes, sizes and textures, depending on the processing involved.
Everyone can agree that oats are some of the healthiest foods on the face of the planet. However, not a lot of people are aware of the fact that oats are processed food products.
This does not mean, however, that you should look for another go-to breakfast or snack. That’s because the processing involves only stuff such as cleaning, cutting, pressing and steaming.
Processing oats does not entail the addition of artificial flavorings, colorings and preservatives, which is the case with many unhealthy processed food items.
It’s exactly for the processing oats go through why it’s safe to eat them raw — steaming exposes them to high temperatures, which kills off any germs present.
However, it’s important to note that some oats are more processed than the rest. Less-processed ones do not go through a steaming process, which means that microbes in them remain alive and kicking. Some examples of less-processed oats include groats and steel-cuts oats. So, in other words, it’s risky to eat them raw.
Before you consume less-processed oats, cook them — the goal is to kill off bacteria in them with heat.
It goes without saying that it’s also not a good idea to soak less-processed oats like the rest. As a matter of fact, since germs love moisture, soaking less-processed oats may encourage them to grow and multiply.
What are Overnight Oats?
Overnight oats are a no-cook approach to eating oats. Instead of cooking oats in the microwave or on the stovetop (or pouring boiling water into the instant kind), they are soaked in a liquid, such as dairy milk, nut milk, yogurt and fruit juice, and stored in the refrigerator overnight.
Muesli is the original overnight oats — a cold oatmeal dish that consists of oats, nuts and yogurt. It was created in the early 1900s by Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a Swiss physician, in order to treat tuberculosis.
Today, tuberculosis is treated with antibiotics. Muesli, on the other hand, has been replaced by overnight oats.
Overnight oats are particularly popular among health- and weight-conscious individuals. It’s also popular among social media users as many of the various ways of presenting and serving overnight oats are picture-perfect. Depending on the soaking medium and added ingredients, overnight oats can be very healthy and delicious, too!
What’s really nice about overnight oats is that they are so easy to make. They are also time-saving meals since you can prepare them in advance, stash them in the fridge and come back to them when hungry.
There is also no need to get your hands on special or expensive equipment — you can use just about any bowl or mug, although a mason jar is recommended to keep refrigerator odors at bay. Needless to say, unlike many pre-packaged healthy meals you can buy online and offline, overnight oats are pocket-friendly.
Here are a few overnight oats recipes that will show you how easy it is to make them:
Sample recipe #1
- 1 cup of oats
- 1 cup of dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
- In a mason jar, combine oats and dairy milk.
- Add chia seeds and maple syrup and stir.
- Cover the jar and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Top with your favorite toppings and serve.
Sample recipe #2
- 1 cup of oats
- 1 cup of soy milk
- 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- Place oats and soy milk in a mason jar.
- Stir in plain yogurt, raisins and honey.
- Cover the jar and allow it to stay in the refrigerator overnight.
- Sprinkle some nuts on top and enjoy.
Sample recipe #3
- 1 cup of oats
- 1 cup of 100% natural apple juice
- 1 tablespoon of molasses
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- Combine oats and apple juice in a mason jar.
- Stir in yogurt.
- Add cinnamon powder and stir very well.
- Leave the jar in the refrigerator overnight after covering it.
- Top with mixed berries and serve.
Besides making overnight oats by soaking them in dairy milk, plant-based milk, yogurt or fruit juice, you may also add raw oats to various healthy foods and beverages.
For instance, they can be added to vegetable salads and soups. Raw oats can also be added to smoothies and protein shakes. Besides boosting the fiber and overall content, raw oats can also help improve the texture of beverages as well as satiety, which is great if you are trying to shed off excess pounds.
Just Before You Eat Raw Oats
Raw oats can be eaten, but it’s a good idea to soak them first in a liquid medium, such as milk and yogurt. This will make oats easier to digest, which results in better absorption of their nutrients.
Overnight oats are a great way to enjoy raw oats without downsides such as indigestion and nutritional deficiency.
What happens if you add oats to your diet regularly?
According to health authorities, regular intake of oats may help lower heart disease risk, which is the leading cause of death worldwide, by reducing bad cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure. Oats may also fend off obesity, which is another risk factor for heart disease.
Can oats make you look beautiful?
Using oats as an ingredient for a homemade face mask can help absorb excess oils. Oats also help to exfoliate the skin, which helps unclog the pores, prevent pimples and brighten the complexion. Thanks to their soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, oats may also help in the management of acne.