Oat is a nutrient-rich cereal grain grown for its seeds. Best known as a foodstuff, oats are used in a variety of food and drink products to add flavour, nutritional value and texture. Most commonly they’re rolled into oatmeal or crushed finely into oat flour, as oat groats (the least processed version of the seed) take a long time to cook. Oats are a wholegrain, known scientifically as Avena Sativa.
You’ve probably heard of oats as a cereal or as porridge, but there are plenty more uses for them than that; whether it’s a thick and creamy shake, as a glow-boosting face cream or as a satiety-inducing ingredient within baked goods.
But are oats always good for you, and do they come with health benefits? Let’s find out.
Are Oats Good for You? The Lowdown
Oats are one of the healthiest grains in the world, so to say they’re good for you would be quite an understatement! Containing a diverse range of essential nutrients, oats are a rich source of protein and dietary fibre, as well as B vitamins and other minerals.
Those suffering from coeliac disease or gluten intolerance may avoid oats for dietary purposes, but gluten-free oats are now becoming more widely available. Nutribuddy, for example, only includes entirely gluten-free oats within their products and ensure they are rigorously tested throughout the production process to ensure that even a trace of avenins (the protein to which coeliacs are allergic) cannot be found; either as a result of direct or cross-contamination, within the growing or manufacturing environment.
Those with allergies are advised to seek advice on their consumption of avenins and only purchase from retailers and brands with whom they fully trust to ensure they are not exposed to any irritant or allergen they need not be.
What are the Health Benefits of Oats?
Oats are Packed with Nutrition
The incredible nutrition found in oats makes them considerably healthier than other cereals. Packing a punch with nourishment, the consumption of oats exceeds adult RDIs (Recommended Daily Intakes) on a shedload of vitamins and minerals!
Less than 100g of oats includes:
Manganese, 191% of RDI,
Phosphorous, 41% of RDI,
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), 39% of RDI,
Magnesium, 34% of RDI,
Copper, 24% of RDI,
Iron, 20% of RDI,
Zinc, 20% of RDI,
Folate, 11% of RDI,
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), 10% of RDI,
as well as traces of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin B3.
Macro wise, this comes in at about 50g of carbohydrates, 15g of protein, 8g of fibre, 5g of fat and just over 300 calories. This makes oats about the most nutrient-dense food you can consume!
In terms of specific health benefits, we’ll cover more of these below, but there’s a lot to be said for this grain above and beyond others. Clinically tested and studied, there’s strong medical evidence to suggest that the consumption of oats has numerous advantages to the health and wellbeing of individuals; even in the case of those with an existing condition. The NHS is amongst many medical organisations who recommend frequent intake of oats as part of a healthy diet.
Trials and tests so far prove that regularly eating or drinking oats can help improve blood sugar mediation, promotee satiety, decrease inflammation (and conditions caused by inflammation such as asthma), relieve constipation and boost antioxidant levels. It’s unlikely that you’ll find oats prescribed or suggested by a doctor, but nutritionists and dieticians often recommend them as a supplementary and complementary ingredient.
Oats are Rich in Antioxidants
Amongst all the vitamins and minerals, oats also contain lots of antioxidants. Oats include plant-based compounds called polyphenols, which boast antioxidant properties.
This includes avenanthramides, which are almost solely found in oats. Avenanthramides promote the production of nitric oxide, a gas molecule which helps to dilate blood vessels and leads to healthier, better blood flow throughout the body. They also have great anti-inflammatory properties, which can decrease the chance of developing a chronic disease such as cancer – yep, antioxidants are the real deal!
You can also find ferulic acid in oats, an antioxidant that’s frequently used in skincare products, both topically and orally, to stabilise skin condition and help regenerate new cells. It’s only really a side effect from oat consumption, but what a great bonus clearer skin is – that’s certainly something none of us would turn down!
Oats Can Help to Lower Cholesterol
Oats are rich in beta-glucan, which can help lower your levels of cholesterol. When consumed, it turns into a gel-like substance in the digestive system and binds to cholesterol. This limits the amount that can be absorbed into the bloodstream, lowering the levels of it without reducing the overall intake.
Even if you don’t have high cholesterol, keeping the levels moderated is beneficial. Too much cholesterol in the body clogs and can even block blood vessels, greatly increasing your risk of heart attack or stroke. Worryingly, there are usually no symptoms – so it’s always better to be safe than sorry and aim to include cholesterol-busting foods in your diet.
The only way to find out you have high cholesterol is through a blood test, so unless there’s a reason to believe you already have it, you’d probably never have your cholesterol levels tested. If you’re concerned, speak to your GP or healthcare professional.
Oats Are Good for Weight Loss
When included as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, the consumption of oats for weight loss can be a fantastic dietary addition.
The beta-glucan content within them releases a satiety hormone and makes you feel fuller faster, so you won’t keep eating past the portion you need and are less likely to snack later on. This is a godsend for those of us that enjoy a meal and then get a craving for more later on, as it eliminates this feeling before it even occurs.
Oats are also jam-packed with fibre, which takes far longer to digest than other nutrients and brings on a feeling of fullness and satiety. In fact, a study conducted on oatmeal concluded that regularly consuming oats had significant effects on controlling hyperglycemia, lowering blood lipid and reducing weight.
How to Eat Oats for Breakfast
Oats made into oatmeal are often consumed as porridge, a quick and easy breakfast. Boiled in water or milk, the texture is mushy and thick and can be mixed with fruits or other flavours to change the taste as required.
However, these are often more heavily processed than you may have considered, so be sure to fully understand the ingredients list and buy from a brand you trust if you’d like to keep your diet as healthy as possible.
The Nutribuddy Instant Chia and Coconut Porridge contains gluten-free oats in a tasty but low-calorie blend, for a quick breakfast with wholesome nutrition. They take just two minutes to cook in the microwave so are ideal for when you’re on the go, yet are sure to leave you feeling satisfied for hours on end!
When making such shakes at home, you can add oats in yourself but may struggle to reach the right texture if not processed properly. They also can easily overload the shake’s nutritional content with carbs or protein, depending on what you’re making the rest of the recipe up with. If you’re using oats and shakes for weight loss, do spend some time researching the nutritional values of your homemade shake.
If you don’t have the time, appetite or nutritional know-how to make up the perfect shake by yourself (and hey, we don’t blame you, these things aren’t easy and not everyone is a dietician!), Nutribuddy shakes make a great way to get your oats dose well-balanced with everything else you need in your diet.
Oat Based Cereals
Oats are probably best known as a cereal grain and are present in a whole range of breakfast cereals. However, cereals are often not all they’re cracked up to health-wise; and it’s often the case that a bowl of cereal and milk (or chosen milk alternative) is not any healthier than toast or pastries!
Even though lots of people no longer stir in a spoonful of sugar into their bowl of cereal, brands frequently include sugar in the cereal blend itself to sweeten it up and differentiate the taste of their product from their competitors.
Cereal brands are exceedingly good at marketing their products by name-dropping lots of vitamins and minerals on their packaging but don’t ever promote the added synthetics or sugars. So, while there are healthy oat-based cereals out there, the key is to understand exactly what’s in your bowl before you bolt it down.
Add Oats to Baked Goods
When following a strict diet and healthy lifestyle, it seems a shame to miss out on the odd treat – but making your own means you can be totally sure that you won’t ruin all of your efforts! Despite what hardcore gym-goers may insinuate, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a sweet treat without compromising on your health.
Oats can be used in home baking and included in recipes for cookies, muffins and flapjacks to boost their flavour and nutrition. You can even include Nutribuddy products to give a healthy boost to your baked goods. We love this Not-So-Sinful Peanut Butter Cookie recipe, which includes the oat-based Nutribuddy Breakfast Shake powder! They’re as delicious as you’d expect any cookies to be, but inclusive of the nutritional balance you need to keep you on the straight and narrow diet-wise.
So, get creative with your bakes and enjoy an indulgent yet nutritious snack!
The Bottom Line
If you’ve been frantically googling “are oats good for you?” and scouring the web for unbiased but medically and scientifically accurate information on their nutritional value and health benefits, we hope this article has helped!
When included as part of a healthy lifestyle and well-balanced diet, oats are a fantastic contributor to a healthy gut, weight loss management programme and hearty nutrition. Oats are bursting with robust nutrition and provide more than the recommended daily doses of numerous vitamins and minerals, alongside essential fatty acids, a great measure of protein and plenty of cholesterol-blocking substances too.
If you’re looking at consuming oats for weight loss purposes, you’ll be needing something that tastes good enough that you’ll want to eat it day after day and not get bored and head off in search of sugary snacks. This is where Nutribuddy really steps up: our products will keep you feeling full and healthier than ever whilst giving a taste sensation at every meal. The shakes and oats are versatile enough that you can change it up with different fruits and other natural flavourings to stave away boredom and keep things fresh.
The oats in Nutribuddy’s meal replacement and weight loss shakes are completely organic and gluten-free; tested at various stages throughout the production process to ensure they’re entirely free of any gluten traces. We don’t want anyone to miss out on the brilliant nourishment oats give, regardless of allergies or intolerances.
Oats are probably the world’s healthiest grain, so if you’re not already eating or drinking them, ask yourself why not and get stocked up right now.