Superfood. Miracle. Whatever else people want market it as; these sorts of tactics serve only to obfuscate the facts. When it comes to overall health, the common oat is one of your best friends. Oatmeal, after all, is so much more than just food.
Oats have been a dietary staple for many countries to get their nutrition in various forms from porridge to ale, but it’s also used in health and beauty products as well. It’s easy to overlook the fact that most of the lotions and skin creams you can buy on the shelf contain oats. One popular brand, for example, takes its namesake directly from the scientific name for the common oat, as they use colloidal oats as one of the key ingredients in their products. It’s disappointing that most of them, however, surround this beneficial grain in a bath of chemical synthetics to formulate their lotions and body creams.
Expensive, inedible breakfast food.
Oats themselves are higher in protein and healthy fats, and lower in carbohydrates than most other whole grains, so it makes sense of why poor students would be able to live off of them for so long. Not to mention the fact that they contain more than 20 unique polyphenols (called avenantheamides), which have strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-itching qualities. Research has also shown that a diet that includes oats to help lower LDL (see: Bad) Cholesterol, and fight hunger by keeping you fuller longer. And being full means keeping your weight in check. It’s also been found that oats may help reduce the risk of health issues such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. But why stop there when an early introduction of oats in a child’s diet can reduce the risk of asthma; or the fact that the high beta-glucan count present stimulates the immune system and helps inhibit tumors.
4 out of 5 doctors agree: it’s kind of mushy.
One question remains, though. Why is everyone putting it in skincare products? First off, oatmeal is a natural moisturizer, as the beta-glucan and polysaccharides present form a fine film on your skin, while penetrating deep to restore moisture while also exfoliating dead skin cells. Due to the anti-inflammatory property of oats, they’re a great way to relieve itchiness, and beneficial for your dog’s skin as well. Oats ground into a fine powder are often used for this purpose, before being combined with water; these ground oats can also be used as a dry shampoo as they absorb excess oils and dirt on the scalp to reduce the appearance and feel of dirty hair. Oats have been used for thousands of years for treating eczema, poison ivy, insect bites and skin infections due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-itch properties, and now you can make it work for you with these recipes:
Mix up some oatmeal and honey, then add a dash of olive oil. For a wonderful aroma, add in a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Great for sensitive skin because of the gentle exfoliating properties, just make sure your sink can handle the roughage!
Dry weather got you down? Use ½ to 1 cup of finely ground outs to your bath tub as it fills with warm water, drop in some Lavender essential oil, then soak for 15-30 minutes to cleanse your skin, and lock in that much needed moisture. Makes for a great sunburn treatment.
There’s two ways to enjoy the moisturizing powers of Oatmeal. For starts, you can grind up two cups of dry oats, and then add a cup of lukewarm milk, and a tablespoon of honey. If you’re not a fan of measuring out honey, instead use 1 cup of ground oats, a mashed banana, and some lukewarm milk. Both recipes should be stirred until smooth and applied to your skin for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off with cold water.
With all these benefits, it’s no wonder why people go gaga over oatmeal these days. How do you use Oatmeal in your daily routine? Let us know in the comments!