What’s more comforting than walking downstairs to the smell of freshly cooked oats from your partner, parents, friends or a complete stranger in the kitchen?
Beyond its comforting nature, did you know that oats have a whole host of other benefits?
Let’s get into them now for you and see how we can get this wonder food into our smoothies!
Nutrients in one cup of cooked oatmeal
- A small serving of protein, hardly any fat and a decent serving of carbohydrates
- About 20% of your daily fibre RDI
- Over 70% of your manganese RDI and at least 10% of your phosphorus, selenium, magnesium, iron and zinc
- Some B vitamins
- A source of the soluble fibre, beta-glucan and insoluble fibre
The many benefits of oats
As well as the nutrients in oats, there are quite a few potential benefits associated with this grain as you’ll see below.
Oats are one of the foods often touted for use in helping lowering cholesterol.
This is due to its beta-glucan content, acting as a gel in the intestines, binding onto excess cholesterol in the digestive tract and escorting it out of the body (i.e. pooping).
That wonderful beta glucan is again responsible here, as well as the rest of the fibre in oats.
Oats help to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream and have a stabilising effect on blood sugar, preventing large spikes from happening.
With all the fibre in oats, it probably comes as no surprise that they’re going to keep you full for quite some time.
Fibrous foods stay in our digestive tract a lot longer, and provide a lot of bulk, giving the sensation of fullness.
Here’s a tip for you too, be sure to increase your water intake when having oats, having more fibre draws in a lot of water from the intestines so you don’t want to end up dehydrated.
Gut and colon health
At this stage, we are starting to feel like this article is more about the many benefits of fibre than oats!
Some studies have shown that higher fibre consumption has been associated with less constipation, less IBS type symptoms and improved gut and colon health.
And so, if you’re adding in oats to you smoothies, because of the high fibre level, you can help out your gut and colon health.
When compared to many of the other grains, oats score quite high for their protein content in their nutrient profile.
Oats protein content could sit just over 10% protein for dry weight, which means if you are using a cup of oats you could be getting 20 to 25 grams of protein for this amount.
This is why oats are great to use in your smoothies as they help boost the protein levels in them while giving you plenty of fibre at the same time.
A little more on the traditional side now.
Herbalists and naturopaths consider oats a food to help the nervous system and they may use oats following periods of illness and exhaustion.
Who doesn’t feel instantly comforted when they smell oats cooking, particularly on a cold morning?
This is of course if you’re one of the lucky people that can get oats cooked for you for breakfast.
If not, you can resort back to just having them added to your smoothies.
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The best way to use oats in your smoothies
Here are a few options for you if you choose to use oats in your smoothies:
- Enjoy our wake me up and choc banana smoothie cubes
- Use oat milk as the base of your smoothie. This post has a recipe for making plant milk, just interchange the almonds with oats or buy some oat milk in store
- Soak oats for at least an hour, drain and rinse the water. Add the oats to your blender with the rest of your smoothie.Be wary as this will thicken your smoothie
- Precook some oats and add them whole to your smoothie after blending
Blending it all together
So, whether you’re looking to up your fibre, help to lower your cholesterol, improve your gut health, help to stabilise your blood sugar or just show a loved one you care, oats certainly has you covered.
There is a myriad of ways to include oats in your life and now you can add oat smoothies to that list too!
Or if you’re struggling for inspiration, sign up for our free smoothie and smoothie bowl recipe book below and try some of those.