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Oatmeal: That’s why they’re so healthy!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 312 views

Oatmeal has been experiencing a renaissance for several years. Especially oatmeal (porridge) is very popular for breakfast. It not only tastes good, but is also healthy. Read here what effect oatmeal has on the body and whether it is also suitable for losing weight.

Are Oatmeal Healthy?

Oatmeal is an integral part of breakfast for many people – in porridge, muesli or smoothie. They are also often found in bread and other baked goods. The flakes are made from oats, a whole grain cereal that is also grown in Germany. It is one of the healthiest cereals.

Oatmeal is packed with important nutrients. They contain fiber, protein, various vitamins and minerals such as zinc, magnesium and calcium. Oatmeal is therefore often referred to as a superfood.

We summarize how healthy oatmeal is and what effect it has on the body.

Beneficial for the stomach and intestines

Oatmeal is high in fiber, especially the soluble fiber beta-glucan. It dissolves in water and forms a gel-like solution in the intestines, which forms a protective layer over the mucous membranes. It also binds harmful substances, which are then quickly excreted from the body.

Porridge is a suitable meal for people who suffer from flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea or other digestive problems, for example due to an irritable bowel syndrome. Oatmeal is also a good choice for intestinal inflammation such as Crohn’s disease, gastritis or heartburn.

Beta-glucan also promotes healthy intestinal bacteria ( probiotics ). It is most effective if you eat about 60 grams of oatmeal daily. In this way you support the development of a healthy intestinal flora.

Oatmeal further increases stool volume and is easily digested. Therefore, they are a good remedy for constipation.

Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels

Oat flakes contain polyphenols (secondary plant substances), which are among the antioxidants. Among them are avenanthramides, which are found almost exclusively in oats. Their special ability is that they can prevent damaging deposits in the vessels and thereby improve blood circulation. This has a positive effect on blood pressure.

Avenanthramides also have an anti-inflammatory function. In conjunction with vitamin C , the effect of the antioxidant is enhanced and supports the immune system particularly well.

The soluble fiber beta-glucan also binds bile, which is high in cholesterol . As a result, you excrete it in your bowel movements. The result: The harmful LDL cholesterol and the total cholesterol value decrease. This reduces the risk of heart disease.

Good for the skin

Oatmeal is rich in biotin (vitamin B7) and the trace elements zinc, silicon and copper. These ingredients are good for the skin and hair. Avenanthramides also have an antipruritic effect.

Finely ground oats (colloidal oatmeal) are also sometimes included in skin care products. Studies have shown that colloidal oatmeal provides relief in the treatment of various skin diseases, including eczema and pimples.

What are the nutritional values ​​of oatmeal?

Oatmeal is rich in many healthy ingredients. They convince above all with their high fiber content and their complex carbohydrates. The question of how many calories oatmeal has comes up again and again. There are 368 calories per 100 grams.

100 grams of rolled oats also contain:

  • 13.5 grams of protein (protein)
  • 58.7 grams of carbohydrates
  • 7.0 grams of fat
  • 10 Gramm Ballaststoff
  • 43 milligrams of calcium
  • 130 milligrams of magnesium
  • 397 milligrams of potassium
  • 4.3 milligrams of zinc
  • 5.8 milligrams of iron
  • 0.59 milligrams of vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • 0.15 Milligram Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
  • 1.5 milligrams of vitamin E
  • 0.02 milligrams of vitamin H (biotin)

Oatmeal usually does not contain any vitamin B12. The vitamin D value is also very low at 0.01 μg. However, oatmeal contains so-called avenacosides. They cause the body to produce more testosterone.

Does oatmeal help you lose weight?

Due to their high fiber content, oatmeal keeps you full for a long time, stimulates digestion and prevents food cravings. That’s why you can actually lose weight with oatmeal. A portion of porridge contains an average of about 40 grams of rolled oats. That equates to five to six tablespoons and about 140 calories.

Even if oatmeal is anything but fattening, pay attention to the foods you use to prepare your porridge. Use water or unsweetened plant-based milk instead of full-fat whole milk. Healthy toppings include nuts, fruit, and granola.

There is no set rule as to when you should eat oatmeal to lose weight. You might use it to make oatmeal for breakfast and have oatmeal bread in the evening. Just make sure that you consume a maximum of 300 grams of oatmeal a day – spread over several meals.

There’s also what’s called an oatmeal diet, where you only eat oatmeal for at least a week.

Read more about the oatmeal diet here .

But if you’re on a low-carb diet, oatmeal is off-limits because of its carbohydrate content. Also, avoid chocolate topping or ready-made mixes with added sugar. Depending on how you cook oatmeal, you may gain weight as well.

Are oatmeal gluten free?

In principle, pure oats are gluten-free. However, the grain is still sometimes contaminated with gluten, as it may be processed in the same facilities as gluten-containing wheat, rye and barley.

Several studies show that most people with gluten intolerance (celiac disease) or wheat allergy can eat between 50 to 100 grams of oatmeal per day without experiencing any symptoms.

But if you absolutely cannot eat gluten, buy special gluten-free oatmeal. They are marked with the crossed-out ear of corn emblem on the packaging.

On the other hand, people with an intolerance to histamine and fructose have no problem with oatmeal . Oatmeal is considered to be low in histamine and fructose.

Oatmeal and Diabetes

In diabetes, the blood sugar level is usually elevated. Oatmeal can help lower blood sugar levels. This is due to the fiber beta-glucan. The sugar only gradually dissolves out of the gel-like mass that it forms. This delays the absorption of glucose in the blood.

There is evidence that high glycemic index foods may be linked to diabetes. The glycemic index indicates how a carbohydrate-containing food affects blood sugar levels. The following applies: the lower the GI, the less the blood sugar level rises. Oatmeal does not have a high glycemic index.

However, the connection between GI and diabetes is not clearly scientifically proven.

Read more about the glycemic index here .

How to properly prepare oatmeal

Oatmeal is rich in calcium. However, oats also contain phytic acid. It binds important nutrients such as calcium, iron, zinc or magnesium. As a result, the body can no longer absorb and utilize them as well. However, oat flakes are not a calcium robber.

Soaking the oats in milk, water, or plant-based drinks overnight or for at least 30 minutes helps. As a result, the phytin content is significantly lower. There is also talk of “Overnight Oats”.

Oatmeal also contains lectins. The proteins are mostly found in plants. They serve to protect against predators, but can also make people sick. The good news: Soaking and cooking renders lectins harmless.

In the supermarket there are also so-called instant oatmeal. They consist of wholemeal oat flour and are very quickly soluble in liquid.

If you “only” boil oatmeal and then eat it warm, it is easily digestible, but vitamins are also lost. The phytic acid is also retained.

Oatmeal: You should pay attention to this!

  • There is a difference between hearty and tender oatmeal. While robust oat flakes are made from whole oat grains, they are crushed again for tender oat flakes. The grainier variant probably has a more positive influence on the intestinal flora because it contains more resistant starch.
  • You can easily eat oatmeal every day. They are also a nutritious meal during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Oatmeal is good for athletes. Since they provide a lot of energy, they are also suitable before training.
  • When estrogen levels fall during menopause , it sometimes affects digestion. Oatmeal is a good way for affected women to do something about constipation.
  • Oat allergies are very rare. However, if you notice a constant runny nose, inflammation on the skin or chronic gastritis after eating oatmeal, consult a doctor.
  • Good alternatives to oatmeal are quinoa, amaranth rice flakes, millet or chia seeds.
  • If you have diverticulitis, you can continue to eat high-fiber foods like oatmeal.
  • In osteoporosis, oatmeal is an important source of magnesium.

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