If you’ve ever spent time with me in real life, then you’ll already know that I love oats.
If I’m at home, then I’m never far from a stash of oats and it’s probably the one food item that I literally never run out of. If I’m away from home overnight, then I’ve probably got at least one jar of oats in my bag.
Today I want to share why oats are such a good choice, and hopefully encourage you to include them in your diet more.
Oats are GREAT as a staple food. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, as well as being a rich source of antioxidants.
Studies have linked the regular consumption of oats to sustainable weight loss, better blood sugar levels, and also a decreased risk of certain health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. As a bonus, studies have shown that eating oats regularly can lower cholesterol levels.
Why do I eat them every day?
I honestly just think they’re delicious and I like to always start my day with a bowl of something healthy. This is largely because I have a tendency to eat sugary nonsense later in the evening, and I feel better about this if I’ve already got my nutrients in.
When I’m making porridge (my all time fave), I’ll typically use 40g of oats.
40g of oats contains approximately:
- 150 calories
- 23g carbohydrates
- 3g dietary fibre
- 3g fat
- 4g protein
This 40g serving is an abundant source of manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc.
Moderate amounts of folate, thiamin, pantothenic acid, calcium, and potassium are also present in this portion.
What are these nutrients necessary for?
Manganese – This mineral is considered an ‘essential nutrient’ because your body needs it in order to function properly, albeit only in trace amounts. Manganese contributes to bone and brain health, and is also utilised by the nervous system.
Phosphorus – Also an ‘essential nutrient’, phosphorus is necessary for bone health, as well as for maintaining energy levels and muscle function. Unbalanced phosphorus levels are linked to joint pain and fatigue.
Magnesium – Also an ‘essential nutrient’, this mineral is used in hundreds of various biochemical processes in the body. It is required by literally all of your cells. Magnesium is especially useful for converting food into energy, creating new proteins from amino acids, and maintaining optimum muscle function.
Copper – Also an ‘essential nutrient’, copper works with iron in the body to form red blood cells. Having adequate amounts of copper in the diet has been linked to better cardiovascular health and a decreased risk of osteoporosis.
Iron – Also an ‘essential nutrient’, the main function of iron is to help red blood cells transport oxygen. Low iron levels can lead to anaemia, which is a health condition characterised by fatigue, feelings of weakness, breathlessness, and heart palpitations.
Zinc – Also an ‘essential nutrient’, zinc is required for the processes of metabolism, and digestion, as well as for nerve function, skin health, cell growth, immune function and more!
A Word About Weight Loss
The weight loss benefits of oats are often attributed to the high fibre content. When we eat foods that are high in fibre, then we tend to feel fuller for longer after eating. This can help to prevent snacking between meals.
If you want to start eating more oats but don’t know how to prepare them, then check out the following three recipes.
As I said, I eat oats for breakfast pretty much every day in one way or another, and I can’t imagine ever getting bored of this. The three usual ways that I enjoy them are as overnight oats, baked oats, or simply as porridge.
Easy Banana Porridge
This hot porridge recipe takes less than ten minutes to prepare and cook. If you add the nut butter right after serving while the oats are piping hot, and then wait a minute to let it melt on before you eat, then it’s scientifically proven to be 10 times more delicious.
- 40g oats
- 1 small banana, sliced
- 10g raisins
- 15g cashew nuts
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 200ml plant milk
- Nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew etc)
Add the oats, banana, raisins, cashew nuts, cinnamon, and ginger to a small saucepan and pour the plant milk on top. Mix together and heat at a medium temperature. Stir occasionally.
After a few minutes, serve into a bowl and top with as much nut butter as you want!
Blueberry Overnight Oats
As the name suggests, this dish is best prepared the night before you want to eat it. This is a quick and simple thing to do before you go to bed so that your breakfast is already ready for you when you wake up.
- 40g oats
- 15g walnuts
- 1tsp chia seeds
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 150ml plant milk
Combine the oats, walnuts, chia seeds, vanilla, and plant milk in a jar and stir together. Put the lid on the jar and place in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, scoop the oat mixture out of the jar into a bowl, top with yoghurt and blueberries as desired, and enjoy.
Strawberry & Cream Baked Oats
This recipe is from one of my fave Instagram foodies, Laura of cakeontherun. All of Laura’s recipes are quick, easy, and healthy, as well as being totally free from dairy and gluten.
It takes about 35 mins from start to finish, but is definitely worth the wait.
- 50g oats
- 50g plain or vanilla soya yoghurt
- 50g chopped strawberries
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp sweetener
- 3 tbsp hot water
Pre-heat your oven to 180C/ 350F/ gas mark 4. You can then add the hot water and oats to a bowl and stir to thicken slightly. Next, add all of the other ingredients and stir again.
Pour the oaty mixture into an oven-proof dish and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve with extra yoghurt on top.