It’s no secret oats are seriously healthy. You’ve probably seen oats with the heart-healthy label and the phrase “healthy as a horse” has long been associated with oats. But why exactly are oats so good for you? We examine the balanced nutrition of oats to see where their great health benefits come from.
Oats are perhaps best known for their fiber content. With 4 grams of fiber, oats contain the highest proportion of fiber of any whole grain. We’ve looked at how eating oats can help with cholesterol management, but the goodness of fiber doesn’t end there. Studies suggest that eating a diet high in fiber can improve heart health and is inversely related to obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Beyond fiber, oats are a source of many essential vitamins and nutrients like calcium, copper, folate, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B5 and vitamin B6. Now that is an extensive list!
Helping your body efficiently turn carbs into energy and stimulating your immune system are just a couple of the benefits of B-vitamins, while calcium and potassium can help lower high blood pressure. Their whole grain status plus their calcium and potassium content has earned oats a place on the American Diabetes Association list of Diabetes Superfoods.
Getting enough iron is especially important for women and anyone following a plant-based diet. Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, the protein red blood cells use to carry oxygen to your muscles and organs. Lucky for you, half a cup of rolled oats provides about 20 per cent of your daily iron.
Consuming enough protein is another key concern for anyone following a plant-based diet. Half a cup of rolled oats provides 5 grams of protein, more than any other common grain! While not a complete protein, oats boast an amino acid score of 86/100. The higher a food’s amino acid score, the higher quality protein it provides. To cook oatmeal that will provide a complete protein, cook your oats in milk instead of water or serve with a dairy product like yogurt or cheese.
With fiber, protein and a wide range of vitamins and nutrients, oats have earned their healthy reputation several times over. Make oats a part of your day, everyday, and your body will thank you.