5 Vitamins and Minerals for a healthy immune system

‘Immunity’ is the latest buzz word. From the time this novel virus has made its way into our lives, everyone is concerned about their immune system. People are discussing this healthcare jargon as if it were a newly introduced health agenda. It has always been of prime importance when it comes to leading a disease-free life. 

But do they really know the actual meaning of the term ‘Immunity?’. Ok, so let us break this to you.

Immunity is the ability of our body to protect itself and provide resistance from infectious and toxic threats.

How does our body develop this ability? With the help of a functioning immune system, the body produces specific antibodies to fight against the external invaders. Antibodies are proteins which bind to the foreign materials and counteract their actions. 

At large,the immune system is composed of special organs, cells and chemicals that fight infection. The main parts of the immune system are: white blood cells (WBCs), antibodies, the complement system, the lymphatic system, the spleen, the thymus, and the bone marrow. 

Operation of each and every organ system of our body is dependent on a continuous supply of nutrients (vitamins and minerals), either through food or supplementation. 

Here are 5 important vitamins and minerals required for smooth working of the immune system, 

  1. Good quality protein 

Amino acids are building blocks of proteins and all the essential amino acids should be ensured from the foods we eat because the body cannot synthesize them. These essential amino acids work by producing and activating the antibodies and helps in fighting off infections (1).  Good quality clean protein in the form of free range animal meat (‘Clean protein’- free range animals raised without injected hormones, antibiotics or other chemicals), unpasteurized, locally procured dairy products (milk, curd) provide all the essential amino acids. 

  1. Vitamin D

Also known as the ‘sunshine’ vitamin, it is considered as the most important immunonutrient. Vitamin D has been used (unknowingly) to treat infections before the advent of effective antibiotics. So much so that Cod liver oil, a rich source of vitamin D has also been employed as a treatment for tuberculosis as well as for general increased protection from infections (2). Owing to the current situations of being locked down at our places, making it difficult to get our daily quota of vitamin D via sunlight exposure, deficiency of this utterly important immunity-building nutrient ought to occur. So tribe, make sure you take your daily doses of Vitamin D.

  1. B-complex vitamins 

Vitamin B-complex is a group of nutrients belonging to the B family. Of this family, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, Folate, B12 are the ones significantly. In general, B-complex vitamins function by energizing the body, regulating biological responses, making new red blood cells, transporting oxygen throughout the body, reducing the risk of anemia, thereby imparting the immune system adequate strength and operating optimally against attackers.

  1. Magnesium 

Production and activity of the different immune cells are affected by the availability of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is associated with impaired function of the different immune responses which affect the immune status of your body (3). 

Moreover, one of the most important roles of Mg is assisting the conversion of Vitamin D to its active form, therefore contributing to improved immunity.

  1. Zinc 

Zinc is known to play a central role in the immune system, and zinc-deficient people experience increased susceptibility to a variety of pathogens. Zinc is crucial for normal development and function of cells mediating immune responses such as neutrophils and natural killer cells(4). 

These nutrients hold great promise in improving the immune status of our body and preventing infectious viral/bacterial diseases. However, a healthy immune system doesn’t happen by accident. Everyday dietary habits directly affect how protected the body is and it is dependent on a balance of all minerals and vitamins.

References: 

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17403271/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/
  3. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J053v02n03_07?journalCode=wzni20
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9701160/#:~:text=It%20is%20clear%20that%20zinc,neutrophils%20and%20natural%20killer%20cells
About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
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Thrive’s 6 week Post-COVID Care Solution

What is Post-COVID syndrome (PCS)?


In the past year, we have seen many people are facing long-lasting health effects of COVID-19. There are several health issues that we have seen persist more than four weeks after being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19; collectively known as Post-COVID Syndrome (PCS). Also known as Long COVID these symptoms can appear even weeks after infection.

What Causes Post-COVID Syndrome?

Post-COVID syndrome is largely attributed to direct attack by the virus, low blood oxygen levels, cytokine storm (causing a great deal of inflammation throughout the body), nutrient depletion and blood clots that might clog different organs. 

People with long COVID report experiencing different combinations of the following symptoms across different organ systems:

Post-COVID gastrointestinal symptoms: Problems with nutrient absorption, Loss of smell or taste, nausea, abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite, persistent diarrhoea.

Post-COVID respiratory symptoms: Tiredness or fatigue, Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, Vomiting, Cough, Fever.

Post-COVID Cardiovascular symptoms: Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations), Chest pain, Chronic fatigue, Abnormal heart rate, Chest pain, High blood pressure.

Post-COVID neurological symptoms: Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as ‘brain fog’), Headache, Dizziness on standing.

Post-COVID kidney and liver damage.

This syndrome can also include multi-organ conditions that occur after COVID-19, like multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) and autoimmune conditions. MIS is a condition where different body parts can become swollen. Autoimmune conditions happen when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing painful swelling in the affected parts of the body.

PCS is not limited to those who had a severe case of COVID. Even patients who have had minor bouts with COVID may continue to experience generalized fatigue, brain fog and other issues.

Thrive’s 6 week PCS Care Solution

Addressing these health issues requires a multidisciplinary approach that has been used by Thrive’s long before COVID. We are bringing that same approach to patients who are facing the complicated aftereffects of COVID, with Thrive’s Post-COVID Recovery Program - PCS Care

Our expert team is dedicated to guiding you through every step of the Post-COVID Syndrome recovery. With PCS Care, we tailor your care plan to address specific aftereffects of COVID you are experiencing.

  1. Based on a thorough assessment from blood tests, symptomatic analysis and prior health history, we get a full picture of the patient’s current health status
  2. Corrective action through personalized food and nutrient plan to correct deficiencies, prevent cytokine storms and clots, reverse inflammation, and calmly boost the immune system without aggravating it.
  3. Use food, herbs and nutrients to bring back energy levels and eliminate post-COVID fatigue
  4. Harness other modalities such as meditation, breath work, sunlight exposure to bring back mental acuity and improve cognitive function (most people experience brain fog)
  5. Real time support and hand holding via whatsapp/ calls
  6. Assessment at end of 6 weeks to provide roadmap for future

Duration: 6 WEEKS

Price: INR 14,999

Reach out to us on 7796692504 (Call/WhatsApp) and email your blood tests to analysis@thrivefnc.com

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5 things Doctors don’t want you to know (About their knowledge of Nutrition)

As doctors keep your problems confidential, they often also keep their problems a secret to the outside world. If they let you know their every thought, you might trust them less. They are not experts for every health problem, especially when it comes to lifestyle diseases. These are chronic, food-driven conditions and can be reversed, if dealt with closely. 

Here are top 5 things your doctor does not want you to know about their Nutrition knowledge.

  1. Not specialists in Nutrition science

This fact stands true and proves that doctors have a dearth of Nutrition knowledge- Education/ training in nutrition. A doctor, throughout his course of MBBS or the other related courses, undergoes approx 2-hours training on the subject of Nutrition. Quite less as compared to a full-blown Nutrition degree program!

Nutrition and Dietetics programs typically involve either 3‐year Bachelor’s and 2‐year Master’s level training to develop competence and enable accreditation in providing dietary counselling services and medical nutrition therapy to patients. It is therefore understandable that doctors report having a lack of confidence and knowledge or indeed the complex skills required for effective, person‐centered nutrition counselling.

ThriveFNC’s is a team of qualified Functional Nutritionists who’ve excelled in their work by helping people reverse their chronic, debilitating lifestyle conditions and giving them a deep hope of living healthy.

  1. Root cause analysis 

Doctors often order medical (blood) tests and fail to address them optimally. By giving just a superficial look at  the deranged tests, they try to fix the problem primarily with medications and at best with their super-speedy-general dietary advice.

Your blood report is the way your body speaks. It reveals the overall internal health and helps you find out a lot of information and processes that might be going wrong inside the body. At ThriveFNC, a thorough blood report analysis forms the very first step of finding the root causes of all the lifestyle- related problems followed by a detailed explanation of the same.

(Click on the link to know what CBC tell you about your health: https://www.thrivefnc.com/blog/things-you-need-to-know-about-cbc/)

It sometimes also happens that your doctor might give you a mis-diagnosis or an extreme diagnosis while the problem is totally due to faulty eating and lifestyle practices. So you should really be aware of whom you put your trust when trying to deal with lifestyle problems.

  1. Time constraints

On an average a doctor does not spend more than 5 minutes with his patients. Dietary and lifestyle plans in just 5 minutes? Does not sound like a disease-healing plan! Although patients trust their doctor and hold their advice in high regard, their doctor might not have the time and skills to effectively communicate optimal diet advice that can enable their patients to make behavioral change.

  1. One-on-one healing approach

Your doctor may not really have time for diet counselling because it requires proper intervention and one-on-one connection in order to counsel people with correct dietary choices. This can only be done by expert nutrition coaches who spend time onto and have relevant experience of coaching and counseling people.

Our coaches are expert Functional Nutritionists and follow an one-on-one healing approach to reversing lifestyle problems as opposed to a 5-minute generalised advice by a doctor.

One thing that we have discovered and your doctors definitely do not want you to know is that one-on-one healing approach involves bio-individuality which is the most sustainable way of addressing and treating any health issue.

  1. Medications create a havoc, until absolutely necessary

Doctors are pundits when it comes to suppressing symptoms of a health problem. They think by waving the magic wand of prescribing various drugs, they are doing good if not the best to help the patient. This is, however, deteriorating conditions all the more because lifestyle diseases can easily be treated, or even reversed with a dietary regimen alone.

Long-term intake of certain drugs, for e.g NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) cause hormonal imbalances, massive gut health issues which further result in poor immunity.

One of the main objectives of nutrition coaches at ThriveFNC is to bring down and eventually stop the use of medications with its tailor-made protocols.

ThriveFNC is a functional nutrition based healing approach which involves a holistic and comprehensive process of dietary and lifestyle protocols, which makes it possible for us to heal all the modern day diseases efficiently. With our unique, real time response and one-on-one strategies, ThriveFNC holds and stands by the ‘disease-reversal’ claim adeptly.

About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
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Avocado Salsa

PREP: 10 MINS

LEVEL: EASY
SERVES: 3-4 PEOPLE

Ingredients:

-3 large, ripe Avaocados (diced)

-400 grams cherry/ regular ripe tomatoes (quartered)

-1-2 small onions (chopped)

-1/2 cup fresh coriander (finely chopped)

-1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds (optional)

-1-2 medium Jalapenos (seeded and minced)

-1 lemon

-1/2 tsp fine sea salt/ rock salt

Directions:

Step 1

In a large serving bowl, combine all of the ingredients as listed.

Step 2

Gently toss to combine. Do not over-mix or the avocados will turn everything green.

Step 3

Taste and add more salt if it does not taste quite spectacular enough.

Step 4

Serve promptly, as the avoados will turn brown over time.

To sotre leftovers, try to minimize the amount of oxygen by using a container that is just the right size. This way, it will be fresh in the refrigertor for 1-2 days.

Health Benefits:

This recipe is a easy to prepare, quick snack item to satisfy your hunger in a healthy way. Avocados are nutrient-dense fruit packed with healthy fats, fiber, Vitamin K, folate, Vitamin B6 and Potassium. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory and anioxidant properties. Use of other ingredients also add on to health benefits and improving flavour profile of the dish. 

Note: For maximum nutrition, organic ingredients should be used.



Recipe Created By Team Thrive

One of Thrive’s biggest focus to teach anyone how to harness the healing power of food. In order to this, we have been creating innovative and delicious recipes that are filling, tasty and full of healing benefits. This one is just one of those recipes. 

3 crucial steps in the process of Thrive

Thrive uses Functional Nutrition as your healing foundation to ensure that partnering with us gives you the roadmap for a sustainable health and wellness journey for life. It’s one of our core values to offer stellar disease reversal and wellness service to our clients by making their journey completely personalised, and aided by a comprehensive support system. 

With the help of these 3 crucial steps, your health journey with Thrive becomes like no other:

Thrive is an expert when it comes to reversing chronic lifestyle diseases because it starts with finding all the possible root causes of that disease. We go beyond treating your symptoms, by getting to the cause of the disease; ensuring that our treatment doesn’t stop till all the root causes are worked upon comprehensively, thus assuring you a symptom-free life.

Every client is assigned a personal health coach, who not only tracks your day to day journey, but also advises you in dealing with real time, lifestyle challenges. Our coaches become your therapists, not just for your health, but for your overall mental and emotional journey. Our focus is on becoming the support system that most people lack. We go beyond your blood work data, to create a strong relationship of trust, knowledge sharing and emotional support. Our coaches guide you, lift you up on difficult days, and ensure that you achieve your health goals.This unique, one-one-one approach of healing keeps you motivated, all day, everyday!

Thrive gives you the whole wellness package with Functional Nutrition, mental wellness guidance, lifestyle change tips, delicious and simple diet guides, community connections with other Thrive clients, and special events like free workout sessions with fitness experts. We empower you with every resource that helps you own your body in the most sustainable way. With its holistic care involving the power of FOOD and mind-body-soul healing, Thrive makes you a warrior, being able to swiftly go through any health crises in life.

About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
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Egg Bhurji

PREP: 10 MINS
COOK: 10 MINS
LEVEL: EASY
SERVES: 1 PEOPLE

Ingredients:

-2 Eggs

-1 Onion

-1 Tomato

-1 green chilli

-1 tsp Ginger-garlic paste

-1tsp Ghee

-1 tsp Corainder leaves

Directions:

Step 1

Heat ghee in a pan and add chopped green chilli, onion to it and sautee until they turn golden brown. Meanwhile, break the eggs and whisk them thoroughly.

Step 2

Add tomatoes, spices (turmric, red chili powder according to your taste) to the mixture and mix well. Cover the pan with a lid for the tomatoes to soften. Now add the whisked egg mixture and mix again. 

Step 3

Keep stirring the egg until they are scrambled well.

Step 4

Switch off the heat once they look mostly cooked. Do not wait until they are completely cooked or else the bhurji will become too dry.

Health Benefits:

This is an easy to prepare recipe. Eggs are a source of complete protein along with other important nutrients like Vitamin A, Slelenium, Choline and healthy fats. Addition of spices adds to the taste and improves the overall flavour profile of the recipe.



Recipe Created By Team Thrive

One of Thrive’s biggest focus to teach anyone how to harness the healing power of food. In order to this, we have been creating innovative and delicious recipes that are filling, tasty and full of healing benefits. This one is just one of those recipes. 

5 ways Thrive can help you regain your health

Thrive is a whole lot more than Functional Nutrition. It helps you improve not only your physical health, but provides you with an ultimate, life-changing experience which makes you want to love your body, for your body is a temple you should worship. Here are 5 ways Thrive can help you recreate an optimal health like no other.

  1. Root cause analysis

Treatment of any health condition requires going to the depth of what is actually causing it. Just checking the symptoms can be misleading in some cases, but your blood reports never lie. At Thrive, we dig deep into finding all the possible root causes of all your deranged parameters and fix them in a way that is sustainable. But how?? Read the next sections.

  1. Individual-specific approach

Giving out food advice without considering individual makeup is a big No-No. It’s a well known but often overlooked fact that diseases don’t happen overnight. They creep up and become the silent killers that lifestyle diseases are known to be. These diseases affect every person differently and needless to say this individual-specific approach has been working the best for the overall healing of clients at Thrive.

  1. Going beyond coaching

At Thrive, the Functional Nutritionists are beyond coaches because coaching at Thrive comes with all the necessary hand holding that is needed in order to follow the steps needed to achieve your desired health goal. Your health coaches, at some point, become your therapists during an emotional setback; Your friend when you want to share something new. They will support you with whatever that is drawing you away from your health goal.

  1. Real time response

The 3-month health journey with Thrive is a ‘No- prior appointment’ event. To put it in short, When in doubt, call Thrive. Real time response is the USP of Thrive. We believe that working towards your health should be an effortless experience and we are all in with you in this. Let’s say, a party is coming up where you are awaited eagerly and this becomes an unavoidable situation. In such cases, you can immediately contact your health coach and he/she will guide you to choose the best suited foods available without letting you compromise on your social life. Sounds cool, right!

  1. Mind, body, soul healing

This is the most significant part of signing up with Thrive for regaining your health. Everyone is made to be disease-free and it is each and every person’s sole right to lead a disease free life. It is impossible to bring changes in the physical symptoms if your mind and soul are not brought together. A holistic approach to bring about an overall healing. Meditating and reading books that would assist in calming your mind and soul forms an integral part of the comprehensive care provided at Thrive.

About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
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Can I eat animal protein with CVDs, Gout and Kidney dysfunctions?

Consumption of animal protein is a hot eating trend, and many people have reported significant benefits after adopting this pattern of eating.

This may lead to some of you to wonder- Is it healthy to eat only meat in the long term? There are allegations that animal protein intake is associated with incidences of Gout, Kidney dysfunctions and also something as worse as heart diseases. Is this all true? Well, not really.

So let’s start with this absolutely fallacy that correlates increase in animal protein consumption with Gout. (A painful, inflammatory disorder in which too much uric acid in the body crystallises and forms deposits in the joints). Uric acid is basically a breakdown product of a protein- Purine, which is present in red meat and other animal-based proteins. So, according to the conventional, lazy school of thought, the best advice would be to avoid animal protein completely. There is, however, a problem with this logic (of a low purine diet) because over 90% of elevated uric acid is due to impaired clearance, and not overproduction of uric acid (1).

While it is the kidney’s function to clear out this waste material (uric acid), reduced clearance is generally a result of yet another problem which is Insulin Resistance. Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, body fat and liver start resisting or ignoring the signal that the hormone insulin is trying to send out—which is to grab glucose out of the bloodstream and put it into our cells. This further leads to ever-increasing levels of Insulin in your blood as the brain recognizes this ignorance as lack of insulin. These elevated levels of insulin impair the kidney’s ability to do its job. Hence, evidence suggests that most cases of gout are a result of this metabolic dysregulation (hyperinsulinemia) and metabolic syndrome as well (2). 

Relooking at the standard dietary recommendations for gout – A Low Purine Diet – it might be wise to question this approach because low purine foods are mostly carbohydrate-based: cereals, bread, pasta, flour, sugar, and fruit. These cause insulin spikes far greater than what animal protein does. And just as low cholesterol diets have a trivial effect on serum cholesterol, low purine diets have a negligible impact on uric acid levels.

Also,  we’d like to draw your attention to the fact that Gout is unknown in Eskimos despite their purine-rich diet (3). Definitely worth thinking about right?

What about the extra load on the kidneys then? 

The changes in kidney function as a result of a high protein diet are expected and normal. These adaptive mechanisms are well within the functional duties of the kidneys. But aren’t high levels blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and Creatinine as a consequence of increased animal protein consumption? They sure are. 

Nevertheless, people with higher muscular content, when coupled with a high protein diet, have their Creatinine levels on a little higher side too. As creatinine is a waste product produced by muscles from the breakdown of a compound called creatine.

Also high levels of BUN do not necessarily indicate kidney dysfunction. BUN levels usually increase on a high protein diet as it is a surrogate of how much protein you are eating.

If you are really concerned about a high protein diet and kidney health, instead of just looking at creatinine alone which can be “falsely elevated”, get a Cystatin-C GFR test done. 

Cystatin C is a protein produced in the body. The levels are kept just right in normal conditions. It can be a problem when the levels of cystatin C go too high, as it is indicative of your kidneys not functioning not functioning properly.

In fact, research on patients with chronic kidney disease shows that reducing relative fat intake and increasing the protein intake may be beneficial for kidney functioning rather than deriving calories from a high fat, low protein diet (4). 

Also, all of of you with normal functioning kidneys, a high protein diet would prevent you from end stage renal disease (ESRD) (4).

Another disease which people fear the most when it comes to animal protein consumption is the occurrence of a heart disease (Heart disease or diseases are a group of ailments related to compromised functioning of the heart), also known as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).

A variety of conditions occurring as a result can be- Atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart attack and something as worse as heart failure.

Now there's good evidence and explanation that when atherosclerosis does occur, it is almost always in the setting of insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction. Insulin resistance reduces the ability of our body to clear circulating lipids, viz., triglycerides and free fatty acids. Hypertriglyceridemia has the strongest correlation with CVDs among the five components of the metabolic syndrome (5).

Long story short, animal protein does not trigger heart issues, neither does it trigger kidney dysfunction. We hope this article has answered your questions, in case you still have lingering doubts, feel free to reach out to us! 

References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23370375/ 
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17466656/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1831365/pdf/canmedaj00812-0101.pdf 
  4. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa379/6132001?redirectedFrom=fulltext 
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2639785/#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20most%20devastating,and%20mortality%20among%20diabetic%20patients.
  6. https://www.kevinstock.io/health/high-protein-diets/
  7. https://www.marksdailyapple.com/will-red-meat-cause-your-heart-to-explode/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3975080/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18235143/
About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
LIKE WHAT YOU'VE READ?
Sign up for free updates delivered straight to your inbox
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Everything you need to know about Oats- from types and nutrients to anti-nutrients

Oats, scientifically known as Avena sativa, is a type of cereal grain present in the Poaceae grass family of plants. The grain refers specifically to the edible seeds of oat grass. Although it might be hated by some for its gooey texture upon cooking, oats are often prized for their nutritional value, health benefits and the various ways of preparation. Oats are edible seeds of the plant, of which the hulls or husks are removed and hence called as the oat groats/ kernel. The different varieties of oats start out as oat kernels and vary in the extent of processing techniques and somewhat in their nutrient profiling too. Oats can be modified and consumed in the following ways:

Oatmeal- Oatmeal is a type of coarse flour made of hulled oat groats and consequently a meal made using the same.

Overnight oats- This is a quick, easy no-cook solution of eating oats. All you have to do is Add sufficient amounts of water for oats to soak overnight without fully absorbing all of the liquid and draining the remaining liquid and rinsing the oats before eating.

Oat flour- These are oats that have been ground to a flour-like consistency.

There are different types of oats which you can see on the supermarket shelves, viz.,

Steel cut oats are somewhat similar to the unprocessed oat groats. Whole oat kernels are turned into pieces using large steel blades. These oats have a coarser, chewier texture and nuttier flavor than rolled or quick oats and also take longer to prepare (15-30 minutes).

Scottish oats are those that have been stone-ground into a meal, creating a porridge-like texture when cooked. Stoneground flour is whole grain flour produced by the traditional process of grinding grain between two millstones.

Rolled oats are formed when whole oat groats are steamed, rolled and flattened into flakes, and then dried to remove moisture. These techniques make rolled oats shelf-stable. They have a milder flavor and softer texture and take 2–5 minutes to prepare.

Quick oats or instant oats are those that are even more processed than the latter two. These are partially cooked by steaming and then rolled even thinner than rolled oats. They cook very quickly and have a mild flavor and a soft, mushy texture.

Nutritionally, oats are packed with Beta-glucan, a soluble fiber component which is generally the major contributor for its weight loss claims. Whole grain oats contain a considerable amount of valuable nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and micronutrients such as vitamin E, folate, zinc, iron, selenium, copper, manganese, carotenoids, betaine and choline. 

Whilst it has a good nutrient profile and can be considered as ‘fit for health’, it has a high glycemic index. It simply means that your blood sugar levels spike up immediately after its consumption.

Moreover, the most important factor to be considered is the antinutrient content. Oats contain phytic acid which interferes with nutrient absorption and causes gastric disturbances (bloating, gas). However, the amount of this antinutrient can be lowered by soaking oats and discarding the water before eating.

The best way to reduce phytic acid in oats is by opting for overnight oats or soaking the oats with a dash of acid- apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the soaking liquid and you will have a delicious batch of no-cook oatmeal that is ready to eat.

Oats are also found to produce a series of phytochemicals (compounds produced by plants for their protection) which are Saponins(1). Saponins are naturally produced as foam-producing compounds by many plants. Due to the bitterness, throat-irritating and inhibitory activity of saponins, they are considered to be ‘antinutrients’. However, greatest amounts of saponins are lost during soaking in salt water followed by pressure cooking. (Read more about Saponins: https://www.thrivefnc.com/blog/plant-antinutrients-saponins/)

Flavone-C-glycosides are yet another plant defense mechanism which is present in abundant quantities in the oat plants (2). These defense mechanisms basically work to deter larger animals for which some plants have sharp spines or thorns, while others have leaves that sting or are bitter to taste.

Owing to their supposed nutritional value, oat-based food products like breads, biscuits, cookies, probiotic drinks, breakfast cereals, flakes and infant food are gaining increasing consideration. These preparations also contain additives, binders, preservatives, and other chemicals which almost destroy the various benefits associated with consuming oats.

If oats have topped your favourites’ list or you are someone who wants to give them a try then eat them in their plain and natural form, do look for gluten free oats and always soak them overnight and discard the water so that you aren’t consuming any antinutrients. 

References-

  1. https://scihub.wikicn.top/10.1021/acs.jafc.5b06071 
  2. https://digital.library.adelaide.edu.au/dspace/bitstream/2440/56814/2/02whole.pdf
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rolled-vs-steel-cut-oats#definitions
  4. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/oats/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325078/ 
About the Author

Ria Jain
Ria has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and is in a permanent research mode and keeps the rest of us at ThriveFNC updated with her latest findings in the field of Nutrition. Her articles on ThriveFNC’s blog are an expression of her research findings. We really don’t know what we’d do without her support and her focus.
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