In our quest to put a spring back into our step, many of us scour the internet looking for the latest supplement that promises to motivate our mornings and disrupt our doldrums, but rather than eying up the latest innovations, take the time to observe the simple oats. Here’s why.

1. Avoid Blood Sugar Spikes with Oats

Mornings are often chaotic enough as we struggle to join the daily rat race, and reaching for refined carbs such as pastries and croissants or sugary cereals will only server to spike your blood pressure. Did you know that 100g of oats (Avena sativa L.) contains only around 1g of sugar? Turning regular oat into a suitable oatmeal ingredient does not involve adding any sugar or additives. With the husks and stems removed, they are lightly processed via rolling, cutting, or crushing, and are a whole-grain food making oats a great option for those suffering with diabetes or individuals who would like to manage their weight.

2. Avoid Daytime Drowsiness with Oats

After the blood sugar spike comes the crash if you don’t manage your energy consumption throughout the day. Sweet treats are only a quick fix for getting you up, but soon comes the huge downer. Oats, on the other hand, release energy more slowly, meaning that you will stay powered up for longer. This is because oats have a GI food score of less than 55. Lower Glycaemic Index foods are slower to become absorbed into the blood stream, helping to avoid the aforementioned spikes and making you feel full compared to other, high GI options such as white bread or cereal bars.

3. Oats Are a Great Source of Fiber

Oats are high in fiber. A large serving of 1 cup (81g) provides 8.1g of fiber. Even a smaller bowl of 30g will provide 3.1g, and science says that ramping up your daily fiber intake could be one of the smartest moves you could make. One study published in the BMJ concluded that for every additional 10g of fiber added to an individual’s diet, there was a 10% reduction in their chances of developing colorectal cancer. The recommended dose of fiber per day is 25g for women and 38g for men.

4. Oats may Lengthen Your Life

It’s not just colorectal cancer that might be avoided through eating more oats. Further studies show that they are just as effective at lowering blood pressure as anti-hypertensive medication. Since cardiovascular disease is linked to high blood pressure, eating more oats appears to go hand-in-hand with improved heart health. Oat grain also contains antioxidants such avenanthramides and these are thought to have, among other benefits, anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects, making them potentially valuable for skin conditions.  Those who are gluten intolerant should note, however, that in some cases, oats may be grown alongside wheat or barley, and may become contaminated with gluten. Look for the gluten free option in stores.

5. Oats are Inexpensive

Of course, of the most attractive aspect of oats is that they are cheap to buy, depending on the brand. Buying in bulk is a great idea too, since they have a long expiry date often lasting several months and beyond. Note that the “sell by” date is often conservative so that the products reach the customer in the best shape possible. Oats will last far beyond that limit. So, now that you’ve saved a few pennies by switching to oat, you may have enough money left over to add some gut friendly plain Greek yogurt into the mix, because there are plenty of ways to make plain oats more exciting without reaching for the syrup. Nuts, seeds, and berries also make for great additions to oatmeal. Get ready to power yourself up!