Why is it that oats are associated with sex?
Getting your oats. Sow your wild oats.
I’ve read somewhere that eating oats increases the amount of testosterone in the blood that raising your libido. I do not know about that, but one thing is for sure; the reason why many people experience a low libido is simply because they are knackered!
Being tired all the time is one of the most common wellbeing complaints of our age. No matter how much sleep you get, you just can not seem to make it through the day without a struggle. So you reach for an additive-laden, sugar-packed snack or drink which actually makes the situation worse in the medium to long term. And come bedtime, you are irritable, possibly bloated from a heavy dinner ate too late and exhausted. Is it really any wonder you do not feel that amorous ?! And never mind your sex life; your work, relationships and general health and wellbeing will all be feeling the effects of constant tiredness and the situation could well lead to depression.
To break the cycle, rather than going for the quick fix sugar snack, you’d be a whole lot better off simply eating more foods which boost metabolism and sustain energy levels. Metabolism boosting nutrients include vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, iron and co-enzyme Q10. The most important nutrients required for energy levels are the B Complex group of vitamins. Energy slumps may be a symptom of weak adrenal gland function which is often caused by a deficiency in B vitamins.
So what foods offer all of the above?
Unrefined grains are a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper and selenium. As a result, they fit the Energy Food bill perfectly.
It’s very important to make the distinction between processed / refined and unrefined grains .
White rice, white bread, white pasta, processed cereals etc have been beaten of most of their nutrients during the refining process. The sugar rush into the blood system that they cause is not good for maintaining blood sugar levels or for preventing sugar cravings, mood swings and weight gain!
There are many unrefined grains that you could include in your diet to make it healthy; brown rice, millet, quinoa, pot barley, buckwheat groats, rye, spelt, teff and good ‘old fashioned’ oats.
Oats contain more good fats (EFAs) than other grains. Remember, these help you lose weight not gain it. They are packed with energy nutrients and will keep your blood sugar at a more constant level which will aid concentration and alertness. In an earlier article about ginger, I explained what the spleen does and how to strengthen it; oats was one of the foods on the list.
Oats are one of the oldest breakfast foods going. There is evidence of porridge-like dishes going back to prehistoric times and Anglo Saxons apparently ate a dish of rye and barley meal with oats which they sometimes added vegetables to. Hannah Glasse’s “The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy” from 1747 gives a recipe for ‘Water Gruel’ which was basically oatmeal and water with butter and pepper.
These days, many people skip breakfast altogether (a big ‘no-no’) or simply grab a slice of toast or a bowl of processed cereal and then wonder why they are hungry or tired by mid-morning. If you are one of those who skip breakfast because you feel sick first thing in the morning, please believe me when I say that the nausea will pass quickly if you eat! And an oats-based ‘brekky’ is one of the best options. (If you need to avoid gluten, choose buckwheat groats which also makes a delicious ‘porridge’.)
There is a misconception that porridge takes ages to cook. It does not, it takes just 6-7 minutes. But if washing up an entire saucepan is the problem, then eat your oats raw in a muesli. I alternate between porridge and my own blend of muesli.
I make my porridge with water only (no milk) and flavor it with cinnamon, nutmeg and raisin syrup which I make by blending some raisins in a little warm water. For my muesli I place organic jumbo oats, sunflower, flax and pumpkin seeds, a handful of almonds and some raisins in the food processor and blend until broken down a little. Again instead of milk I just use water, but you could leave the almonds out at the blending stage and use them instead to make almond milk or cream. And how about adding fresh berries too?
You’ll be nicely set up for the day and who knows what might happen at night? More oats anyone?