In the battle of the best breakfast, oatmeal is a fierce competitor. Not only is it a versatile vehicle for some pretty delicious toppings, it’s quick and easy to make, and relatively inexpensive.
But those aren’t the only reasons to love oats: They also boast an impressive nutrient profile, which is associated with all kinds of benefits for your body.
Here are three benefits of oats:
1. They’re packed with nutrition.
Oats are a gluten-free whole grain rich in fiber—one cup of cooked rolled oats provides four grams. For reference, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that women should consume 25 grams of fiber and men should consume 38 grams each day. They also contain protein—one cup of rolled oats boasts a whopping 10 grams.
Oats are a great source of antioxidants and they dish out a host of important vitamins and minerals, including phosphorous, thiamine, magnesium and zinc.
2. They help combat disease.
All of that great nutrition means that oats bring to the table a bevy of health benefits. Studies have linked oat consumption to lower blood sugar and reduced bad (LDL) cholesterol, which may help decrease the risk of both diabetes and heart disease. Whole oats also contain plant compounds that act as antioxidants, helping to reduce chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a risk factor for diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Further research suggests that oats are also a powerful tool in your weight loss arsenal: The type of fiber found in oats can help improve satiety and reduce appetite, which can lead to reduced calorie consumption.
Oats have also been associated with improved digestion and healthy gut bacteria.
3. They’re easy to work into your diet.
Sure, oats make for a great morning meal, especially when they’re topped with fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries or bananas, some chopped nuts, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup. But they’re quite versatile—they make a great topping for yogurt, a good base for granola and granola bars, and a simple substitute for flour in muffins and baked goods.
We love making mini banana nut muffins with oats—simply combine one packet of instant oats with one mashed banana, a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, some raisins and some crushed cashews, then scoop the mixture into a greased muffin tin and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
If you don’t have a lot of time to cook (busy moms, we’re looking at you!), you can still reap the benefits of oats by stocking up on products that include them in their ingredients lists. Many of our Zing plant-based protein bars contain organic oats. They make a delicious grab-and-go, healthy snack. For a limited time, get 20% off our Oatmeal Chocolate Chip bars! Use promo code OCC20. Check them out here.