The Health Benefits Of Oats are so many!
I love oats, they are so versatile; from breakfast to multiple different ways of making snacks out of them.
They contain complex carbohydrates.
They are high in fiber and digest more slowly. This also makes them more filling, which means they are a good option for weight control.
They are also ideal for people with type 2 diabetes because they help manage blood sugar spikes after meals.
Fiber and starch are the two types of complex carbohydrates.
Fiber is especially important because it promotes bowel regularity and helps to control cholesterol and helps you feel fuller for longer. That is why it’s important for losing weight.
I used to hate oatmeal when I was a kid, tastes so bland and rubbery. I just wanted pancakes and jam toasts for breakfast.
But now that I’m older, I started to enjoy eating them a lot more, especially after realizing how good they are for you!
And dismissing them as ‘just a breakfast food’ totally downplays how they can work for your body throughout the day.
If you do find them bland and tasteless, there are ways of making them taste good! Simply add peanut butter, fresh fruit or a banana to top your porridge, and this will be perfectly satisfying and still healthy.
Or if you just can’t stand porridge, simply try including them in yummy little snacks. Here are a couple of our healthy recipes that include oats:
Anyway, let’s have a look at a couple of facts that showcase the Health Benefits Of Oats.
1. They Are High In Fiber
Fiber is one of the most important nutrients for your body to function properly and flush out toxins, and lower cholesterol. Not to mention that it stabilizes blood sugar levels, so you won’t get any sudden spikes and crashes.
And it can also help prevent a few cancers, colon cancer in particular.
Oats also promote healthy gut bacteria.
Oats are high in both types of fiber, soluble, and insoluble fiber, so you get the best of both worlds.
Insoluble fiber moves along our digestive tract, grabbing water from our intestines to add weight to waste material and ease its passing through our system and eventually out of our bodies.
Soluble fiber turns into a gel-like consistency that slows digestion and makes us feel full.
One key soluble fiber special to oats is beta-glucan which slows down the food we eat so it takes our bodies longer to digest it. This means we feel fuller longer.
That is why consuming more fiber during the day is linked to weight-loss since it makes you feel fuller, which means you will likely consume fewer calories during the day.
One serving of oatmeal has around 5 g of fiber. Adults should be getting 25–38 g of fiber daily so this is a nice little boost.
2. Oats Are Your Heart’s Best Friend
Since oats contain fiber, fiber lowers cholesterol, which is good for heart health!
Oats reduce other markers like hypertension, which are known risk factors for heart disease.
Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep your arteries clear.
3. Oats Are Great For Preventing And Treating Diabetes
Because oats contain good complex carbs, it’s able to slow down the digestion of sugar.
The beta-glucans make sure sugar’s not absorbed too quickly by the body. This reduces blood sugar spikes and keeps your blood sugar levels stable.
According to one study, the fiber in oats helped to improve the metabolism of glucose. Both of these are good news for anyone looking to reduce their risk of diabetes and obesity.
The results from another study proved that when participants with type 2 diabetes ate oatmeal for four weeks, they reduced the amount of insulin needed to stabilize their blood sugar levels by 40%.
4. They Can Help You Lose Weight
As we mentioned earlier – their fiber content is an important factor when it comes to losing weight. Because it makes you feel fuller for longer obviously.
Half a cup of oatmeal is under 150 calories and has just 2 g of fat. That’s surprising when you realize how full you get for so few calories.
Because there’s so much fiber in oats, they actually promote the feeling of having a full belly. When we feel full, our satiety hormones trigger and we don’t have the constant urge to snack and overeat.
For example, one study linked increased beta-glucans from oats with an increase in peptide YY, a hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied.
If you’re trying to lose weight and restrict your calories a bit, oatmeal is the perfect snack to help get you through those times of hunger. It will quell your hunger pangs and keep you satisfied until your next meal, a win-win superfood to turbocharge your weight-loss.
Oats will also help eliminate your belly fat.
5. Oats Are Rich On Protein
Which makes them an ideal healthy plant-based protein option.
One serving of oatmeal has around 5 g of protein, which makes it pretty protein-rich fora grain.
But what’s even better is that you can use low-calorie oatmeal as a healthy base for other protein options.
Here’s one of my favorite combos: make a base of porridge, top with nuts ( or nut butter ), a pinch of cinnamon, seeds ( like pumpkin, or sunflower ) fresh berries, or a banana and there you have it! A protein bomb, full of healthy fats and nutrients. You will be on a very good track if you start your day with this super bowl of goodness.
Nuts add protein to your oatmeal and don’t forget about a scoop of protein powder if you’re looking to boost your protein intake even more.
6. Oats Boost Immunity
That super hardworking beta-glucan has also been studied for its ability to help neutrophils, “the soldiers of [our] immune system”, navigate to the infected site quickly and destroy germs.
According to one review, beta-glucans have been shown to:
“Improve the body’s immune system defense against foreign invaders by enhancing the ability of macrophages, neutrophils, and natural killer cells to respond to and fight a wide range of challenges such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites”.
This is certainly one good nutrition that will stop you from getting sick.
7. Oats Are An Energy Booster
Oatmeal is both a slow-digesting carb and a protein-rich source of energy for your body. Oatmeal’s full of good carbs that keep your body feeling energized and alert.
The sugars in the oatmeal digest and release slower than a simple carb such as processed, sugary cereal, so your energy level remains consistent.
According to one study, consuming a low glycemic meal such as oatmeal three hours before going for a run gives you more endurance.
Overnight oats can be a nutritious and genius hack for your busy mornings. Prepare your oats this way to eliminate the excuse of not having time for a healthy breakfast or pre-workout-meal.
The Bottom Line
Oatmeal is an incredibly healthy food for a very inexpensive price tag, proving that you can eat well without breaking the bank.
I know that at first, they might come off as tasteless, or cardboardy, but there are ways of making them taste delicious, or simply include them in healthy snacks, without even realizing they are there! Like Healthy cookies!
You can use any liquid you prefer to cook your oats; water, almond milk, and hemp protein milk, all make interesting flavor combinations.
Consider adding chia seeds or hemp hearts to boost your oatmeal with extra fiber, omega-3s, and energy-boosting throughout the day.
I hope this article has convinced you to eat more oats, seriously, they are so so good for our bodies!