The Health Benefits of Oats

You’re not the only one looking for warming breakfasts on those cold and dark mornings.  Oats are often a breakfast of choice here at Fivaday HQ, so we thought we’d give you the lowdown on their potential health benefits.

Oats (Avena sativa) are a cereal commonly eaten in the form of oatmeal or rolled oats.

They are touted to have a number of benefits:

The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine in 2008 found that eating foods rich in whole-oat sources of soluble fibre (oats, oat bran, and oat flour) may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

The intake of fibre has been associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.  A study considered evidence across nearly 2 million people from Britain and The Netherlands and found for every additional 10g of fibre in someone’s diet, there is a 10 percent reduction in colorectal cancer risk.  This includes the intake of cereal fibre and whole grains. 

In addition, it is thought that oats may play an important role in improving satiety (the feeling of fullness), diet quality, and digestive, cardiovascular, and general metabolic health.

Oats also contain a range of molecules that act as antioxidants; this includes avenanthramides, which are polyphenols. Avenanthramides may play a role in keeping blood pressure low by increasing nitric oxide production. They are also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.   

Not only that, but oats are seen to have anti-itch activity when applied topically. 

Oats are rich in a specific type of fibre called beta-glucan.  Not only are beta-glucans thought to lower blood cholesterol levels, but they are also thought to have immune system stimulating effects, helping you fight off pathogens (and cancer activity). 

100 grams of oats also provides the following vitamins and minerals:

51 percent of the daily recommended intake of thiamine

8 percent riboflavin

5 percent niacin

6 percent vitamin B6

14 percent folate  

13 percent pantothenic acid

26 percent iron

44 percent magnesium

52 percent phosphorus

12 percent potassium  

26 percent zinc

31 percent copper

246 percent manganese

So, mix up your breakfasts; warm up a bowl of oats with your milk of choice (dairy or non-dairy) and top with some fruit and nuts!