Known locally as “jau”, oats grow on the foothills of Himalayas, such as in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. References to its cultivation can be found in the epic Mahabharat. The Oats (Avena sativa L.), sometimes called Byzantine Oats, belong to the genus Avena of the family Poacéess (grass). Oats usually grow in temperate regions.
Among all the cereals, oat is one of the higher in fat: oats have a good composition of fatty acids, mainly unsaturated ones, with a low proportion of saturated fat. This why it is advised especially in winter, together with its warming properties .Oats are ideal for a low saturated fat and cholesterol diet. Lipids have a high rate of galactolipids, which could have a beneficial effect on our nervous system.
Various studies demonstrate that oats contain especially high amounts of β-glucan ( Beta-glucan) fibre, which possesses good properties for regulating glycemic blood and cholesterol level. Oats include soluble fibre, which may help to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease..
Proteins and antioxydants
Oats provide proteins with high nutritive quality with digestibility higher than 90%, biological value around 75% and net protein utilization of 70%. They are rich in tryptophan, involved in the production of serotonin and melatonin in humans. Moreover, instead of the more typical cereal prolamines gluten (in wheat) and also zein (in maize), oat prolamins are mainly avenins rendering them relatively safe for gluten allergics person. Finally, oats contain many antioxidants as avenanthramides, tocopherols and tocotriénols. Oats are also rich in minerals and vitamin B.