Oats: A Hero of Health

Oats have become quite the online buzz in recent times and a staple in many diets spanning back 32,000 years, and for a good reason. 1 There are so many benefits to eating oats; many have even moved to ditching dairy and favouring oat “milk” instead.

Oat milk uses 60% less energy to produce and 80% less greenhouse gas emissions 2meaning it’s an accessible, easy swap for people who want to make a small change for the environment and be surprisingly tasty!

Many people now enjoy oats at all times of the day; they are cheap for the most part and relatively easy to cook with.

We thought it would be good to take you through some of the benefits and then show you how you can enjoy oats and add variety to your diet and routine.

Whether this be a flapjack, baked oats, pancakes, creamy porridge or savoury? The underlying benefits of the humble oat will always be there. 

Oats and Heart Disease

Did you know that including oats in your diet can drastically reduce the risk of heart disease? 

Researchers concluded that the beta-glucans found in oats could reduce LDL cholesterol (also known as “bad cholesterol”) by up to ten per cent and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by twenty per cent. 3

The best part is that this was found with only a 3-gram introduction of beta-glucans into the diet of those within the study. 3

Oats, Whole Grains and Reduced Risk of Mortality and Cancer

There are many studies on the impact of oats and whole grains in protecting against disease, and it is a highly debated subject.

Promising research from a large-scale study meta-analysis of 12 studies found that people who ate 70 grams of whole grains a day in comparison to those who had little to no whole grains had a 22 per cent lower risk of lower mortality and 20 per cent lower risk of cancer mortality. 4

Oats, Whole Grains and Gut Health

Porridge can be a great breakfast choice; it's satiating, energising, incredibly versatile, and can potentially increase your gut health. Studies even suggest that gut bacteria ferment oats and improve the gut's overall ecosystem.

An 8-week study concluded that adding oats into the diet increased the beneficial metabolites in the gut5and another study reduced symptoms of abdominal pain and reflux in those with inflammatory bowel disease. 6

Oats and Blood Pressure

Oats are well known for their impact on blood pressure. Researchers agree that a diet rich in whole grains is just as effective in lowering blood pressure for the individual as taking anti-hypertensive medicines. 7

Oats are a powerhouse of antioxidants such as avenanthramide, a polyphenol with a high amount of dietary fibre, which can keep blood pressure low due to supporting nitric oxide production.8

The Versatile Oat

If you’ve been on the internet in the past year, you’ve probably seen that oats have become a bit of a viral trend, from baked oats to oatcakes, energy balls, overnight oats and even savoury oats.

Of all the food trends that have sprung up since TikTok started taking up so much of our days, this is probably one of the better ones. Why? Because it encourages people to diversify their diets by trying new things with an ingredient like oats, which is relatively cheap and beneficial in many ways.

This does beg the question, are any of them good? Try them to find out! Reviews have been very positive, so they're probably worth a go.

Remember, oats are just the base; you can tweak the recipes however you want to accommodate your tastes and dietary needs. 

Blueberry Oat Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 60 grams of rolled oats 
  • 10 grams vegan protein powder (Vanilla works best)
  • 1 tablespoon of chosen sweetener 
  • ¾ teaspoon of baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
  • ¼ of a banana 
  • 50ml oat milk 
  • 60 grams frozen or fresh blueberries

Method 

  1. Add all ingredients but the blueberries into a blender 
  2. Move the mix into a bowl and add the blueberries and mix in 
  3. Have a pan on low heat and lightly oiled
  4. Pour the desired size into the pan and flip once bubbles start to form 
  5. Wait until golden, then serve with maple syrup, peanut butter or yoghurt 

Oatmeal Raisin Flapjack Cookies 

Ingredients 

  • 1 Egg 
  • ½ Banana (Mashed 
  • 60 Grams crunchy peanut butter 
  • 60 Grams of Brown Sugar 
  • 20 Grams of maple syrup
  • 30 ml of oat milk 
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet cinnamon powder 
  • 1 pinch of flakey salt 
  • 150 grams of oats 
  • 60 grams of blended oats 
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder 
  • 40 grams of raisins 
  • 30 grams dark chocolate chunks 

Method 

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees 
  1. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the sugar, cinnamon and salt and peanut butter
  2. Whisk until combined 
  3. Add the oats, oat flour, and baking powder to the wet mix, then fold in the raisins and chocolate chunks 
  4. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes, then shape 10 cookies and bake for 15 minutes 

Mexican Style Savoury Oats 

Ingredients 

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil 
  • 1 clove of minced garlic 
  • 70 grams of oats 
  • 1 teaspoon of fajita spice mix 
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 1 squeeze of lime juice 
  • 500ml of water 
  • 1 Tablespoon of salsa 
  • 10 grams of grated cheese 
  • Half of an avocado 
  • 1 teaspoon of pickled jalapenos 

Method 

  1. Heat oil in a pot with garlic until garlic is fragrant 
  2. Add the oats, seasonings, paprika, lime juice, salt and water 
  3. Mix and bring to a boil, then let simmer for around 5 minutes 
  4. Top with grated cheese and put the bowl into the oven to melt the cheese 
  5. Once finished, top with salsa, avocado and the jalapeños

Brookie Baked Oats 

Ingredients

  • 40 grams blended oats 
  • 15 grams protein powder (Vegan vanilla works best)
  • Half a small mashed banana or 50 grams of vegan Greek yoghurt 
  • sweetener of choice! (Carob syrup or stevia works well)
  • 100ml of milk or milk alternative 
  • Half teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
  • End of a teaspoon of baking soda 
  • End of teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon powdered cacao 
  • 10 grams of chocolate chunks 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees 
  2. Blend your oats
  3. Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix 
  4. Remove half of the mixture and place into another bowl, and add the cacao 
  5. Then pour the cacao oat mix into the vanilla mix and make a swirl with a spoon 
  6. Let rest for 10 minutes
  7. Put the chocolate chunks atop the mix 
  8. Place the bowl into the oven for 15-20 minutes 
  9. Enjoy!

Brownie Batter Overnight Oats 

Ingredients 

  • Half of a Banana 
  • 40 grams of oats 
  • 30 grams vanilla protein powder 
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder 
  • 15 grams of dark chocolate chunks 
  • 15 grams crunchy peanut butter 
  • 1 pinch of salt 
  • 180ml oat milk
  • 5 grams chocolate chunks (topping)

Method 

  1. Melt dark chocolate in a bain-marie
  2. Put all other ingredients apart from chocolate chunks into a blender
  3. Put the mix in a bowl, add the melted chocolate, and top with chocolate chunks
  4. Leave in the fridge overnight
  5. Enjoy in the morning!

The Bottom Line

There are so many versatile ways to add this cheap little ingredient into your daily diet, and the health benefits can be incredible. Why don't you try them out and let us know how you get on?

Related Content: Mushrooms: A Feast for the Mind, Body and Gut

References → 1

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