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Oats, which are scientifically known as Avena sativa, are one of the healthiest grains on earth; they’re most popularly consumed in oatmeal, a porridge-like, hot cereal. Oats are not only gluten-free, but they’re an excellent source of many beneficial vitamins and minerals. Besides their nutrient-density, oats are a great source of protein, fiber, and beta-glucan, all of which have many positive health benefits. Take a look at some of the remarkable ways adding oatmeal to your diet may improve your overall health.
Important Note: All of the claims represented herein are supported by the most current scientific research at the time of this publication.
Oatmeal is one of the most well-balanced foods you can incorporate into your diet. An excellent source of fiber, protein, and amino acids, oatmeal is highly nutritious. Moreover, oats are loaded with many beneficial vitamins and minerals including manganese which nearly meets the daily recommended value in one serving. Additionally, oats are packed with phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and iron, each of which plays its own significant role in your overall well-being. Lastly, oatmeal is fraught with zinc and folate as well as vitamins B6 and B12. One of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat, oats contain loads of protein, healthy fats, and a whopping 8 grams of fiber in a one-cup serving.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Inevitably, oatmeal is chock full of vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fats and protein all of which work together to nourish your body.
Rich in Antioxidants
Notably, oats are rich in antioxidants and plant compounds that fend off those pesky free radicals that lead to chronic illnesses. Specifically, oats are rich in polyphenols that work hard to reduce the oxidative stress that leadins to cardiovascular disease, certain cancer types, and even diabetes. What’s more, oats are packed with a particular group of antioxidants called avenanthramides. These antioxidants, which are found in only a few other food sources, can help your body to maintain healthy blood pressure levels by producing nitric oxide; this powerful gas helps to expand your blood vessels and thereby improve blood flow to the heart. Furthermore, avenanthramides have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Oats contain powerful polyphenols and avenanthramides that fight free radicals, reduce your risk of chronic illness, and reduce inflammation.
Packed With Fiber
Oats are made up of a powerful soluble fiber known as beta-glucan. Beta-glucan dissolves in water to create a thick coating in your gut. This gel-like coating is responsible for a number of health benefits some of which include reducing cholesterol levels, lowering blood sugar, an increased feeling of fullness, and feeding the good bacteria in your gut. Essentially, the beta-glucan in oatmeal is good for digestion as well as cholesterol levels and may even aid in the management of diabetes. As a result of the role beta-glucan plays in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, the powerful soluble fiber can stymie the onset of cardiovascular disease, a disease that may be brought on by high cholesterol.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. The soluble fiber contained in oatmeal is beneficial to gut health, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol; each of these benefits is supported by many scientific studies.
Helps With Weight Loss and Management
If you’re looking for a food that’s both nutrient-dense and will fill you up, consider adding oatmeal to your diet; oatmeal can help you meet your weight loss and management goals. For starters, oatmeal is a tasty breakfast food that will fill you up and quell your appetite until your next meal. Satiating foods such as oatmeal allow you to reduce your caloric intake over time which is a prime consideration in weight loss programs. Furthermore, the soluble fiber beta-glucan promotes the release of a hormone known as the satiety hormone; this hormone is linked to reduced calorie intake as well as reduced instances of obesity. Finally, a single, one-cup serving of oats has 51 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 8 grams of fiber, and 303 calories, making it a filling, yet nutritious food choice for both weight loss and management.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Oatmeal is a satisfying yet nutritious food choice that staves off hunger between meals while still nourishing your body.
Good For Skincare
Interestingly, oats, in a fine, ground-down form, are found in many skin treatments. Oats in their powdery form as found in skin products are referred to as “colloidal oats.” Even though oats were only recognized by the FDA in 2003, they’ve long been used as a homeopathic palliative to skin disorders. Oatmeal baths have been commonly used to treat skin itchiness and tenderness associated with chickenpox, eczema, and allergies. In these cases, oatmeal is used topically on affected areas of the skin.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. A number of scientific studies support the conclusion that colloidal oatmeal used topically can be therapeutic to certain skin conditions.
Another useful benefit of regular oatmeal consumption is the relief of constipation symptoms. Unfortunately, most people experience constipation at some point in their lives. Whether it’s diet-induced, caused by medicine, or a litany of other causes, constipation can be incredibly uncomfortable. While there are certainly medications to help alleviate symptoms of constipation, all-natural, fiber-rich food sources such as oatmeal work just as well and are better for your health. Research concludes that oat bran, which is the substance on the outer layer of oats, is a fiber-rich solution that naturally alleviates constipation and gets the bowels moving. Beyond the palliative effect oat bran has on constipation, one study indicates that it’s also good for digestion especially in patients with uclerative collitis.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Oats are a fiber-rich food source that are well known for alleviating constipation.
Unlikely Benefits: Further Research Needed
Can Help Control Blood Sugar
General Consensus: 3.5/5 and here is why. Although research indicates that the beta-glucan content of oatmeal may reduce insulin sensitivity, oatmeal alone will not manage blood sugars in diabetics.
May Reduce the Risk of Asthma in Children
General Consensus: 2/5 and here is why. There are a handful of scientific studies that identify a correlation between regular oatmeal consumption in children with the reduced risk for an asthma diagnosis; more research is warranted, however.