The Health Benefits of Oats (and Oatmeal!)
By Sara Butler
Oats just so happen to be some of the healthiest whole grains on the planet. They’re a great source of important minerals, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that your body needs to stay healthy and working at its best. Study after study has confirmed just how good oats are for you, but if you still haven’t jumped onto the oat bandwagon, here’s why you should!
Oats are Nutritious
Few foods have as perfect a nutrient composition as oats. They are an excellent source of whole grain complex carbohydrates, they’re full of fiber, and are an excellent source of healthy fats and protein. One cup of dry oats has:
- 13 grams of protein
- 5 grams of fat
- 8 grams of fiber
- 300 calories
They also contain important vitamins and nutrients such as:
- Vitamin B5
It’s quite simply one of the most nutrient dense foods out there.
Oats are Full of Antioxidants
Whole oats have beneficial plant compounds such as polyphenols and antioxidants called avenanthramide -- which can only be found in oats. These antioxidants lower blood pressure and have anti-inflammatory properties too. That’s why oats are touted as being so heart healthy!
Oats Pack a Punch of Soluble Fiber
Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which gives oatmeal its distinctive texture when heated. This type of fiber turns into a kind of gel in the stomach that helps to have an impact on your levels of bad and good cholesterol. They also help you to feel fuller for longer and encourage the growth of good bacteria in your digestive system, helping to improve your overall health.
Oats Can Help Improve Control of Blood Sugar
Many Americans struggle with type 2 diabetes, but oats can be a great tool in the fight against this chronic disease. In type 2 diabetes, blood sugar levels are high and people have decreased sensitivity to insulin. Oats have been shown in some studies to help lower levels of blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. It’s thought that the soluble fiber in oats helps your body to slow absorption of glucose, which triggers higher blood sugar levels.
How to Eat Oats
There are many ways to incorporate oats into your diet! Make some oatmeal in the morning and you’re good to go for the day. You can also make your own muesli, bread, granola, or other baked goods from oats to take with you in the morning.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.