Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They are a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
Here are some health benefits of eating oats.
Whole Oats Are Rich in Antioxidants – Whole oats are high in antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols. Most notable is a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, which are almost solely found in oats (1).
Oats Contain a Powerful Soluble Fiber Called Beta-Glucan – Oats contain large amounts of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber. Beta-glucan partially dissolves in water and forms a thick, gel-like solution in the gut.
Lower Cholesterol Levels and Protect LDL Cholesterol From Damage – Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. One major risk factor is high blood cholesterol. Many studies have shown that the beta-glucan fiber in oats is effective at reducing both total and LDL cholesterol levels (2).
Oats Can Improve Blood Sugar Control – Type 2 diabetes is a common disease, characterized by significantly elevated blood sugars. It usually results from decreased sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Oats may help lower blood sugar levels, especially in people who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes (3).
May Help With Skin Care – The FDA approved colloidal oatmeal as a skin-protective substance back in 2003. But in fact, oats have a long history of use in treatment of itch and irritation in various skin conditions (4).
Oats May Help Relieve Constipation – Studies indicate that oat bran, the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain, may help relieve constipation in older people (5).