9 Reasons Why Oatmeal Is Healthy

Oat flakes are particularly convincing with the soluble fiber beta-glucan. It calms the stomach and intestines, supports a healthy microbiome, can balance cholesterol and blood sugar levels when consumed regularly and also gives the grain a good satiety effect – ideal for everyone who keeps an eye on their weight. With valuable vegetable protein, the small flakes are not only interesting for vegetarians and vegans, but also for athletes. Thanks to many B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, oats strengthen the nerves and balance the metabolism. With antioxidants, they also support our immune system and can protect the body from diseases.

At first glance, the little flake looks like a bore. But that is deceptive: Real superpowers are hidden behind their pale facade. Because the extremely inexpensive food is not only a real superfood in terms of health – it is also incredibly versatile, can be prepared quickly and easily and can be combined again and again. It is therefore very easy to benefit from the many positive health effects of oatmeal.

Of course, the flakes taste the classic way in muesli, cooked to a pulp as porridge or soaked overnight as overnight oats. However, they can also be used to bind soups, sauces or stews with a low calorie content and to bind vegetarian patties, potato or vegetable pancakes and meatballs. They add substance to smoothies and milkshakes.

They are also ideal for sweet and savory pastries. They can be used whole to refine baked cookies or cakes and, when toasted briefly, with their nutty aroma, they are an inexpensive substitute for almonds or nuts in cake and cookie dough. Rolled oats ground into flour in the Blitzhacker can replace up to 30% of the wheat or spelled flour in baking recipes as a more nutritious alternative. Not just sweet pastries, but also savory ones, e.g. vegetable quiches can be spiced up with ground oat flakes. There are different types of oatmeal.

They all have one thing in common: they always consist of whole grains. Because unlike wheat or spelt, the nutrient-rich outer layer of oats cannot simply be separated. Oatmeal is therefore always whole grain and therefore valuable for our health. The hearty flake variant is ideal for all dishes in which a bit of bite is desired. The tender variant becomes creamier as it cooks and loses its bite. In the form of melted or instant flakes, the grain product even dissolves completely.

Another plus point for oats: In contrast to many exotic superfoods, nutrient-rich oats are undemanding plants that also thrive in our latitudes. This makes oatmeal a sustainable food with a good CO2 balance.

Oatmeal is a great filler

Oats provide the body with long-term energy and can prevent food cravings caused by blood sugar fluctuations. This is because the grain is high in slow-digesting carbohydrates, also known as slow carbs.

In contrast to simple carbohydrates, they consist of long chains and must first be broken down by our body during digestion. This takes time, which is why these types of carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to rise slowly, unlike “fast” carbohydrates like sugar. As a result, the insulin level only rises slightly, which means that we feel full for a particularly long time after eating oatmeal. Eating oats regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Oatmeal is good for the gut

Rolled oats are always whole grains and therefore provide a good portion of fiber: around 10 g are in 100 g of oats. They support a healthy intestinal flora. The grain is therefore one of the prebiotic foods that promote the growth and activity of good bacteria in the intestine. These have an impact on the whole body, as current studies show, and can have a decisive impact on our well-being.

Oats are also good for us when it comes to gastrointestinal complaints . Its soothing effect on stomach pain, flatulence and diarrhea is based on the fact that its water-soluble fiber swells and forms a protective layer over the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines like a gel. This prevents stomach acid from irritating the mucous membrane and calms the stressed digestive system. Oats themselves are easy to digest, which makes them an ideal light food for irritable bowel syndrome and stomach problems.

Oatmeal gets the digestion going

Thanks to their high fiber content, oatmeal revitalizes sluggish digestion. Because in addition to soluble fiber, which serves as “feed” for the intestinal bacteria, the grain also contains water-insoluble fiber. These indigestible substances greatly increase the volume of stool, thereby activating intestinal movement, which stimulates and accelerates the passage of food through the intestines and the elimination of food residues.

It is important for the laxative effect that sufficient liquid is consumed in addition to the roughage. Otherwise, the healthy substances can have the opposite effect and lead to constipation. So always drink a glass of water with an oatmeal. Then everything stays in flux.

Oatmeal provides protein

With more than 12 g of protein per 100 g , oats are among the most protein-rich cereals . This makes it an interesting source of plant-based protein for athletes, vegetarians and vegans. Especially since the protein with 12 essential amino acids is of particularly high quality. As a result, oats have a relatively high biological value. This indicates how much of the protein contained in a food can be converted into body protein. The higher the value, the less we need to eat of a food to be well supplied with protein.

The biological value of the oat protein can even be increased if you mix the oats with dairy products or legumes, e.g. B. in the form of soy drink combined. In terms of protein, the morning muesli is even more valuable than the famous “small steak”.

Oatmeal protects the heart

Beta-glucan, the soluble fiber found in oats, binds to bile acids, helping to eliminate them. Since cholesterol is used to form new bile acids, regular consumption of oats can balance and even lower cholesterol levels . To achieve this effect, 3 g of oat beta-glucan should be consumed daily . This amount is in about 70 g of rolled oats .

Thanks to this balancing effect on blood lipid levels, oatmeal can protect the heart and blood vessels in the long term and prevent cardiovascular diseases. The heart-protecting effect is also supported by the fat contained in oats. Because these are predominantly unsaturated fats that protect the heart and blood vessels from harmful deposits. Beta-glucan from oats also seems to have a positive effect on blood pressure. However, more studies are needed to unequivocally derive this.

Oatmeal strengthens the nerves

Of all grains, oats have the highest content of B vitamins. Vitamin B1 and B6 in particular are plentiful. These strengthen the nerves, especially in connection with the mineral magnesium, which is also richly contained. In addition, the vitamins ensure that the metabolism can run smoothly. In times of stress, oatmeal is therefore ideal for breakfast. Biotin and silicon in the fine flakes strengthen fingernails, ensure shiny hair and are good for the skin.

Oatmeal balances blood sugar levels

Oat products have a lower glycemic index compared to other foods with a comparable carbohydrate content . This means that they cause blood sugar levels to rise more slowly. Responsible for this are the long-chain (complex) carbohydrates and the high fiber content in oats.

The complex carbohydrates must first be broken down during digestion before they can enter the blood in the form of sugar. The dietary fiber slows down the whole process even further: the swelling beta-glucan creates a gel-like mass in the intestines, which slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates in the small intestine. The result: the sugar released from the oats only slowly enters the blood. As a result, the blood sugar level does not rise as quickly and not as high. This has the advantage that less insulin is needed to process the sugar and the pancreas is relieved.

Studies show that in patients with type 2 diabetes or an existing insulin resistance, a cure with so-called oat days can effectively lower blood sugar levels. However, this should only be done in consultation with and under the supervision of a doctor or certified nutritionist.

Oatmeal has an antioxidant effect

Oats contain the antioxidant avenanthramide . This is a polyphenol that occurs naturally in the oat plant, which protects our cells from harmful substances and prevents diseases such as e.g. can protect against cancer.

In addition , it also prevents the formation of harmful LDL cholesterol , which can counteract cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidant effect of oat flakes can develop particularly well if they are eaten with fruits rich in vitamin C, for example. A handful of fresh berries or a small glass of orange juice with the muesli are therefore recommended.

Oatmeal strengthens the immune system

The cereal flakes support the immune system in several ways. The oat -typical dietary fiber beta-glucan has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that strengthen our immune system. It also helps build a healthy microbiome in the gut, which plays a crucial role in our immune system.

The bioactive avenanthramides present in oats also help to ward off diseases. Because these phenols stimulate the immune system and can counteract inflammatory reactions in the body . They might even help prevent certain types of cancer.

Avatar photo

Written by Florentina Lewis

Hello! My name is Florentina, and I'm a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a background in teaching, recipe development, and coaching. I'm passionate about creating evidence-based content to empower and educate people to live healthier lifestyles. Having been trained in nutrition and holistic wellness, I use a sustainable approach toward health & wellness, using food as medicine to help my clients achieve that balance they are looking for. With my high expertise in nutrition, I can create customized meal plans that fit a specific diet (low-carb, keto, Mediterranean, dairy-free, etc.) and target (losing weight, building muscle mass). I am also a recipe creator and reviewer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The 12 Best Vegan Protein Sources

10 Foods That Lower Cholesterol