Oats have long been seen as a good source of nutrients, protein and an energy-rich foodstuff. New discoveries show that our Paleolithic ancestors may well have been eating oatcakes or other oat-based foods in the Stone Age (Watson, 2015). Furthermore, oats are more suited to temperate regions with cooler, wetter climates than some other cereals, such as wheat, rye, or barley, making them ideal for more inhabitants of early northwestern Europe.
Today, oats have a wider growth range, due to global trade. Found in the American Midwest, Europe, Russia, and Australia, oats have sustained their importance as an ideal food. This is further important because unlike wheats and barleys, oats are naturally gluten-free, providing an avenue for those with celiac disease. However, due to some of the oat's proteins being similar in nature to that of wheat, there is a small percentage of those with celiac disease who still have negative reactions to oats. There is also the potential for an oat crop to become contaminated, whether due to growing conditions, machinery, or handling in which wheats and other gluten-containing foodstuffs are present.
Till next time,
1. Watson, Traci (2015), "Ancient Oat Discovery May Poke More Holes in Paleo Diet," Sept. 11, 2015. National Geographic. http://theplate.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/11/ancient-oat-discovery-may-poke-more-holes-in-paleo-diet/. (Accessed Apr. 5 2018)
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oat (There are a number of interesting articles listed here.)