Whether you like them in your breakfast bowl or in a protein shake, oats are a delicious source of essential nutrients you need daily for good health. Not only do oats provide a wealth of vitamins and minerals, but they also contain a particular type of dietary fiber that can lower cholesterol. Combined with protein and other nutritious ingredients, an oatmeal protein shake makes an ideal breakfast on the go or post-workout snack.
Nutritious Whole-Grain Oatmeal
As a whole grain, oatmeal hasn't been processed to remove the bran and germ like refined grains, such as white rice. That means it retains all its natural nutrients and dietary fiber. One-third cup of dry oatmeal provides 102 calories, 73 of which come from complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates digest more slowly than simple carbs, and they keep you feeling full longer. Combining oats with protein, the most satiating of the macronutrients, will make for a filling oatmeal protein shake to keep you satisfied for hours.
One serving of oatmeal provides 3 grams of fiber, which comprises 7 to 11 percent of the 38 grams of fiber recommended daily for men and the 25 grams recommended for women. Oats are particularly rich in a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which can aid heart health. According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2014, consuming 3 grams of oat beta-glucan per day lowers levels of total cholesterol and the unhealthy LDL cholesterol without affecting levels of healthy HDL cholesterol.
Packed With Protein
Oats also contain 4 grams of protein, which will boost the total protein content of your oatmeal protein shake. Protein aids the synthesis and repair of muscle tissue and supports the immune system. The protein in oatmeal is called incomplete, because it's low in one of the essential amino acids that comprise protein. However, combining oats with an animal source of protein — such as whey — or with a complementary protein such as pea protein will create a complete protein source.
Vitamins and Minerals in Oats
Adding oats to your protein shake will add small amounts of several important vitamins and minerals. One serving of oats provides around 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance, or RDA, of the B vitamin thiamin, which is critical for growth and development and cell function. It also provides 16 percent of the RDA for phosphorus, a mineral involved in bone mineralization, energy production and cell signaling.
Almost 19 percent of the iron RDA for men is provided by a serving of oats; women will get 8.5 percent of their daily needs from one serving. Iron helps the muscles use oxygen, and it's part of many types of proteins and enzymes. Per serving, oats also provide 9 and 12.5 percent of the RDA for men and women, respectively, for zinc, a mineral that boosts immunity.
Oatmeal Protein Smoothie Recipes
There are numerous ways to make a delicious oatmeal protein shake. First, pick your protein source, whether whey, rice or pea. Next, add a serving of oatmeal and a little natural sweetness from fruit or a nut butter, which will also contribute fiber and protein.
Boys Ahoy offers up a recipe for an oatmeal peanut butter protein shake with oats, vanilla whey powder, peanut butter powder, almond milk and banana; or, you could try Jennifer Meyering's take on everyone's favorite cookie with her oatmeal cookie protein shake made with oats, chocolate protein powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract and unsweetened almond milk. Keep it healthy by avoiding added sugar, and load it up with nutritious fruits, nuts, seeds and even veggies.
- Choosemyplate.gov: What foods are in the Grains Group?
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Cholesterol-lowering effects of oat β-glucan: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
- USDA: Basic Report: 08120, Cereals, oats, regular and quick, not fortified, dry
- American Heart Association: Carbohydrates
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Protein, weight management, and satiety
- National Academy of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes: Macronutrients
- WebMD: Are high-protein foods good for the immune system?
- Sunshine Coast Dietetics: Complementary proteins and how they work
- National Academy of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Elements
- Mayo Clinic: Thiamin
- Linus Pauling Institute: Phosphorus
- MedlinePlus: Iron
- Molecular Medicine: Zinc in Human Health: Effect of Zinc on Immune Cells
- Boys Ahoy: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie
- Jennifer Meyering: Oatmeal Cookie Protein Shake