Oat milk is a plant-based alternative to dairy milk that has been gaining popularity in recent years. But have you heard of the benefits of drinking oat milk?

Made from whole oats and water, oat milk has a creamy texture and nutty flavor that makes it an excellent substitute for cow’s milk in everything from adding creaminess in soups to baking.

In this article, we’ll explore different oat milk benefits and why you should consider adding this nutritious beverage to your daily routine.

Oatmeal Nutrition

According to the USDA, one cup (240 mL) of unsweetened oat milk contains

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Carbs: 16 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 50% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Riboflavin: 45% of the DV
  • Calcium: 25% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 20% of the DV
  • Vitamin D: 20% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 20% of the DV
  • Potassium: 8% of the DV
  • Iron: 2% of the DV

11 Benefits of Drinking Oat Milk:

Aside from its delicious taste, oat milk also offers a range of health benefits that make it an attractive option for those looking to improve their health.

pitcher of oat milk with oats scattered on white surface

1. It’s lactose-free

Lactose is the sugar that occurs naturally in milk. It has been associated with intolerance, which occurs when your small intestines fail to produce enough enzyme lactase to help break down the lactose.

As a result, one may experience abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, farting, feeling sick or being sick, and diarrhea or constipation.

To avoid these side effects, people choose lactose-free milk varieties, and oat milk can help you achieve that.

2. It’s gluten-free

Gluten is a group of proteins found in some grains like wheat, barley, and rye. It’s often tough for the human digestive system to fully digest, which may result in digestive symptoms in some sensitive persons.

Oats are a type of grain, but they do not contain gluten, making them an ideal choice, especially for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

However, cross-contamination can occur during processing. So ensure your brand of oat milk is gluten-free certified to ensure there’s no trace of barley, rye, or wheat in the final product.

3. It’s high in fiber

Oat milk is not only dairy free but also an excellent source of dietary fiber, with one cup of oat milk providing up to 3 grams. In fact, oat milk has the highest fiber compared to other plant-based milk like almond and rice milk.

Fiber is an essential nutrient that benefits the body in various ways, including promoting bowel movements and regularity, boosting healthy gut flora, and facilitating weight loss.

Oat milk is especially high in an essential type of fiber known as beta-glucan. This type is water soluble and can dissolve in water or digestive juices to form a gel-like substance with specific benefits.

For example, the gel takes time to pass through the digestive system, which can slow down the process of digestion, thus keeping you full longer compared to other types.

4. Cholesterol free

Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced in the liver but can also be present in some foods.

It plays various important roles in the body. However, too much of it can build up in your arteries and cause blockages. This can increase the risk of health issues like heart disease and stroke.

While animal milk is often high in cholesterol, plant-based counterparts like oat milk are free of it, making them an ideal drink, especially if you want to improve your cholesterol levels.

Besides, oat milk is rich in soluble fiber that can help bind into excess cholesterol in the gut and eliminate it from the body.

Also, this fiber prevents the reabsorption of bile acids which has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels.

5. It’s easy on the stomach

Unlike dairy, oat milk is easy to digest, which gives your stomach an easy time. This is because oat milk has no lactose or casein proteins that can cause indigestion and gut irritation. 

6. Regulates blood sugar levels

Beta-glucan can slow digestion, which means it can slow the absorption of carbohydrates in food. Thus, drinking oat milk can prevent blood sugar spikes often observed in low-fiber diets after meals, which can benefit people with insulin resistance or diabetes.

In a review of 4 studies, a daily intake of 2.5-3.5 mg of beta-glucan for 3-8 weeks improved fasting blood sugar levels. 

Slow digestion also means a slow but steady release of sugars, which can keep you energized longer.

Besides controlling diabetes, these effects on blood sugar can actually help prevent it.

vegan oatmeal milk in bottles on white wooden background. lactose free milk substitute. top view.

7. Oat milk can boost the immune system

If your immune system is strong, you’ll be less likely to fall sick; if you do, you’ll likely get better sooner than someone with a weak immune system.

The beta-glucan in oat milk has been shown to boost immune function by stimulating the activity of macrophages, a type of white blood cells that detect and destroy bacteria and other disease-causing pathogens.

Beta-glucan has also been shown to increase the activities of neutrophils and monocytes.

Neutrophils are another type of white blood cells that supplement macrophages with compounds that enhance macrophage antimicrobial properties while also healing damaged tissues as well as resolving infections. Neutrophils are the most abundant making up about 40-70% of all white blood cells in the body.

Research also shows that beta-glucan can help reduce inflammation, the root cause of most conditions, while boosting antioxidant levels in the blood. Antioxidants help fight free radicals that can weaken the immune system.

8. A good source of protein

Protein is an essential nutrient that plays important functions in the body, including repairing damaged tissues, producing enzymes and hormones, strengthening the immune system, promoting cell signaling, and building muscles.

A cup serving of oat milk can provide up to 4 grams of fiber, equivalent to 35% of the recommended intake.

What’s more, oats provide more high-quality protein than other grains.

9. Oat milk can help prevent cancer

In particular, research shows that a high fiber intake can help fight against colorectal cancer, the 3rd most common cancer type worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer death.

Colorectal cancer is often associated with poor diet and lifestyle choices.

Beta-glucans in oats have been shown to stimulate the immune system to attack cancer cells which can help slow its progression or prevent its spread to other parts of the body.

One study found that beta-glucan induced colon cancer cell death in humans and could thus be a beneficial natural agent for colon cancer prevention and treatment.

Additionally, the fiber in oat milk can promote the elimination of waste and cytotoxic compounds from the body, which can further lower the risk of colon cancer.

Moreover, oats are a good source of avenanthramides, a group of phenolic alkaloids found mainly in oats.

Avenanthramides have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the risk of chronic conditions like cancer.

Numerous studies have also shown that these compounds can induce cancer cell death as well as inhibit tumor growth.

10. Oat milk can help you lose weight

Unlike cow’s milk which is high in calories and fat, oat milk contains fewer calories and less fat. Additionally, it contains fiber, which is essential for weight loss.

Fiber helps keep you full longer, which can help eliminate unnecessary snacking that might be causing you to add on weight.

The kind of fiber in oats can also regulate your appetite and promote early satiety, which will cause you to consume fewer calories.

Moreover, as a non-dairy alternative, oat milk could reduce inflammation caused by lactose intolerance. Low inflammation promotes a healthy microbiome which can help support your weight loss efforts.

11. Oat milk can increase your energy levels

Oat milk is rich in complex carbohydrates, which take longer to digest. This can provide sustained energy until your next meal.

Additionally, oat milk contains B vitamins which help convert food into energy for use in the cells.

What Type of Oats For Oat Milk?

To make the best oat milk, selecting the best kind of oats is essential. Your focus should be on whole, minimally processed oats. 

In this case, rolled oats will be the best option. This is because they have been steamed and rolled out, making them easier to blend. 

Steel-cut oats on the other hand, are so under-processed, making its milk less creamy.

And as for quick or instant oats, they are too processed, which may result in an overly slimier outcome that may not sit well with most people.

Vegan oat milk in glass and jug with uncooked oatmeal in bowl on table over against ripe cereal field

How to Make Oat Milk:

To make your milk, blend one cup of rolled water with 3 cups of water in a high-powered blender until smooth (about 20-30 seconds). Don’t over-blend.

Pour the mixture through a thin towel or a nut bag over a pitcher or bowl. To obtain smoother milk, perform this step twice.

If not using the milk immediately, transfer it into a sealable container, store it in the fridge, and use it within 2-4 days.

How To Avoid Slimy Oat Milk

If you’ve attempted to make oat milk at home, you may have encountered a slimy texture that’s less than desirable. 

Luckily there are a few tips to help you achieve smooth, silky oat milk each time.

  • Don’t over-blend: Blending for more than 30 seconds can cause the mixture to form a gel-like consistency.
  • Use ice-cold water: Just like what happens when you cook oatmeal, oat milk tends to thicken with hot water making it slimy. So always use cold water or swap it with a cup of ice cubes.
  • Don’t sock rolled oats ahead of time: Soaking your oats will cause the beta-glucan fibers to start breaking, which will make them easy to release their starches into the liquid, causing the milk to have a slimy texture.
  • Strain well: While you may be tempted to use a sieve or cheesecloth, these two are not tightly woven, which may cause some sediments to slip through. 
  • If any small clumps or pockets of starch are left intact after blending, they can continue absorbing moisture and create that unwanted slimness. Instead, use a nut bag, but ensure you don’t over-squeeze, as this can also cause the milk to become slimy.
  • Use a high-powered blender: A high-speed blender can help break down the oats more finely than a regular blender or food processor. This allows for better extraction of the milk without leaving behind any residue that can cause sliminess. Additionally, the high blender speed means less time is allowed for the fibers to dissolve and cause sliminess.

How to Use Oat Milk in Recipes 

Oat milk is a versatile non-dairy alternative that can be used in many recipes. It has a creamy texture and neutral flavor, making it perfect for baking, cooking, or simply adding to your favorite drinks. 

Here are some creative ways to use oat milk in your recipes:

  • Creamy soups: Replace heavy cream with oat milk for a lighter yet still creamy soup
  • Smoothies: Add oat milk instead of dairy products like yogurt or protein powder for an extra boost of fiber
  • Baked goods: Substituting dairy-based ingredients with oat milk results in moist, fluffy cakes and muffins
  • Tea: Oat Milk adds richness and creaminess to hot beverages without easily curdling, unlike other plant-based milk, making it perfect as an everyday addition to teas.
  • Desserts: Make rich custards or puddings using oat milk instead of heavy cream for a more nutritious treat.
  • Make pancakes: Pancakes are a breakfast staple that everyone loves. And with oat milk, you can make them even better! Oat milk adds a subtle nutty flavor to pancakes, making them more delicious than ever before.To make oat milk pancakes, simply substitute regular milk with oat milk in your favorite pancake recipe. The result will be fluffy and golden-brown pancakes that are perfect for any morning meal.

Final Thoughts

Oat milk is a nutritious and delicious alternative to traditional dairy milk. It is naturally lactose-free, low in fat, and packed with essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

 Its high beta-glucan content also makes it a great choice for heart health. Additionally, oat milk is easy to make from the comfort of your home.

With its creamy texture and versatile use in cooking and baking, there are endless ways to enjoy the benefits of oat milk in your daily diet.

Other Plant-Based Milk Recipes To Try:

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