The Incredible Benefits Of Overnight Soaked OatsLuke Coutinho
We often speak to you about how every aspect of your health revolves around your gut. Your gut health is not limited to cases of constipation, irritated bowel syndrome (IBS), acidity, or bloating. When you have a health or lifestyle condition that affects your heart, liver, lungs, brain, blood, hair, or skin – it involves your gut. And any recovery or health plan that does not focus on your gut health will not work or give you sustainable results and relief. We have done many videos and articles on powerful foods to build good gut health. One such microbiome-friendly food that we want to draw your attention to is overnight soaked oats.
What makes overnight soaked oats so powerful? Resistant starch.
We know what most of you think the minute you read the word – starch. “Oh, starch makes me fat. Rice and potatoes are rich in them and make me put on weight.” Stop right there. Remember, some islands consume potatoes at every meal. Some countries eat rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Does this mean everyone is fat and sick? Instead of blaming food, it is high time we start paying attention to our sedentary lifestyle, greed, gluttony, overeating, and portion size, among other factors.
What is resistant starch?
Remember, not all of the starch you consume is digested. Certain starches are resistant to digestion and pass through your digestive tract without breaking down. In other words, these are resistant to digestion and therefore called resistant starch. While cooked oats are also rich in resistant starch, raw oats are much more powerful.
This resistant starch travels to our large intestine and begins to feed the friendly or good bacteria in our gut microbiome and help diversify their population. These good microbes do all the marvelous work in your body from maintaining optimum digestive health, controlling and boosting your serotonin levels, keeping disease-causing bacteria at bay, and strengthening your immune function. 80% of your immunity lies in your gut.
Once the bacteria in your large intestine digest it, they transform this resistant starch into a byproduct called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).
SCFAs have two roles in the colon:
- SCFAs feed the healthy cells in your colon and strengthen its walls. A weak colon wall makes you vulnerable to allergies, inflammation, and a whole range of gut and colon issues (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, IBS, colorectal cancers, etc.) One of the main SCFAs that nourishes the cells in your colon is butyrate.
- Are you struggling with constipation? SCFAs help you push out the excess waste or fecal matter stuck in your system by working as a mild and natural laxative. Constipation is not just about hopping from one laxative to another until you reach bowel dependence. Adding the right gut-friendly, fiber-rich foods and staying hydrated is crucial. Doing this in the right quantity produces SCFAs that do the job that you rely on laxatives and medications for.
Did you know SCFAs also nourish the liver tissues and deliver enzymes? So it is powerful for those with non-alcoholic fatty liver, cirrhosis, liver cancers, and other related conditions. SCFAs also play a big role in your kidney and brain health.
How do you make overnight soaked oats?
It is simple. Start by getting good quality and ethically sourced oats. Shop for them here. Do not use ready or instant oats that you can cook in two minutes. Use uncooked, rolled, or jumbo rolled oats. It takes you like three to four minutes to make the previous night.
All you need to do is use the serving size you want. Wash the oats and soak them overnight. You can soak them in anything – A2 milk or A2 yogurt. If you are vegan, you can opt for almond milk, rice milk, or nut milk. You can even soak the oats in water overnight and store them in the fridge.
Now in a separate bowl, soak the nuts and seeds of your choice (almonds, pistachios, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.)
Overnight oats have high resistant starch because they are uncooked. Cooked oats also have resistant starch, but the process reduces its quantity by almost half. But if you do not like raw oats, you can even cook them. You will get slightly less resistant starch.
Here is a must-try recipe from our holistic recipe corner.
Breakfast Oat Groats – Turbocharge your morning routine
- ½ cup gluten-free oat groats
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 cup almond milk (optional)
- A pinch of Sri Lankan rolled cinnamon
- 2 tsp chia seeds, soaked
- 1 tsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp pumpkin and sunflower seeds, soaked
- 2 tsp almonds, cashews, walnuts, soaked
- Heat water in a saucepan. Once it comes close to boiling, add oats to it.
- Stir the oats into the simmering water. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally until the mixture is very thick.
- Continue to simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally and reducing heat when necessary to prevent scorching on the bottom until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. (If you have doubled the recipe, your oatmeal might need an extra 5 minutes of cooking time).
- The oatmeal will be very creamy once done.
- Remove from heat and add in any mix-ins of your choice (cinnamon, raw cacao)
- Let the oatmeal rest for 5 minutes before serving. So, it has more time to thicken and cool down at a palatable temperature.
- Once it cools down a bit, add 1 cup of almond milk.
- Add toppings of seeds and nuts and relish warm.
- Overnight oats are a filling and complete meal that helps you keep a three to four-hour gap between each meal without any snacking, which works for your blood sugar levels. Using yogurt, milk, nuts, and seeds ensures you get your protein in small quantities.
Overnight oats are a filling and complete meal that helps you keep a three to four-hour gap between each meal without any snacking, which works for your blood sugar levels. Using yogurt, milk, nuts, and seeds ensures you get your protein in small quantities.
Local vs global – The big oat debate
Many people say oats are useless because they are not local. They assume because these are used as feed for cattle and animals in many parts of the country, why should people have them. Just because an ingredient is not native to your region does not make it bad. Many fruits and vegetables today are not local. Yes, eating locally is good. But it is not everything. We need to open our minds and embrace foods from other cultures that could benefit our health. Read more about my thoughts on eating local versus global here.
Besides, oats are rich in beta-glucan, a soluble fiber with tremendous health benefits for your immune system. Its role in helping with cancers and tumors is widely studied. But does this mean eating oats is going to take away your cancer? No. Cancer is a multifactorial disease that needs a multi-factorial approach. But the beta-glucan in oats can help you manage your disease better.
The benefits of adding oats to your lifestyle in a nutshell
- It is a heart-friendly food that lowers your bad cholesterol (LDL) and reduces your risk of strokes and other cardiovascular conditions.
- It regulates bowel movements and prevents constipation.
- It helps stabilize blood sugar levels and improve insulin insensitivity. The high fiber content and complex carbs avoid sudden spikes or falls in blood sugar levels.
- It helps reduce the risk of tumors and hormone-related cancers.
- Loaded with magnesium, it regulates your blood pressure and helps manage hypertension. It boosts enzyme function and energy levels.
- This low-calorie food keeps you satiated and curbs cravings, aiding weight loss.
- It boosts your immunity. The beta-glucan in oats helps white blood cells reach areas of infection in your body quicker and eliminate the disease-causing bacteria.
We hope this can inspire you to explore the power of overnight soaked oats.
Do you have more overnight oats recipes that you follow? Feel free to drop your recipe in the comment section. We love connecting with you and learning from people around the world.
Disclaimer: If you have a health or lifestyle condition where your healthcare provider has advised you to avoid having oats or milk, or you have a food allergy, make an informed decision. Avoid it if it does not suit you.
ALSO WATCH: The Power Of Overnight Soaked Oats
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