Oats have earned their long-standing reputation as one of America’s favorite breakfast staples. They are affordable, easy to find, satisfying, and packed with nutrition. Oats are usually eaten as a recognizable warm cereal: oatmeal perhaps topped with brown sugar, cinnamon, and bananas, or blueberries and walnuts. Although oats have also been appearing in more and more products such as non-dairy milk, bread, smoothies, granola, and breakfast bars. Oats’ real claim to fame, however, is its beneficial effect on our gut.
A major advantage of oats in human health is the fiber content. Oats are a tremendous source of “beta-glucan”, a particular type of soluble fiber. Beta-glucan is one of only three fermentable soluble fibers (along with inulin and pectin) which has the power to improve the environment of our gut for colonies of healthy bacteria to thrive.
Two studies from the British Journal of Nutrition in 2014 and 2019 reported that whole grains, such as oats, may increase the diversity of the microbiota, such as encouraging more growth of the health-promoting probiotic of the genus Bifidobacterium. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are produced from these fermentable fibers and help the body absorb important minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Hopefully, we have convinced you to begin or continue including oats in your eating pattern! Let’s look at the common oat types you’ll see at the grocery store and how they are different.
For healthy oats recipes, here are the 51 Healthy Overnight Oats Recipes for Weight Loss.