What are Oats?
Just like many of your favorite healthy snacks, oats come straight from the earth. Oats are grown in fields and farmed for your enjoyment. Oats are seeds from a type of cereal grain called oat grass. Oats can be prepared in many different ways, making them a common source of fiber to get at any time of the day. One popular and traditional way to eat oats is making a bowl of oatmeal. But (we think,) an even yummier way to get oats is the growing overnight oats trend. At the end of the day, both are great foods that can support your health (and happiness!)
What are the Benefits of Oatmeal?
You may be wondering, is oatmeal fattening? There is honestly no denying that oats can be a healthy addition to your diet. In fact, they are among the healthiest grains on earth. Oats are known for being a nutritious and complex meal that can benefit your health in several ways. Some of these benefits include:
Oats are Heart Healthy
You may or may not know that heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. And, you’re probably trying to think of ways to not be afflicted by this unfortunate disease. Fortunately, oats (overnight or in oatmeal form) are great for your heart! They contain a fiber called beta-glucan which is shown to be effective at reducing both total and LDL cholesterol levels. The beta-glucan can also increase the excretion of cholesterol-rich bile, which in turn helps circulate levels of cholesterol in the blood. Lastly, oats can help with reducing inflammation in the arteries, reducing risks for heart attacks and strokes.
Oats Provide Important, Healthy Nutrients
Oats provide vitamins and minerals that your body needs to be healthy and to run properly, including magnesium, thiamine, iron, phosphorus, selenium, copper, zinc, folate, and vitamins B-1 and B-5. Oats are also a good source of antioxidants, especially avenanthramides. Many of these nutrients can be found in popular oatmeal toppings as well, meaning it’s easy to increase your nutrient intake if you want.
Oats Improve Blood Sugar Control
Oats can be very beneficial for those who have diabetes. The beta-glucan fibers in the oats can help prevent blood sugar levels from rising after a meal. Not only that, but the antioxidants, avenanthramides, can increase blood flow. To top it off, oats also improve insulin sensitivity which is good if you have a condition like diabetes.
Oats Help Alleviate Constipation
Everyone experiences constipation from time to time, and some more than others. We can all agree that constipation is not a fun experience at all. But, luckily, oats can help with that. Because oats are fiber-rich, they help keep bowel movements regular.
Oats Can Help You Lose Weight
Part of getting healthy and losing weight is eating a lower calorie diet so that you burn more calories than you eat, but also that you are taking in the macronutrients necessary for your body to be healthy all day long. Oats are both filling and have well-balanced macros to lead you on your way to your weight loss goals while sticking to your nutrition goals. While oats themselves are great for weight loss, it’s important to make sure you aren’t adding too much sugar or fat as a topping. Check out our other tips on how oats can help with weight loss.
Oats Can Help Reduce Risks for Cancer
We don’t have to tell you how much cancer sucks. But, fortunately, oats can help reduce your risk of cancer. Oats contain phytochemicals that have been known to reduce susceptibility to hormone-related cancers such as prostate cancer or breast cancer.
Are Oats Gluten-Free?
The short answer is yes! Oats are naturally gluten-free, which is great news for those with Celiac’s Disease or people who are choosing to live a gluten-free lifestyle for their health. However, it’s important to check the label before purchasing oats if you are sensitive to gluten. Many oats are processed in the same factories or even on the same machines as products that contain gluten. Look for oats that are specifically labeled ‘gluten-free’ to ensure you won’t be affected by cross-contamination. But don’t fret! When you purchase Oats Overnight you are getting certified gluten-free oats, making them a great option!
What Is The Healthiest Oatmeal?
With so many types of oats, how do you know which to choose? Honestly, not, all oats are healthy. But if you want to get technical, Oat Groats remain the healthiest because they’re the purest form of the whole oat you can eat. They’re the least processed and contain the most nutrition. But don’t get so hung up on the type that you lose out on all the benefits oats provide!