13 Health Benefits of Overnight Oats, According to Science (+6 Delicious Recipes)

If you want to feel fuller and burn more fat, there’s nothing healtheir than eating overnight oats every morning. Contrary to popular belief, eating overnight oats is not a bad thing. People enjoy that pudding-like, creamy muesli for good reasons. The right mix of healthy food choices, studies suggest, leads to happiness, good health, and weight loss. So why won’t you incorporate overnight oats in your breakfast?

Oats is rich in a number of nutrients like fiber, carbohydrates, plant-based protein, and B vitamins. This makes it a powerful meal for gut, heart, and brain health. Also, I found that overnight oats contains good amounts of iron which help in keeping muscles healthy.

There is plenty to look forward to with overnight oats. So it’s time you let it take over your morning meals, starting tomorrow!

1. Consuming Overnight Oats Daily Can Boost Your Fiber Intake

Dietary fiber plays a role in all body processes. Most people with a low fiber diet often experience digestive problems such as stomach pain, acid reflux, constipation, and much more. It even disrupts blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Oatmeal is a good source of fiber. It offers the daily intake of 14 g of fiber for both men and women. That said, consuming overnight oats by incorporating fruits, yogurt, or milk can increase your fiber intake and accelerate healthy fiber absorption in the body.

Overnight oats contain soluble fiber which helps reduce blood pressure by unclogging the intestinal tract. It binds with LDL cholesterol in the body to soften arteries for better blood circulation. This decreases high cholesterol levels and lowers your chances of developing heart diseases. (1)

Another important benefit of fiber, present in overnight oats, is preventing cancer cell proliferation. 2 servings of whole-grain meals, including overnight oats, can reduce risk of developing pancreatic cancer. It also helps reduce inflammation associated with colon cancer.

Key Takeaway: Overnight oats are great source of soluble fiber which plays a role in stimulating better digestion, killing cancer cells, and lowering high cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

2. Overnight Oats Helps Reduce Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a common condition characterized by abnormal blood sugar and insulin levels. People who consume good amounts of plant-based proteins, present in overnight oats, are at a lower risk of developing this condition, studies suggest.

For vegetarians, plant-based proteins offer incredible anti-diabetic properties. The study was conducted on men with a high and low plant protein diet. Those who incorporated good amounts of protein in their active lifestyle with 35% less likely to be diabetic. (2)

Moving forward, the daily consumption of overnight oats was directly associated with a lower risk of type of 2 diabetes. Factors such as poor metabolic control can also cause type 2 diabetes in unhealthy individuals.

People with diabetes have excessive blood sugar levels in their kidneys. This encourages abnormal insulin activity and improper waste filtering process. Plant-based protein is proven to improve kidney function by ensuring proper excretion of waste materials. It helps in the filtration process. (3)

Key Takeaway: Most people have a diabetic problems face kidney and other metabolic difficulties. A high intake of plant-based protein, present in overnight oats, can help alleviate abnormal blood sugar and insulin levels. This lowers chances of developing severe type 2 diabetes symptoms.

3. The Plant-Based Proteins In Overnight Oats Prevents Heart Disease In Children

Your body needs proper proteins to function properly. But the need of plant-based proteins is even more critical in children with weight problems. Due to the growing popularity of fast foods, obesity in children is very likely.

This gives rise to a number of health concerns such as digestive problems, depression, lethargy, and more importantly, heart diseases. Obesity is directly related to high cholesterol levels and hypertension. But you can help alleviate such serious symptoms with the help of overnight oats.

Plant-based diets focusing on nutrients such as protein, fiber, and low-fat foods help reduce body mass index and glucose levels in children. It also helps them lose weight and improve the high-sensitivity C-reactive levels in the body. (4)

This study also added that plant-based diets reduce chances of heart disease in children already diagnosed with chronic obesity.

Moving forward, a recent study confirmed that people who added more fiber-rich foods into their diet were more likely to feel and look fit, active, and healthy than those who didn’t. (5)

Key Takeaway: Overnight oats contain two important nutrients required for fat burning and preventing heart disease in obese patients. These two nutrients are plant-based proteins and dietary fiber.

4. The Fiber Present In Overnight Oats Helps Fight Diarrhea

If you are facing digestive problems for a while now, it can mean you have very low fiber levels in your body. Fiber plays a dominant role in regulating normal bowel movements and reducing cramps.

That said, diarrhea is one such digestive condition that can be treated with the help of overnight oats. Diarrhea is characterized by irregular bowel movement. This happens when your body’s stools get to watery and you pass stools very often.

With the help of fiber, you can get your digestive system back to normal as fiber absorbs the excess fluid in the bowel. This makes the stools sticky and firm to pass through the anus more comfortably. (6)

Other symptoms of diarrhea that includes bloating and cramps can be reduced with a daily 15 g intake of dietary fiber. A single cup of overnight oats can help you achieve the daily fiber intake to treat diarrhea.

Another study suggests that fiber metabolism decreases oxidative stress in the gut which eradicated infections and diarrhea. So a high intake of fiber is essential. (7)

Key Takeaway: The powerful fiber capacity of overnight oats reduces the high amount of oxidants in the gut to lower chances of developing diarrhea. It also helps treat diarrhea by reducing excessive fluid content in the bowel.

5. Overnight Oats Contain Good Amounts Of Healthy Carbohydrates

Contrary to popular beliefs, cutting carbohydrates intake for weight loss is not an effective treatment for a healthier lifestyle. Once absorbed in your body, carbs can offer impressive health-promoting effects for weight management.

One such study focused on the intake of high carbohydrates diets in mice. The results showed that it lowers cholesterol levels, improved insulin and glucose levels, and contributed to calorie restriction. (8)

Calorie restriction, if done wrong, can lead to loss of bone density, libido, and fertility in both men and women. That’s why a recommended intake of healthy carbs and low-fat is essential for improving overall health and well-being.

Another study associated the intake of unsaturated fats and high carbs with cardiovascular disease. A study focusing on 121,701 women proved that participants with a high-carb diet showed lower signs of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. And 7,667 participants suffered from coronary heart disease due to unhealthy lifestyle habits. (9)

Key Takeaway: Interestingly, foods that contain healthy carbs are good for the heart and immune system. They prevent abnormal cholesterol levels, clogged arteries, and cancer risk.

6. The B Vitamins Present In Overnight Oats Can Boost Brain Function

Several studies suggest that B vitamins may enhance brain function. For this reason, overnight oats are often consumed by children and adults for healthy living.

One study showed a B vitamin deficiency in the body can cause major cognitive disorders. The study was conducted on mice with evidence of cerebral vascular changes and cognitive impairment due to a low B vitamin intake.

This further impaired learning and memory skills. Another symptom of B vitamin deficiency was increased plasma homocysteine concentrations which is a leading cause of cognitive dysfunction. (10)

Another study linked B vitamins with schizophrenia. The additional supplementation of B vitamins in a patient might prove effective in treating schizophrenia outcomes in severe patients. Symptoms such as hallucination, delusions, and depression might be reduced with a high intake of B vitamins. (11)

Incorporating daily B vitamins intake, with the help overnight oats, can protect elderly people from suffering severe memory loss symptoms.

A clinical trial focusing on patients with Alzheimer’s proved that a regular B vitamins intake can control toxic levels of homocysteine in the blood. This reduces brain shrinkage, atrophy, and other symptoms of cognitive disorder. (12)

Key Takeaway: Eating overnight oats for its B vitamins content can boost brain function. It provides proper nutrient absorption in the brain and slows down the developing of certain cognitive disorders.

7. Overnight Oats Are Good Sources Of Biotin Which Accelerates Hair Growth

According to an oral study, an increase in biotin intake in women showed a significant reduction in hair thinning and dryness.

Lots of factors can cause hair thinning in women. They could be environmental, genetic, or age-related factors. A clinical trial focusing on biotin consumption proved that a regular biotin intake can treat hair loss and thinning effectively.

This study also established that biotin is an essential enzyme to treat alopecia which is a severe condition where the immune system destroys healthy hair follicles. Biotin is also responsible for the proper functioning of other hair-promoting enzymes and nutrients in the body. (13)

Another important nutrient present in overnight oats, iron, also helps regulate normal hair growth. Severe iron deficiency in women is also a leading cause of irreversible hair loss.

Key Takeaway: Overnight oats contain a number of nutrients beneficial for hair health. Further research on the matter proves that regular biotin and iron intake can prevent hair thinning and loss in women.

8. Adding Overnight Oats To Your Daily Diet Can Boost Metabolism

Another impressive health benefit of biotin, present in overnight oats, is enhancing metabolism. Overnight oats also contain healthy carbs and vitamins which are essential in boosting metabolism in the body.

A pharmacological study found that certain types of biotin and carbs can improve metabolism by removing toxic effects of hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia in the body. (14)

The study shows that biotin helps stimulate genes expression which keeps the body’s metabolism in check. It also helps regulate healthy insulin production in the liver. Lack of proper biotin intake can lead to impaired glucose tolerance and abnormal lipid metabolism, giving risk to a list of metabolic diseases including diabetes.

The toxic effects of these two factors that further damage DNA synthesis and liver health. For this reason, incorporating overnight oats for its biotin and carbs content is critical.

Key Takeaway: Overnight oats have shown to have metabolic-stimulatory effects in the human body. It can be used to improve digestive function, glucose levels, and lipid metabolism in the body.

9. The Resistant Starch In Overnight Oats Offers Fat-Burning Properties

It’s no surprise if you haven’t heard about resistant starch for impacting weight loss and energy production. All healthy carbohydrates present in diets are starch-based compounds. But there are some starch compounds that pass through the digestive tract without getting digested. These are called resistant starches.

They help reduce heart problems, diabetes, and obesity in individuals.

For that reason, a simple study focusing of resistant starch’s fat burning properties proved that it affects body composition. To maintain a positive energy balance for weight loss, it’s important to burn more energy than consume. Hence, nutrients that promote energy expenditure are considered good for weight loss.

Resistant starch helps reduce fat storage, increase fat metabolism/oxidation, and promotes a lean body mass in overweight individuals. (15)

Another key benefit of resistant starch, according to this study, is increasing the thermic effect of certain types of food. This promotes further energy expenditure in humans.

Key Takeaway: The main reason why resistant starch is important is that it promotes fat metabolism and reduces body mass index. Overnight oats are good sources of resistant starch to burn fat and promote weight loss.

10. Overnight Oats Decrease Risk Of Biotin Deficiency In The Body

Biotin, also known as vitamin H, is a part of the B vitamins group present in overnight oats. It helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, strengthens the nails, and also enhance healthy skin.

A simple study in biotin deficiency in the body showed that it causes long-term health concerns such as digestive disorders, aged skin, and malabsorption problems.

To be more specific, biotin affects the skin cells to fight against chronic skin diseases such as infections, yeast, and rashes. (16)

Another health-promoting benefit of biotin can be seen in healthy brain function. Biotin directly influences the central nervous system for proper nerve signalling and neurotransmission. It also helps in keeping memory, learning, and communicative skill healthy. (17)

So it can be said that biotin keeps your brain and skin health, along with many other health benefits. (18)

Key Takeaway: A regular intake of overnight oats can increase biotin intake as well. When it comes to the symptoms of biotin deficiency in the body like cognitive impairment, heart disease, and skin disease, a biotin-rich diet is critical.

11. Iron Present In Overnight Oats Promote Muscle Health

The many nutrients present in overnight oats can prevent muscle damage. The most essential nutrient of them all is iron. Iron is the primary nutrient present in red blood cells. It’s important for transferring healthy oxygen to every other cell in the body.

A regular diet in iron, stored in muscle cells, can help keep blood vessels and muscle tissues stronger. It helps reduce fatigue and muscle soreness, especially after exercise. Another health benefit, with regards to muscle function, is carrying oxygen for energy production. (19)

One study showed that iron is important for the synthesis of hemoglobin which is needed for proper muscle and immune function. The lack of which can cause gastrointestinal problems, bone mineral loss, and muscle fragility.

Our body contains iron in the form of ferritin, which is needed for blood circulation. It also plays a role in the prevention of iron deficiency anemia in postmenopausal women. (20)

Key Takeaway: Increased consumption of iron in the body can help promote muscle health and performance. It helps carry oxygen to different cells in the body and it also enhance immune function.

12. Overnight Oats Can Decrease Risk Of Developing Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome is a serious condition affecting men. It is associated with a 38% increase in fatality, according to a recent study.

Men with RLS often experience a creeping and stinging sensation in the leg muscles. This makes it hard for patients to get sleep. Other factors affecting restless leg syndrome are kidney disease and nerve disorder. That’s why a proper intake of iron in the body can help alleviate muscle dysfunction. (21)

In one study, an increase in iron intake reduced CNS dopaminergic abnormality. It also promotes better peripheral iron absorption in the body. (22)

Reduced dopaminergic symptoms along with improved corollary condition can help lower risk of developing restless leg syndrome as much as it helps treat it.

Key Takeaway: As men age, the chances of suffering from restless leg syndrome increase rapidly. To counteract the damaging symptoms of restless leg syndrome, a regular intake of overnight oats for its iron content is essential.

13. Overnight Oats Are Excellent Sources Of Zinc To Fight Hormone Imbalance

There are number of essential hormones in the body that regulate proper metabolic functioning. These hormones prevent proinflammatory diseases such as thyroid, cancer, abnormal sexual maturation.

Zinc plays an important role in maintaining a healthy hormone relationship within the body. Studies suggest that it help in the production of active sex hormones for both men and women. It brings testosterone levels back to normal as high testosterone levels might lead to androgen resistance or cancer. (23)

This same research also showed that zinc helps in the production of sperm in men and egg fertilization and egg production in women.

Another study proved that zinc deficiency in the body can lead to abnormal thyroid levels causing hypothyroidism or thyroid dysfunction. This study focused on patients with both high and low thyroid levels.

People with autoimmune thyroid diseases had irregular zinc levels and thyroid autoantibodies. (24)

Key Takeaway: Overnight oats is a healthy meal containing zinc which is good for maintaining healthy hormones in the body. It shows promising health effects against autoimmune thyroid disease, cancer, and high testosterone levels in both men and women.

6 Delicious Ways To Start Your Morning With Overnight Oats

You can only enjoy the delightful oat sensation if you soak them overnight, right? Berries, yogurt, and milk are considered to be heavenly combinations. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t create other equally exquisite overnight oats recipes. All you need to do is prepare them a night in advance by mixing it up with whatever you like only to savor every bite the following morning. That’s it!

So let’s discuss the most popular overnight oats recipes below.

1. Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Overnight Oats

It’s like having dessert for breakfast. And a healthy one at that! The combination of overnight oats with peanut butter and chocolate fudge does sound unhealthy, but that’s not the case. In fact, it is packed with fibre, antioxidants, protein, potassium, and vitamin A.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp of chia seeds

3 tbsp of cocoa powder

1 tbsp of vanilla extract

1 cup of pumpkin puree

1 cup of almond milk

4 tbsp of peanut butter

1 ripe banana

2/3 cup of rolled oats

Chopped nuts or peanut butter or chocolate chips, to serve

1 tbsp of maple syrup

Method:

  1. Mash the ripe banana in a bowl and mix it with pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, chia seeds, cocoa powder, and peanut butter.

  2. Then bring in the oats, maple syrup, and almond milk. Combine these ingredients together. You can add more syrup if required.

  3. Cover this up and place the bowl in your refrigerator overnight.

  4. The next morning, take it out, divide it as you like. Then top it off with peanut butter, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts. And there, your healthy morning breakfast/dessert is ready!

2. Vanilla Blueberry and Flax Overnight Oats

Waking up in the morning to prepare a juicy and nutty feast with overnight oats doesn’t sound like a tedious task. Especially when you know that the dish isn’t so hard to spruce up!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp of flaxmeal

2/3 cup of water

Some salt

1/2 cup of rolled oats

1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt, low-fat

Blueberries for topping

Method:

  1. Use a storage container to combine all the ingredients listed above except blueberries. Please don’t stir them together. Just refrigerate overnight.

  2. You can stir the mixture when you wake up in the morning. By this time, it will turn thick and the oats will have become nice and soft. And that means, bring on the juicy blueberry toppings!

3. Whipped Cream Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats

Have you ever seen lots of hugs contained in a bowl? Well, that’s what you get with this delicious recipe of overnight oats with whipped maple cream, apple, and cinnamon.

Ingredients:

2 cups of cubed apples

2 tbsp of coconut butter

1 tbsp of vanilla extract

1 cup of oats, steel cut

1/2 tbsp of cinnamon

3 tbsp of coconut oil

1/2 cup of brown sugar

2 cans of coconut milk, light

Some cardamom

1/4 tsp of salt

1/4 tsp of nutmeg, freshly grated

1 cup of water

For topping:

Maple cream, whipped

Cinnamon sprinkle

Apple chunks

Shredded coconut

Coconut chips, toasted

Hemp seeds

Toasted almonds

For maple cream:

1-1/2 cups of maple syrup, pure

Method:

  1. You require a slow cooker to prepare this dish. Apply some nonstick spray on top of the cooker. Combine all the ingredients together and set them on low heat for 8 hours. Try not to stir the mixture more than twice. This is only so that the ingredients don’t stick and burn on the edges of the cooker.

  2. Once the 8 hours are up, you can enjoy these cooked oats with some milk and the wide range of toppings. Or you can place them in the fridge and savor it whenever you like.

  3. And wait a second, let’s not forget the maple cream. Pour the 1-1/2 cups of maple syrup onto a saucepan. At the same time, take a bowlful of ice water and keep it under another saucepan.

  4. Now go back to the first saucepan with maple syrup. Heat the thing until it starts to boil and let it cook. Then use a thermometer to check if the liquid has reached 235 degrees Fahrenheit. If yes, then turn off the heat.

  5. Transfer this syrup to the second saucepan that you placed on top of the ice water bowl. Let it rest like that for at least 10 minutes. Following which stir the maple syrup paste until it becomes creamy. This process should not take more than 15 minutes. Once it turns into a light, pourable mixture, you know it’s ready to spread all over your apple cinnamon overnight oats.

4. Yogurt and Fruit Breakfast Parfaits

Make-ahead breakfast is the best kind of breakfast, wouldn’t you agree? And there’s nothing better than using overnight oats with fresh fruits and yogurt to prepare something like this!

Ingredients:

1 tsp of chia seeds

1 cup of frozen mixed berries and fruits

1/3 cup of oats

6 ounces of Greek yogurt

2 tbsp of milk (almond, soy, or cow)

Method:

  1. Combine milk, chia seeds, oats, and yogurt in a medium-sized bowl. Stir these ingredients properly.

  2. Then transfer half of the ingredients in a mason jar. Create a layer of berries and fruits on top of this, again half the amount. Repeat the process for the remaining half.

  3. And this you can refrigerate overnight. The best part about it is that you can enjoy the yogurt and fruit breakfast parfaits for as long as 3 days.

5. Mango Coconut Overnight Oatmeal

Oatmeal is slightly on the heavier side, isn’t it? But when you add mangoes to the meal, they tend to lighten up the dish in the most delicious manner. So let’s find out how to prepare mango overnight oatmeal with a touch of coconut.

Ingredients:

1-1/2 tbsp of agave nectar

1/2 cup of diced mango

1/2 cup of almond milk, unsweetened

1/2 cup of rolled oats

1 tbsp of shredded coconut

Method:

  1. All that you need to do is bring all the ingredients together in a bowl or jar. Then cover it up and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

  2. In the morning, stir the whole thing well. You can add some more milk if you like. This will reduce the thick consistency of the meal, which is not such a bad idea. And that’s about it, your breakfast is ready to wake up your taste buds!

6. Salted Mocha Caramel Overnight Oats

The salt might be optional but the mocha and caramel aren’t. Try this recipe of overnight oats if you love the idea of caramel mocha.

Ingredients:

For overnight oats:

2 tbsp of cocoa powder

1 tbsp of maple syrup

1 cup of Greek yogurt

1 tbsp of chia seeds

2 chopped dates or 1 tbsp of date caramel

2/3 cup of rolled oats

1/4 cup of milk

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup of cold coffee

1 tsp of vanilla extract

For toppings:

Caramel sauce or date caramel

Yogurt

Coarse salt

Method:

  1. Mash the ripe banana in a container or bowl. Then add vanilla extract, maple syrup, milk, coffee, and yogurt to this.

  2. Next, bring in the chopped dates or date caramel, cocoa powder, chia seeds, and rolled oats. Mix them thoroughly.

  3. Cover the container or bowl using plastic wrap and place it in your refrigerator overnight.

  4. And the following morning, what you will see and taste will surprise you! The oats will have become sweet, but you can add some maple syrup too. You might also want to pour some milk to reduce the thickness of the oats.

  5. Divide the whole thing into serving portions before topping it all with caramel sauce or date caramel, yogurt, and a dash of coarse salt.

Wrapping It Up

Now you understand the obsession of eating overnight oats every morning. It’s easy to make and has impressive health-promoting effects for the heart, brain, muscles, and the skin. Deciding to incorporate this nutritive meal into your daily diet gets you one step closer to a healtheir and active lifestyle.

The number of nutrients present in overnight oats play a role in maintaining a healthy energy balance and will help you burn that excess fat from the body. If you do no consume overnight oats on a daily basis, it might cause nutrient deficiency which is a leading cause of proinflammatory diseases in unhealthy individuals.

Multiple science-backed studies prove the health benefits of overnight oats, which why it’s important you start eating it right away! Although overeating any type of food increases risk of health problems, you must make sure to eat at least 2 servings of overnight oats for its high fiber, iron, B vitamins, and carbs content.

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