Oats are an incredibly popular breakfast choice and for good reason. They’re one of the healthiest grains on earth, particularly because they’re rich in so many important vitamins and minerals. It’s no wonder so many people make sure to start their day with a delicious bowl of oatmeal.

What’s in a bowl of oats?

Oats aren’t only a good source of fiber and protein, but they also contain thiamine, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron.

Additionally, oats are rich in antioxidants and this is one of the main reasons why it’s so good for the human body. That said, read on for 10 reasons to why oats are the perfect breakfast option.

#1: Promote antioxidant power

As mentioned, oats are high in antioxidants – compounds that help to reduce one’s risk for disease and illnesses by fighting off oxidative stress. Avenanthramides are a popular group of antioxidants almost only found in oats.

Being an antioxidant, avenanthramides not only help to protect heart health, but they also contain anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects, and this may be one of the reasons as to why oats are so good for your skin.

#2: Lowers Risk For Heart Disease

Heart disease is still the leading cause of death worldwide, but a warm bowl of oatmeal may help reduce your risk.

For one, high levels of LDL cholesterol are a major risk factor for heart disease. However, research has found that a compound in oats, beta-glucan fiber, can effectively reduce both total and LDL cholesterol levels.

What’s more, a separate study found that a high intake of whole grains (including oats) was significantly associated with a 21% reduced risk of heart disease.

#3: Can Improve Blood Sugar Control

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood sugars as a result of insulin sensitivity.

High-fiber foods, such as oats, can help to control blood sugar levels, reducing the risk for diabetes, and any diabetes-related complications.

In fact, a study published in Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology and Diabetes showed that two days of oatmeal intervention resulted in a highly significant reduction in required daily insulin doses in 15 patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.

#4: Helps With Weight Management

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Whole grains, such as oats, can help to regulate body weight, particularly due to the presence of beta-glucan. For instance, a Japanese study found that the intake of high beta-glucan barley led to significant and safe reductions in the visceral fat area (belly fat).

#5: May Reduce Risk of Childhood Asthma

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children, however, feeding your child a bowl of oats for breakfast may help to reduce their risk.

According to a study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, feeding oats to infants before the age of 6 months was linked to a decreased risk of childhood asthma.

Also, on the note of children’s health, a more recent study published in Nutrients found that oatmeal-containing breakfast was associated with better diet quality and a higher intake of key food groups and nutrients compared to other breakfasts in children.

#6: May Help Relieve Constipation

As mentioned, oats are incredibly high in fiber and this can help to improve digestive health, such as relieving constipation.

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that oats or oat bran can significantly increase stool weight and decrease constipation.

#7: Reduces Cancer Risk

Avenanthramides is a group of antioxidants that are found in oats, and they may help to reduce the risk of cancer, particularly colon cancer which is the same cancer that Black Panther Chadwick Boseman lost his life to.

Additionally, a Harvard study found that eating oats can reduce the risk of death from cancer by 20 percent.

#8: Boosts immune response

We’re in a period of time when the strength of our immune system is of paramount importance. That said, eating more oats may be exactly what your immune system needs.

According to one study, beta-glucan helped to boost the effectiveness of immune cells, making them further stronger in their fight against bacteria.

#9: Helps you sleep

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According to a study published in Nutrients, nutrients found in oats can help produce melatonin, the chemical that induces sleep. Perhaps adding some honey to a bowl of oats can help make it the ultimate late-night snack?

#10: Ultimate Skincare Ingredient

There’s a reason why oats can be found in so many skincare products.

A study found that oats contain anti-inflammatory properties, and this can help them treat symptoms associated with dry and irritated skin. 

You can incorporate oats into your skincare routine. Try sprinkling oats into your bath or creating a paste, and then applying it on your skin and leaving it on for 15 minutes before rinsing off with normal water.

Want to know more?

When you think of the warm and sunny Mediterranean region, foods like olives, tomatoes, as well as fish and nuts come to mind. However, one would be crazy to leave out avocados – the longevity fruit of the Mediterranean diet.

References
Aune, D., Keum, N., Giovannucci, E., Fadnes, L. T., et al. (2016). Whole grain consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause and cause specific mortality: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMJ (Clinical research ed.)353, i2716. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i2716
Aoe, S., Ichinose, Y., Kohyama, N., Komae, K., et al. (2017). Effects of high β-glucan barley on visceral fat obesity in Japanese individuals: A randomized, double-blind study. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.)42, 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2017.05.002
Delgado, G., Kleber, M. E., Krämer, B. K., Morcos, M., et al. (2019). Dietary Intervention with Oatmeal in Patients with uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – A Crossover Study. Experimental and clinical endocrinology & diabetes : official journal, German Society of Endocrinology [and] German Diabetes Association127(9), 623–629. https://doi.org/10.1055/a-0677-6068
Fulgoni, V. L., 3rd, Brauchla, M., Fleige, L., & Chu, Y. (2019). Oatmeal-Containing Breakfast is Associated with Better Diet Quality and Higher Intake of Key Food Groups and Nutrients Compared to Other Breakfasts in Children. Nutrients11(5), 964. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11050964
Meng, X.; Li, Y.; Li, S.; Zhou, Y.; Gan, R.-Y.; Xu, D.-P.; Li, H.-B. (2017). Dietary Sources and Bioactivities of Melatonin. Nutrients9, 367.
Nwaru, B. I., Takkinen, H. M., Niemelä, O., Kaila, M., et al. (2013). Timing of infant feeding in relation to childhood asthma and allergic diseases. The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology131(1), 78–86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2012.10.028
Reynertson, K. A., Garay, M., Nebus, J., Chon, S., Kaur, S., Mahmood, K., Kizoulis, M., & Southall, M. D. (2015). Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin. Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD14(1), 43–48.
Rondanelli, M., Opizzi, A., & Monteferrario, F. (2009). Le attività biologiche dei beta-glucani [The biological activity of beta-glucans]. Minerva medica100(3), 237–245.
Sima, P., Vannucci, L., & Vetvicka, V. (2018). β-glucans and cholesterol (Review). International journal of molecular medicine41(4), 1799–1808. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2018.3411
Thies, F., Masson, L. F., Boffetta, P., & Kris-Etherton, P. (2014). Oats and bowel disease: a systematic literature review. The British journal of nutrition112 Suppl 2, S31–S43. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114514002293
Turrini, E., Maffei, F., Milelli, A., Calcabrini, C., & Fimognari, C. (2019). Overview of the Anticancer Profile of Avenanthramides from Oat. International journal of molecular sciences20(18), 4536. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20184536
Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer, who has a passion for poetry, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day to day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

One Comment

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