Oats: is it good? See the benefits of regular consumption

A good way to maintain a balanced diet is to include whole grains in the diet. They are sources of nutrients and fiber, and can help with proper nutrition and intestinal functioning. In addition, there are studies that point to several other benefits.

Oats are an excellent option, widely consumed – including for their versatility, as soon as they can be added in different preparations.

Learn more about it and what are the advantages of consuming it regularly:

What is oats and what is it for?

Oats are one of the most consumed cereals in the world. It is a whole grain known scientifically as Avena sativa . It is a very versatile food and can be part of several main meals and in the preparation of sweet and savory recipes.

It is considered one of the healthiest grains because it contains important nutrients for the body such as fibers, proteins , vitamins and minerals. It is often consumed in the form of porridge with milk and sugar for breakfast, or it can be sprinkled on fruits such as strawberries, papayas or bananas .

In addition, oats are usually an ingredient used in muffins, breads, cookies, cakes, juices, omelets, pies, among other popular recipes. It is worth mentioning that it can be found in the form of bran, flakes or flour in supermarkets and health food stores.

What are the benefits of eating oats?

Regular consumption of oats offers a list of benefits, which are scientifically proven. Below are details of the benefits of consuming it more often in the diet.

Controls blood pressure

Because of the presence of fibers and antioxidants, oats help control blood pressure.

This benefit is known to occur because of a type of antioxidant that stimulates the production of nitric oxide in the body. And it is responsible for dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow in the arteries, which can have good results in blood pressure.

Fight cholesterol

The presence of fiber in oats helps to reduce total cholesterol and HDL-type cholesterol, which is considered “bad” for the body. One study found that adding oats to the diet significantly lowers high cholesterol. What is known is that the cereal hinders the absorption of fat in the intestine, avoiding the problem.

Helps balance blood glucose levels

Oats are considered a low glycemic index food. This means that the sugar present in the grain is digested more slowly by the body and causes lower insulin spikes.

Some studies suggest that a fiber known as beta-glucan may increase insulin sensitivity. Therefore, those who have type 2 diabetes can benefit from consuming it regularly.

Decreases constipation

Those who consume more oats may have less constipation. This occurs again because of the fibers. They give the stool more volume and also make it softer, which facilitates elimination.

A survey carried out with the elderly found that those who consumed more oats were able to reduce the consumption of laxatives.

It is worth mentioning that for this benefit to happen it is important to drink enough water for the oats to be processed. 

May reduce risks of heart problems

Cereal is also beneficial for the heart. As stated above, oats lower the body’s “bad” cholesterol and control high blood pressure . Both situations are risk factors for cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks or strokes.

A survey of more than 50,000 people indicated that consuming whole grains such as oats can reduce the risk of heart attacks by up to 27%.

May reduce bowel cancer risks

The consumption of whole grains, such as oats, decreases the risk of colorectal (or bowel) cancer .

A review of studies with the participation of 2 million people showed that fibers eliminate toxic substances from the body, which is beneficial for the intestine. And for every 10 g more fiber consumed, studies have observed a 10% reduction in the chances of this type of cancer appearing.

Improves mood

Oats are a source of tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin , a hormone that provides well-being to the body, which ends up reflecting on good mood. Therefore, regular consumption of oats can decrease symptoms of depression and sadness.

Good for the skin

Oats are rich in silicon, which acts on the skin’s collagen and elastin structure, and also contains antioxidants. Thus, it contributes to the renewal of tissues and is good for the skin by giving it more firmness and elasticity. In addition, it helps to increase hydration and softness of the dermis.

Cereal can also have beneficial effects in relieving inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema , and is also popular in facial masks or homemade scrubs.

Decreases the risk of early death

Eating more whole grains, such as oats, can reduce the risk of premature death. This is because these foods contain bioactive compounds such as antioxidants and fibers that reduce “bad” cholesterol, the risk of obesity and even rule out the chances of cancer.

It has been scientifically proven that those who choose to consume more whole carbohydrates live longer than those who consume the refined ones.

But it is worth mentioning that, regardless of the disease, the consumption of oats does not imply the suspension of any medication without medical advice.

Oats before training: is it good?

Oats are one of the foods indicated for those who practice regular physical activity. This is because cereal provides energy, since it is a source of carbohydrate. And the beta glucan fiber causes energy to be released slowly and steadily, which increases peak and mood during exercise.

In addition, oats promote muscle recovery after training. The recommendation is to consume the cereal between 40 minutes and 1 hour before training. But it should not be consumed in large quantities so as not to give the feeling of stuffiness.

Types: what is the difference between oat flakes, flour and bran?

Oats are available on the market in several versions such as flakes, flour and bran. This change occurs due to the type of processing that the grain goes through.

In flakes, it means that the whole grains were pressed and therefore did not have large losses of nutrients. It goes well with salads, yogurts and sprinkles on fruits.

In the case of oat bran, during the processing, the husks of the grains are kept, which makes it keep many fibers.

And the oatmeal is made by grinding the inside of the grain. In this way, it can replace wheat flour in various recipes such as cakes, pies and breads.

Regardless of the type of oats, they all provide several health benefits.

Is oats good or bad?

Oats are good for the body. In addition to bringing several benefits, consumption of it contributes to satiety and well-being. Food is a source of important fibers and nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins.

But as with any food, excessive consumption of oats is not recommended. In large quantities, oats can increase gases and also release the intestine for those predisposed.

Adults should consume about 30g of oats a day or 3 tablespoons. That amount is already enough to enjoy the benefits of the food.

Fat?

No. Oats are a source of carbohydrates, but also of fiber. Because of this, it contributes to the feeling of satiety, which decreases appetite. Oat fibers contribute to delay gastric emptying and prolong the feeling of satiety.

That way, it can contribute to weight loss if it is consumed regularly. One tablespoon of rolled oats contains approximately 53 calories.

There is research showing that the beta-glucan fiber releases a hormone that is produced in the intestine and that can help to reduce calorie intake. Therefore, oats can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight.

Oats are a great option to include in a balanced diet. But it is worth noting that no single food contributes to weight loss or gain.

Does oats have gluten?

No. Oats naturally do not contain gluten . However, it can be contaminated by wheat, as it is often processed with this other cereal. This situation is called cross-contamination and can also happen if oats are too close to wheat fields.

For that reason, anyone who has gluten intolerance (celiac) or allergy should be aware of the consumption of oats. In these cases, it is important to look at the composition of the food on the labels of the oatmeal packages and check if there is any trace of gluten.

Can you eat oats in pregnancy?

Yes. There are no contraindications for pregnant women. The consumption of oats during pregnancy can even be beneficial for future moms. This is because the cereal reduces constipation, which are common in pregnant women. It can also help control blood glucose, preventing gestational diabetes.

In addition, oats contain folic acid and iron, which are essential nutrients in the prenatal period.

Folic acid prevents birth defects in babies and iron reduces the risk of anemia , which is also common in pregnant women. Therefore, consumption of oats during pregnancy is recommended.


Betting on a balanced diet is a great way to take care of physical and mental health. And, for that, oats can be a great ally.

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