Oats are high in fiber and proteins but low on calories. They are a rich source of minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese. They also contain nutrients that are an excellent source of vitamin E.
In 1997, the FDA in the U.S.A. allowed oats to be sold with labels that markedly described the link between the consumption of oat and oat derivatives (oat bran, oat flour etc.) and the reduction of the risk of coronary disease.
This was the first time when oats came to be known as an important health food. They are inexpensive, readily available and easily digestible. Whether you have to prepare them at home or you want to have them at breakfast joints, oats are easy to make and one bowl of oatmeal will make up for all the important nutrients of your life.
In addition to the oats as a whole, research suggests that germ and bran of oats contain certain nutrients, one of which being Ferulic acid. The focus of research on this one component has revealed that it is beneficial in preventing the formation of certain cancer promoting compounds.
However, the major focus of attention drawn towards oats is their ability to reduce cholesterol and thereby reducing the risk of coronary heart diseases. After the initial boom of oats being a life saver, the subsequent studies gave results which were less dramatic and that caused the interest in the oats to fade.
But these same studies revealed the other benefits of oats along with their cholesterol reducing ability (though at a lower magnitude, yet considerable still). All the benefits mentioned above are a direct result of these subsequent studies and this is why, oats have again gained popularity as an important health food.
There are two more grains that belong to the oat family that are rich in nutrients as well. They are the ground flax-seed and the wheat germ, and two spoons of each every day, is optimum for health.