Oats – a hand full of health

Oat or oats is a nutrient-rich cereal that has numerous health benefits. Inclusion of oats in the diet can help maintain a healthy body weight, regulate blood pressure, blood sugar and improve digestion.

Oats contain carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, antioxidants and phytonutrients that have numerous health benefits, and reduce the risk of heart and digestive diseases. This food is a rich source of complex carbohydrates that provide long-lasting energy, so it is recommended as an ideal choice for the beginning of the day. Also, oats are a source of essential amino acids and contain a relatively high protein content compared to some other cereals. It has a small percentage of fat in its composition, but this small percentage goes to healthy, unsaturated fatty acids.

The greatest benefit of oats is the content of plant fiber, specifically soluble and insoluble plant fiber. Beta-glucan is the most significant soluble form of fiber in oats. It helps in lowering cholesterol and regulating blood sugar. It is also rich in insoluble plant fibers, such as cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. They help maintain the health of the digestive tract and regulate digestion by increasing the volume of the stool with water, and thus facilitating the passage of food through the intestines. This is why I recommend it in the prevention and treatment of constipation.

Swelling of plant fibers from oats contributes to the feeling of satiety, so I often recommend them to reduce appetite. In order to have the effect of swelling, it is important to consume a sufficient amount of water with oats. Also, vegetable fibers serve as food for beneficial bacteria in the intestine, which benefits the balance of intestinal flora, and therefore positively affects immunity.

It is a good source of vitamin B complex, primarily vitamin B1 (thiamine), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyrotoxin) and folic acid. Among other vitamins, it contains vitamin E and vitamin K.

The contained minerals are : Fe (iron), Mg (magnesium) and Zn (zinc), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), Phosphorus (P).

Oats have so many health benefits that this text could go on forever, but it’s time to get up and prepare a healthy meal, and after reading the text, I’m sure the meal will contain oats. 😉

Dragana Miljković Andonov
Senior nutritionist – dietician