It’s become really popular for people to soak oats overnight in water or plant-based milk, like almond or coconut milk. That way, they can just grab them out of the refrigerator in the morning for a ready-to-go breakfast. But is this the best way to eat oats?
The Benefits of Oats
Oats are complex carbohydrates that are loaded with good-for-you fiber, as well as trace amounts of protein and fatty acids. Their fiber-rich content makes them a potent prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. And a healthy gut is important for your immune system, digestion, appetite control, and even your moods.
The Downside of Oats
Despite these benefits, you need to remember that oats are grains, and they shouldn’t be the staple of your breakfast or any other meal of the day. The fact is that our digestive systems aren’t designed to process large quantities of grains, especially the genetically hybridized, pesticide-sprayed “Franken-grains” produced by our modern agricultural system. It’s no coincidence that when humans started farming grains and other crops, evidence of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer began to show up.
Oats may also contain gluten, the sticky substance found in many grains. Gluten-related issues are on the rise. And gluten sensitivity can lead to over 100 different symptoms, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and brain fog.
The Problem with Uncooked Oats
On top of these issues, there’s an added problem with eating uncooked oats. When simply soaking oats overnight without cooking them, they are more likely to be troublesome to your digestion than cooked oats. That means you’re more likely to experience those GI symptoms like bloating, flatulence, and stomach cramps. And if you already have issues with grains or gluten, these unpleasant symptoms may be more severe.
The Bottom Line on Oats
If you really want your oats, I recommend cooking them rather than soaking them overnight in order to make them less bothersome on your digestion. In addition, be sure you don’t make them a staple of your breakfast (or any other meal). In the old food pyramid, grains were supposed to be the staple of all your meals with only small amounts of vegetables and protein. Brain Warriors need to flip that so you’re eating mostly vegetables, a small amount of protein, and very few grains.
With oats, always opt for the steel-cut variety (not the instant kind), look for gluten-free brands, don’t eat more than ½ cup a day, and don’t eat them every day.
For a Warrior-friendly replacement for oatmeal, try my Power Breakfast Porridge on my website. You can also find my recipe for “Omni Oatmeal” in my book, The Omni Diet. You can get 21% off when you enter the promo code TANA21 at checkout.