When you think of oats, “breakfast” might be the first thing that comes to mind. Oatmeal is hailed as a tasty and filling breakfast food. If you suffer from a gluten intolerance or a gluten sensitivity, you may be wondering, “Are oats gluten free?” Researchers have studied the answer to that question. Oats aren’t a type of wheat, barley or rye grain, which are all whole grains that contain gluten. They are however, packed with nutrients. Oats health benefits include improved digestion, increased immunity, lower cholesterol and more.
Are Oats Gluten Free?
So we know that oats offer a wide variety of health benefits, but are oats gluten free? The answer is yes. Instead of gluten, oats contain a protein called avenins. They are considered to be a safe option for those who suffer from a gluten allergy or gluten intolerance. Oats are easy for most people to digest, and they are far less likely to cause a negative reaction.
Oats Health Benefits
1. Lower Cholesterol Levels
Are oats gluten free? Yep, and they even help lower cholesterol. Oats health benefits include providing the body with a high amount of soluble fiber, which works to naturally lower cholesterol levels. Oats contain more fiber than many other grains. Studies have shown that consuming oats and other high-fiber foods can help improve cardiovascular health. (1)
2. Provide the Body with Fiber
Oats health benefits include the ability to increase fiber intake. Oats and other whole grains help increase satiety, thanks to the fiber they contain. Foods that are rich in fiber can also help reduce food cravings and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
3. Improve Digestion
Oats health benefits include improved digestion. The fiber content helps to maintain regular bowel movements and ensure that the digestive system runs smoothly. High-fiber foods like oats can also help reduce digestive problems, such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
4. Increase Immunity
Oats health benefits include the ability to boost the immune system. They contain beta-glucans, which work to enhance immune function by fighting off bacterial infections. Beta-glucans fight inflammation that causes disease by activating certain immune responses. Research has shown that consuming foods rich in beta-glucans may help the body naturally fight cancer cells. (2)
5. Have a Low Glycemic Score
Not only are oats gluten free, they also rank low on the glycemic index. This means they can help prevent dips and spikes in energy and blood sugar levels. Oats health benefits include the ability to provide the body with slow-releasing carbohydrates, which help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. (3)
6. Provide the Body with Trace Minerals
Oats health benefits include the ability to balance hormones, thanks to the nutrients they contain. One serving of oats contains about 73% of the daily recommended amount of manganese, and about 16% of your body’s daily phosphorus needs. These minerals play an important role in supporting metabolism, maintaining energy levels and balancing hormone levels. Oats also contain selenium, magnesium, iron, copper and B vitamins. Adding oats to your diet can help prevent a magnesium deficiency and an iron deficiency.
7. Provide the Body with Protein
Oats health benefits include the ability to provide the body with plant-based protein. They contain more protein than most other grains. Thanks to the protein and fiber they contain, oats make a healthy and filling breakfast option.