Aside from being a wonderful addition to bakes and breakfasts, what is the deal with oats?
Oats are high in a specific soluble fermentable fibre called beta-glucan. Beta-glucan acts as a substrate for our gut microbiota in the large intestine to produce short-chain fatty acids (which play a key role in our immune & gut function). They help form viscous solutions in our intestine (basically, they bulk up our stool which is a very important thing!). This bulking also means the transit time of food is slowed down as it moves though our gut, in turn increasing nutrient absorption
The FDA have actually supported the health claim labelling of oat beta-glucans on the basis of their blood cholesterol lowering properties.
Increased intake of this dietary fibre has been linked to reduced levels of blood cholesterol and triglyceride markers, indicative of a beneficial effect in the reduction of cardiovascular disease risk.
However, we do need to be aiming to consume 3g of beta-glucans a day either from oats or barely to see these benefits (and just a little reminder that we need to be aiming for >30g of fibre in total in our daily diet!).
So what are you waiting for, go and explore my baking recipe section for some oaty inspiration!