Oats – traditional yet trendy super cereal

Oats – traditional yet trendy super cereal

Heli Koskinen

Oats (Avena sativa) are a unique cereal. Oats are exceptionally nutrient-dense and healthy food which is proven to be good for the heart and stomach. It is one of the world’s most ecological crops, with the potential to replace dairy and meat products. It also has a delicious flavor which complements both salty and sweet foods.

Finland is one of the most significant producers of oats in the world. Our Arctic growth conditions, with plenty of daylight and water, are exactly what oats love. This is also why Finnish oats are exceptionally clean, safe and of high-quality. A lot of research and product development is also done in Finland with oats. This has led to many innovative oat-based products such as pulled oats, a protein-rich vegan substitute for meat.

Oats are a rich source of beta-glucan, the fiber that your heart loves

One of the reasons why oats spark so much interest is the fact that it is packed with good nutrients. The nutrient composition of oats is well-balanced: oats are a good source of slow carbs, fiber, protein, good fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. One of the most important nutrients that oats contain is beta-glucan, a soluble fiber which is scientifically proven to be good for the heart and stomach. The health claims related to beta-glucan are approved by EFSA.

The key benefits of oats include:

  • Oats are good for cholesterol: Beta-glucan helps to lower and manage the blood cholesterol levels. Beta-glucan forms a gel-like solution in the gut which prevents the food’s cholesterol from absorbing into the body. 3 grams of beta-glucan per day is needed for these effects to happen. This corresponds to for example 2 dl of oatmeal or six pieces of 100 % oat bread per day.
  • Oats regulate blood sugar: Beta-glucan also evens out blood sugar fluctuations after a meal and releases energy slowly. Stable blood sugar helps you to remain alert and focused, whereas fluctuating blood sugar levels makes you tired. This effect can be achieved by enjoying 4 grams of beta-glucan per 30 grams of carbohydrates in a meal.
  • Oats are good for the stomach: Oats contain plenty of fibers, including beta-glucan, which aid digestion. The fibers increase the feeling of fullness, prevent constipation and help the mass to pass through the digestive system. This keeps the stomach working and the gut healthy.
  • Oats are a good source of plant-based protein: Oats have an excellent amino acid composition and are therefore a good source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. Oats are also rich in vitamins B and E.
  • 100 % clean oats are suitable for people with coeliac disease: 100 % clean oats don't contain gluten which people who suffer from coeliac disease or non-coeliac gluten sensitivity cannot consume. The oats suitable for coeliacs need to be grown, harvested, transported, stored and processed so that they haven’t been in any contact with other grains.
  • Oats are good for the skin: Oats can also be used externally and it has been used in skincare for thousands of years. In addition to beta-glucan, the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fatty acids of oats moisturize and soothe the skin. Oat oil (avena sativa) has antimicrobial properties and it is a good aid for eczema or other dry skin conditions.

Oats in its many forms

Oats are an excellent addition to your daily diet.

The ideal growth conditions lead to high-quality and sustainable oats

Finland is the second most important producer of oats in the world after Canada and number one producer of organic oats. Finnish oats are known to be of high quality, with their pale color and big grains. The uniqueness of the Finnish oats is based on our Northern growth conditions which oats seem to love in particular: four seasons, plenty of daylight in the summer and clean soil. These kinds of growth conditions are impossible to create anywhere in the world.

The growth period of oats is short yet intense in Finland, from May to August–September. Oats enjoy an exceptional amount of daylight during this time: during Midsummer the length of day is 19 hours even in the South of Finland, whereas in the North of Finland the sun doesn’t even set. These long days make oats grow fiercely.

The climate in Finland is generally quite cool and we get a fair amount of rain which are also things that oats love. Furthermore, our cold and frosty winters destroy plant diseases and pests which is why the use of pesticides is minimal when growing oats. This keeps our oats and our nature clean.

Another factor contributing to the sustainability of growing oats is the fact that it doesn’t require much fertilizing or watering which is why its carbon footprint is small.

The oat industry is booming in Finland

Oats are both a very traditional and at the same time a very trendy food. In fact, oats is quickly becoming the number one grain in Finland, the land where rye has traditionally ruled the grains section. Oatmeal porridge is one of the most typical breakfasts of the Finns, known as a healthy and stomach-friendly start for the day and favored especially by the older generations.

oatmeal porridge with blueberries

Oatmeal porridge + bilberries = a classic breakfast combo.

At the same time, many innovative oat-based products have been developed here in Finland over the past years which have reached lots of new audiences among the young and the old. These include the protein-rich meat substitute pulled oats, oat pasta, oat-based yoghurts and puddings and other quick snacks such as oat crisps. These healthy yet delicious oat products have also gained lots of international recognition, and new innovations are continuously being developed.

One reason why oat-based products have gained so much popularity is the rise of veganism. Traditional meat and dairy products can be replaced with oat-based products that are of 100 % plant origin. Therefore oat products offer a much more sustainable alternative to livestock and the mass production of meat. Finland is a country where lots of research and development is done which aims to impact global phenomena such as climate change. The research and product development with oats is a good example of this.

Get to know oats better at Arctic Pure

We at Arctic Pure are proud of our Finnish oats and truly believe that it is one of the best foods we have to offer. We have included different kinds of oat-based products in our selection for you to choose from, such as oatmeal, oat porridge and oat crisp bread. The slightly sweet oats is also an excellent basis for treats, so we also recommend you to try oat biscuits and oat chocolates. Get to know our selection of oats here!

Related products

Previous article

Bilberry – the blue treasure of the Arctic forests

Next article

Sea-buckthorn – the healthiest of the Nordic wild berries

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Captcha: