When oats first started being farmed, around 12,000 BC, they weren’t very popular. Today, oats are making a come back: you can even find them on gourmet breakfast menus in restaurants. Before the 1980s, oats were mostly considered to be animal feed. However, in the 1980s, their wonderful health benefits led them to the front stage of breakfast foods. So if oats aren’t already a part of your breakfast rotation, hurry up and add them! Not only are they delicious, they make a filling and healthy breakfast as well.
Oats boost your immune system
Oats are rich in beta-glucans, which boost your immune system. In particular, beta-glucans have a positive impact on gut microbiota1. Formerly called gut flora, gut microbiota is the name given to the population of microbes that live in our intestines, and it contains over tens of trillions of microorganisms! About one third of these microorganisms is common to most people, but a third is different in each individual. More and more studies are being conducted about the impact that gut microbiota has on our health. It plays a major role in the immune system, as well as the digestive system. Beta-glucans also boost your immune system by reducing inflammations that are at the origin of many chronic diseases.
Oats are full of fiber that will keep you full throughout the morning
Have you ever gotten to work after a light breakfast, and an hour or two in, started feeling hungry, even though lunchtime wasn’t for a while? From personal experience, I can tell you it isn’t a good feeling. But eating oats in the morning could help you avoid this problem! Studies have indeed shown that the beta-glucans in oats, a viscous fiber, have a significant impact on your feeling of satiety2. The fiber takes up a lot of space in our stomachs and absorbs water, enhancing that feeling of fullness. Oats are nutrient dense and low in calories. Whether you are trying to control your weight or simply want to get through your morning without getting hungry before lunch, having oats for breakfast can be a great solution.
Oats help improve cardiovascular health
Here again, beta-glucans are to thank3. Cardio-vascular diseases are killing more and more people in developed countries, and although there are many factors at play, oats can help you take care of your heart for a long and healthy life. Microbiota help with digestion and regulate pathways, impacting cardio-vascular health.
After a long winter night, getting up in the morning can seem difficult. But the prospect of a warm bowl of oats can change that! They are delicious with fruits and spices. You can adapt them to any taste you want. Some people even make savory oats, so if you haven’t got a sweet tooth, you can still have a bowl of oats for a healthy breakfast. Some weekday mornings can feel rushed, and you might not have the time to make the oats yourself – the good news is, you can get ready made oat mixes, that will save you the hassle on busy mornings. So don’t hesitate to indulge yourself with oats!
Lisa Darmet is a freelance writer, whose passions include not only eating but also food and cooking and their connections to health, culture and society. She is a graduate of Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, USA & a world traveler.