The evidence has only emerged in recent years, but it seems the term “sow your wild oats” has roots in health science. Oatmeal nutrition is a complex topic with a surprising amount of research to back up some ancient uses.
The history of oatmeal nutrition
Green oat has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine as a treatment for low libido. The grain was also popular in Anglo-Saxon homeopathy. It seems this ancient grain was once considered one of five culinary treatments for female infertility.
Oats, (including oat bran and oat straw), may be among the most potent and least expensive edible libido enhancers. True a bowl of oatmeal may not sound sexy but once you examine the evidence, you may be starting a whole new breakfast routine.
The link between oats and testosterone
According to the San Francisco Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, oatmeal increases sex drive in men. It appears from this study that oats increase testosterone. In fact, in the study, oats were shown to significantly raise testosterone levels in members of the rugged sex. (This is part of the reason we’ve named oats to our 10 Best Foods for Men’s Sexual Health.)
Although I can’t find conclusive evidence on what the magic compound is that links oatmeal and testosterone, I found some evidence that it might be more than vitamins linking oats with this sex hormone. It is believed that compounds found in oats called avenacosides that interfere with sex-hormone-binding globulin, thereby allowing the body to produce more testosterone. It’s clearly an area that deserves more study but the potential implications may be enough to get you eating more oats.
Of course, because commercially produced oats and oatmeal vary in processing, it’s still unknown exactly how much the average bowl of oatmeal will boost this important sex hormone, since oatmeal nutrition varies from brand to brand.
Additional benefits of oatmeal
Oats also show potential in lowering blood pressure. It does so, it is believed, by promoting production of nitric oxide, which leads to improved blood flow. And improved blood flow is, of course, not just good for reducing blood pressure but improving the sexual experience. (Good blood flow is key to arousal and the pleasures of climax.)
But oats are a source of several other nutrients linked with sexual performance and both men’s and women’s health. For starters, oats provide more protein than most grains. And protein is essential for the energy to perform not just in the gym but in the bedroom.
Some other oatmeal nutrition facts might surprise you. The carbs in oatmeal are about 11% fiber. In other words, oats are fiber-rich. Oats are also rich in vitamins B1 and B6, folate, iron, chromium, copper and magnesium. And lastly, oatmeal is an excellent source of manganese, one of the essential nutrients for men’s sexual health.
How to incorporate oats into your diet
To get a daily dose of oats, you don’t necessarily have to sit down to a bowl of oatmeal. Oats make a great addition to many breakfasts and desserts, like this oatmeal cookie recipe. You can also try using chopped oats in place of half or all the breadcrumbs in your meatloaf recipe or even pulverize them and use them as a breading for chicken.
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