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Is Eating Raw Oats Healthy?

Raw oats are healthy to eat but soak them first. When you soak them, oats decrease the amount of phytic acid, an antinutrient that interferes with absorption. Many people love eating raw oats – they soak them in milk or plain water just like cereal. If you eat raw oats this way, you’re doing it the healthy way. But what’s the wrong way? It’s simple – eating raw oats dry without soaking them is wrong and can cause unpleasant effects.

This article will discuss what raw oats are and whether eating them raw is healthy. We will also discuss raw oats’ benefits and the best way to eat them. Read on.

What are raw oats?

Oats are grain foods enjoyed everywhere around the world. They provide a balanced nutritional value, and most importantly, they are easily accessible and inexpensive.

Credits: Kai WenzelHire

Your body cannot digest whole oat kernels. Therefore, the seed must be processed first to take out the inedible outer shell to get the edible grain.

Raw oat grain processing begins with breaking up husk from the oat groats. The external shell is called oat fiber, primarily used in baked goods and smoothies.

Oat groats and steel-cut oats are very thick and cannot be eaten raw. They need to be processed further to produce rolled oats.


The Best Way To Eat Raw Oats  

Eating raw oats can be more nutritious than cooked ones. However, this is true when you don’t eat them dry. Consuming raw and dry oats is not healthy since it’s somewhat hard to chew and ingest. 

In addition, raw and dry oats can bulk up in your tummy, causing discomfort. If you consume them dry, make sure you drink plenty of fluids to avoid a stomach ache.

Soak Them in Water

It’s recommended to eat raw oats that are softened through soaking. For your stomach to digest starch, it must break down the thick cell membranes. When you soak them, they rupture the cell membranes, making the oats easy to digest.

  • Put them in a bowl and add two or three cups of boiling water, depending on the amount.
  • The water should not be more than 110 degrees hot. Let the raw oats sit for around 15-20 minutes, then mash them.

The heat from the boiled water will break down the cell membranes of the starch and will make it even easier to ingest the preparation.

Mix With Your Shake

 You can also mix raw oats with your shake. It can be a good way, since you consume oats and liquids. To make it best, soak the oats in the shake, and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes before drinking. 

Oats Mix With Shake

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The Nutritional Value of Raw Oats

Oats are highly praised because of their high fiber content. In addition, they are a source of plant-based protein, healthy fats, and necessary nutrients, including;

  • Carbs
  • Calories
  • Fiber
  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Phosphorus
  • Selenium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc

Apart from having essential nutrients such as magnesium, iron, and calcium, oats are jam-packed with both insoluble and soluble fiber. 

Oats have a particular kind of soluble dietetic fiber known as beta-glucan. This beta-glucan fiber forms a gel-like matter inside your digestive tract.


Beta-glucan is the primary source of soluble fiber in oats. It is powerfully associated with reducing cholesterol levels and increasing heart health.

Furthermore, oats provide a highly absorbable plant protein that has a higher value than lots of other whole grains. The protein in oats is highly nutritious.

Generally, oats contain high-quality protein and more fiber than other grains. Oats also offer a collection of important vitamins and minerals. 

Health Benefits Of Raw Oats

Oats are not just delicious, but they are full of numerous helpful plant-based compounds. These compounds provide many health benefits listed below. 

Raw oats are very helpful in that you can prefer them over oatmeal. Generally, cooking a nutritious food typically reduces its nutritional value. Therefore, semi-cooked or raw food items are usually great for your health.

Even though cooking improves the taste of food, it can compromise nutrition. Just put your oats in normal hot water or milk overnight to get the best out of this whole grain. Below are some of the health benefits of eating oats the right way..

1. Oats Are Nutritious

Oats boast a great source of carbohydrates, providing a collection of nutrients as well as health benefits.

Whole-grain oats are packed with all three parts of the grain (the bran, endosperm, and the germ). This is not the case with other refined grains usually found in breakfast cereals.

All these parts have their own nutrients, including vitamin B and E, fiber, and antioxidants.


2. Oats Can Help Lower Cholesterol Levels.

High cholesterol in the blood is one major risk factor for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death globally.

Beta-glucan, (the fiber in oats), according to studies, effectively reduces both total and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.

Beta-glucan can increase the release of bile rich in cholesterol, which lessens the cholesterol circulating levels in the blood.

In addition, oats can protect oxidation of bad (LDL) cholesterol.

Bad (LDL) cholesterol oxidation occurs when it reacts with free radicals. Oxidation is another step in the development of heart disease.

It results in damaged tissues and inflammation in arteries. These can increase the risk of getting strokes and heart attacks.

 Bowl Of Oatmeal

Credits: Mariana IbanezHire

3. Oats Control Blood Sugar 

Oats might help lower blood sugar levels, particularly in patients with type 2 diabetes and those overweight. The beta-glucan present in oats can improve insulin sensitivity.

All these effects are accredited mainly to the ability of beta-glucan to create a thick gel. This thick gel delays the emptying of your stomach and glucose absorption in the blood

Since beta-glucan is a soluble fiber, oats can improve insulin sensitivity, lowering blood sugar levels.

4. Oats Are Good For the Heart

A study on diet and blood pressure showed that eating raw oats can help reduce the risk of blood pressure. High blood pressure is linked with heart-related diseases. Therefore, regulating and lowering your blood pressure can help to avoid cardiovascular diseases. 

Besides, oats can lower the risk of heart diseases since they reduce both total and bad (LDL) cholesterol and protect bad cholesterol from oxidation.

5. Oats Are Healthy For Your Gut

Don’t forget the digestion impact of this whole grain. Oatmeal is regarded as a friendly digestion meal. However, raw oats can be more beneficial than cooked ones. They promote easy bowel movement, which keeps constipation away.

Vast amounts of beta-glucan partly dissolve in water and create a thick, solution-like gel in the gut, promoting healthy gut bacteria.

Raw oats are helpful for the digestive system in general.

6. Oats Can Promote Weight Loss

Oats are not just tasty breakfast food. It is very filling too. Filling foods can assist you in eating fewer calories, leading to weight loss.

The beta-glucan can increase the feeling of fullness by holding up the time it takes the stomach to empty food.

In addition, beta-glucan can encourage the release of PYY (peptide YY), a hormone produced in the gut). This hormone leads to decreased intake of calories and can lessen the risk of becoming obese. 


7. Oats Are Rich In Antioxidants

Oats are highly packed with antioxidants as well as beneficial plant compounds known as polyphenols. The most well-known is a matchless group of antioxidants known as avenanthramides, found almost in oats only.

Avenanthramides can help to lower blood pressure levels by raising nitric oxide production. This gas compound helps to widen the blood vessels, leading to enhanced blood flow. Additionally, avenanthramides contain anti-itching and anti-inflammatory effects.

8. Oats Are Good For Your Skin

Have you ever paid attention to the tags of face creams and lotions on the market these days? Probably, you will find oatmeal in many of them. This is because the benefits of oats for itchy, dry, and irritated skin have been discovered in history.

Oat starch creates a barrier that permits your skin to maintain moisture. The rougher leathery oat husk acts as a calming exfoliator. Oats absorb excess oil in the skin and aid in treating acne.

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in oats help treat dry skin and eliminate dead skin cells. In addition, oats can act as a natural cleanser by taking away dirt and oil and exfoliating your skin.

Pouring maple syrup on a bowl of oatmeal.

Credits: K8

Probable Downsides Of Eating Raw Oats

Raw oats are considered safe to eat. However, you can soak them in juice, water, or milk to prevent unwanted side effects.

Oats contain high fiber, which naturally soaks up moisture, especially from their surroundings. Therefore, if you consume raw oats while dry, they usually absorb liquid around your digestive tract.

1. The Taste May Not Appeal to You

Raw oats might not be as delicious as cooked ones. Though this can depend on how you prefer to take them, a cooked bowl of oatmeal might be more delicious.

2. Raw Oats Contain Phytic Acid

In addition, raw oats have phytic acid, an antinutrient that encourages nutrient deficiencies. Phytic acid hinders the absorption of minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc, making it complex for the body to absorb them. In the end, this can cause significant nutrient deficiency. However, this is not a problem if you eat a well-balanced diet. 

Soaked raw oats decreases the quantity of phytic acid in the oats, thus reducing the impact. Moreover, soaking stimulates fermentation, and this makes digestion easier. Soaking also softens the oats, which helps to prevent constipation.

To decrease the quantity of phytic in the oat well, soak your oats for a minimum of 12 hours.


Consuming dry raw oats can create blockage because of an accumulation in the stomach or intestines. This can eventually lead to constipation or indigestion. Lack of water makes the oats form a thick cement-like sticky residue in your colon, preventing stools’ smooth passage.

Raw Oats VS Cooked Oats

Cooked oats can mainly serve as a hot food during the chilly winter months. They have less amounts of calories per volume due to the water content.

A ½ cup of raw oats brings 1 cup after cooking. Therefore, it clearly shows that one cup of raw oats will be two times the amount of carbohydrates and calories.


  • Raw oats are very beneficial to your overall health. However, there are several things you should consider before starting to eat them.
  • Avoid eating dry raw oats since they can cause indigestion and constipation.
  • Before eating, soak whole grain oats in juice, milk, or water overnight.
  • Also, you can try to put oat pellets in hot milk, but don’t cook them after adding oats. Just use hot milk.
  • Eat oats once a day. Eating more than that can cause reverse effects. Also, make sure you take a well-balanced diet aside from raw oats. 


Frequently Asked Questions On Eating Raw Oats

Here are some common frequently asked questions about eating raw oats.

1. Can Eating Raw Oats Hurt?

No. It’s totally safe to eat raw oats, provided that you have soaked them overnight.

2. Can Raw Oats Help Me Lose Weight?

Oatmeal can help you shed weight by making you feel fuller. This is because it slows down the emptying of your stomach and increases satiety hormone PYY production.

3. Is Oatmeal Good For My Health?

Oats are among the most healthy whole grains on the planet. They are a great source of essential antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

Oats and oatmeal contain numerous health benefits, including low blood sugar levels, weight loss, and reduced risk of heart-related diseases.

Jess Smith

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Thursday 21st of July 2022


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