The humble oat. They have been called the healthiest grain on earth and for good reason. Oats are a superfood and have many health benefits including providing the body with vitamins and nutrients, antioxidant properties, controlling weight and helping maintain blood sugar levels, and being extremely versatile and delicious so you're eager to find new ways to eat them. We're glad they're finally getting the recognition they deserve!
1. Vitamins & nutrients
Oats get their superfood status because they are extremely nutrition dense. Oats are naturally gluten free, low in calories and higher in protein than many other grains. They have a balanced composition of carbs, fat and protein as well as providing vitamins and minerals for the body including: manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, B vitamins and folate. It's not hard to see why oats are such a popular staple for healthy eaters everywhere!
2. Antioxidant properties
Oats contain multiple antioxidants that help the body function at top levels and protect it from free radicals and deterioration. Polyphenols are a macronutrient found in oats that help protect the body from certain diseases. Oats also contain avenanthramides which are anti-inflammatory and help lower blood pressure. Additionally, oats contain a powerful soluble fiber called beta-glucan which has many health benefits including controlling cholesterol and blood sugar, helping with weight maintenance and increasing the amount of healthy bacteria in the gut.
3. Weight control & steady blood sugar levels
Oats are a complex carbohydrate. Complex carbs take longer for the body to break down and they can be used to fuel the body all day long as opposed to immediately, as with in simple carbs. This means you reap two health benefits. The first is staying full and satiated from this low calorie food. It also helps keep hunger at bay, which in turn helps with weight control. The second benefit is maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Because it takes longer for the body to absorb the nutrients in oats, blood sugar levels do not spike. Oats have also been found to increase sensitivity to insulin which is the hormone responsible for blood sugar levels.
4. Delicious & versatile
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy oats. We all know about making oatmeal for breakfast which is delicious dressed up with some berries, a sprinkle of cinnamon and some nut butter but one of our other favorite ways to enjoy them are savory bowls! You just cook the oats and add your favorite non-sweet toppings. We love toasted chickpeas and roasted veggies for a hearty dinner. Oats are also great in cookies, (they're the base of our Superfood Cookie Bites after all!) other baked goods and granola!