Overnight Oats…a trendy choice but are they a health choice?!
Overnight oats are very much on-trend at the moment but the origin of the idea may not seem so trendy… A Swiss Doctor, Dr Maximillina Bircher-Benner, in 1900 was looking for a way to serve good nutrition to his patients and so came up with the idea of ‘muesli’ (or as it translates ‘mash-up’) – the original recipe was a mix of raw oats, soaked overnight in water and lemon juice and eaten with yogurt, fresh fruits and nuts.
Today there are many, many variations of overnight oats – depending on your taste and imagination!
But are they a good food choice?...YES!
- Oats provide well-balanced nutrition. They provide carbohydrate, protein and essential fatty acids.
- Oats quadruple in size when soaked overnight therefore are very filling. They contain ‘resistant starch’ which is broken down slowly by the body and so will keep you feeling full for longer.
- You are planning ahead therefore are less likely to make a bad breakfast choice on the go.
- When oats are soaked overnight their starch becomes more easily absorbed by the body and so can aid bowel function and problems such as constipation.
- They contain a dietary fibre, beta-glucan, that can help lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Oats can help lower cholesterol and maintain healthy arteries.
- Some studies suggest that the soluble fibres in oats can improve insulin sensitivity and therefore lower your risk of diabetes.
- Overnight oats are high in carbohydrate and protein and so will maintain your energy levels and stamina during the day.
There are endless ways to be creative with this health breakfast (or any time of day!) choice.
This is a very quick and easy version to try…
- 40g Porridge oats
- 200g Natural/Greek style yogurt
- Mixed berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries (I use frozen berries straight from the freezer)
- Layer the oats, yogurt and fruit in a jar or bowl.
- Cover and put in the refrigerator overnight.
- In the morning, stir the layers together. You can add more fruit, nuts…or anything you fancy!
Written by Dr Aileen McPhillips.
Dr Aileen McPhillips is and Private GP at Kingsbridge Private Hospital. She graduated from Queen’s University, Belfast in 2004. She completed training in General Practice and graduated as a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2009. She enjoys all aspects of General Practice, however she has a special interest in Family Planning and Women’s Health (and has completed further training with Diplomas from the Faculty of Family Planning and Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists. To book an appointment with Dr Philips, please visit our online booking link.
Posted on 02 Oct 2018