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Why oats are good for you

What are oats?

Oats are nutritious grains containing not only nutrients but other bioactive ingredients that can help keep our bodies healthy.

Oat products

The inner part of the oat is known as the groat and it can be processed in different ways.

It can be:

  • cut into three to make pinhead oats
  • ground to make flour used in making bread
  • rolled to make superfast oats for porridge
  • soaked in water and made into Oat Drink

Oat bran is made from the outer layer of the groat and it is rich in a soluble fibre called beta glucan. Oat bran can also be used in cooking and to make a delicious porridge.

Nutritional profile of oats

Rolled oats contain 367 kcals, 12 g protein, 56 g carbohydrate and 9 g fibre per 100 g (approximately 2 bowls of porridge). They have a low glycaemic load which means the carbohydrate from oats is absorbed slowly into the blood stream. Foods with a low glycaemic load prevent dramatic spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Oats also contain useful amounts of magnesium, phosphorous and manganese.

Beta glucan and blood cholesterol?

The soluble fibre in oats is known as beta glucan. It has been shown by scientific studies to lower blood cholesterol by forming a thick gel when mixed with water. In your digestive tract, it acts as a sponge, soaking up cholesterol and carrying it out of the body. Six out of every ten UK adults have raised cholesterol levels. So eating oats regularly can help to keep blood cholesterol levels healthy.

One 40g portion of rolled oats provides about 1.6g of beta glucan, which is half the suggested daily amount of beta glucan required each day.

Oats and digestive health

Constipation is a common problem in the UK. Oats contain a useful amount of dietary fibre which helps to keep food moving through the gut and maintain a healthy microbiome. The gut microbiome is made up of microorganisms which are intimately linked with the health of our body. It needs a regular source of dietary fibre to keep healthy. Current recommendations for the consumption of dietary fibre in the UK are 25g per adult, per day.  Few adults achieve this intake in the UK.

Oat drinks and lactose intolerance

Provitamil Oat Drink is lactose free and can be used as a substitute for cow’s milk in tea, coffee, hot chocolate and in cooking. Why not have a look through our recipes section for some inspiration and ideas.

Other health benefits

Eating whole grains like oats can help to reduce blood pressure and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, which is one of the most common cancers in the UK.

Including oats in the diet

Oats are incredibly versatile in cooking and can be used in used, ground as flour, in pancakes, cakes, bread and drinks. They are an ideal breakfast throughout the year as porridge in the winter and granola or muesli in the summer.

Oats and skin care

Oats contain a substance known as – avenanthramides. These can be isolated and have been shown by scientific studies to have anti inflammatory, anti – itch properties when used on the skin. Lotions containing avenanthramides are popular in the treatment of eczema.