Oats are hearty grains that grow in cool, wet climates. The American Heart Association acknowledges health benefits associated with eating whole grains such as oatmeal, including reduced risk of heart disease. Whether you prefer steel cut, "old-fashioned", regular, quick, or instant oats, you can rest assured you are eating a whole grain food. Oats are almost always processed with the germ, bran and endosperm intact, which makes oatmeal a highly nutritious choice. Oatmeal provides many vitamins are essential to healthy diet.
Thiamine is a water soluble B-vitamin necessary for nerve and muscle function, carbohydrate metabolism and as a component of various enzymes. You also need thiamine to produce stomach acid, which proves necessary for proper digestion of food. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, oatmeal provides 15 percent of the recommended daily amount of thiamine.
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of oatmeal provides 3.2 percent of the recommended daily amount of niacin for men and 3.7 percent for women. A component of several enzymes, niacin helps to increase energy and metabolism.
Folate is a B-vitamin that increases the production and growth of cells. Folate proves necessary for red blood cell production and for the synthesis of DNA and RNA. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of oatmeal provides 3.5 percent of the recommended daily amount of folate.
Although not a vitamin, selenium is an essential nutrient found in oatmeal. A serving of oatmeal provides 23 percent of the recommended amount of selenium for adults, according to the US Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database. Selenium is a trace element, meaning you only need a very small amount of it daily. Selenium is a necessary component of several important enzymes and also works as an antioxidant.
- Whole Grains Council: Oats-January Grain of the Month
- MayoClinic.com: Thiamin(Thiamine)
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23: Cereals, oats, regular and quick and instant, unenriched, cooked with water (includes boiling and microwaving)), without salt
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Folate
- Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrient Information Center: Selenium
- Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrient Information Center: Niacin