Oats - A healthy and versatile grain

Oats are one of our four types of grain and a fantastic raw material. Not only do oats help keep the stomach in balance, but it has also been shown to lower the cholesterol level in the blood and provide a smoother blood sugar curve.

The history of oats

Oats, Avena sativa, the origin of our cultivated oats, is most likely large oats, Avena sterilis. The earliest archaeological finds of domesticated oats, characterised by the little axe remains on the rock at full maturity, are from south-eastern Europe and dated to just over 6,000 years old.

The first cultivation can be traced to the Mediterranean around 2,000 years ago. In Sweden, finds have been made that could be dated to the end of the Bronze Age, meaning that we can assume that oats were intentionally grown as a crop.

Compared to wheat, barley and rye, oats are a crop which is generally sensitive to drought and high temperatures. Oats are, therefore, better adapted to grow in cooler and wetter areas such as Northern Europe. In the middle of the 19th century, oats were the dominant type of grain in Sweden and have thus become an essential element in the Swedish food culture. Over time, oats have come to be out-competed by other types of grain, when plant breeding has made other crops more resistant. Today, oats make up 13% of the total grain harvest in Sweden.

Oats are purely biologically gluten-free, but they are contaminated by other types of grain in the field and the mill, meaning they are not gluten-free in practice. For those with celiac disease (gluten intolerance), there are pure varieties of oats to use instead.

Oats - A vital ingredient for our health

What was considered a weed thousands of years ago is today considered a superfood. Oats are a very useful grain. It is a good source of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. Oats also contain beta-glucan, a fibre type with several health benefits.

Oats contain beta-glucans that help improve high blood fats (cholesterol) and even the blood sugar curve. The beta-glucans have also shown to be particularly good at keeping the intestinal lining tight and resilient.

Oats also contain resistant starch, which is not broken down in the small intestine but comes down to the large intestine in intact form, providing good food for the good bacteria in the intestine.

Oats are a good source of fibre, which is essential for digestion. Fibre helps keep the stomach moving and can help prevent constipation.

Many people with IBS (irritable bowel) can tolerate oats better than other grains as they contain less of particular hard-to-digest carbohydrates.

Oats are a good source of protein, which is vital for our muscle growth.

It has a soft taste that is appreciated by many.

Oats also contain several vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium and magnesium.

With its 7% fat, oats are the fattest grain. The fat is of good quality, i.e. unsaturated.

Oats are a valuable and versatile grain that can be essential to a healthy diet.

Do you want to buy knäckebröd that are baked with oats?

Use the search box , at the top of the page, and type in the word Oats. Then, all knäckebröd baked with oats as an ingredient are displayed.

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