Benefits of eating oats

Most of the grains we eat nowadays are refined, processed, or blended with additives to make them sweeter, softer, last longer... and so on. The real beauty of wholegrain oats is that they taste good just the way they are. There’s nothing stopping you from adding a drizzle of honey, or a smattering of fruit of course, it’s just that the benefits of wholegrain oats in our range bring you a host of health advantages without any effort needed on your part!

Good for gut health

Gut health is a hot topic at the moment because we’re learning more and more about how the gut can affect our overall health. For example, our gut and the microbes that live there (our microbiome) are known to influence our immune system, our skin, our brain and mood, and even our body weight. So a gut in poor shape can cause more problems than just bloating or indigestion!

Oats are one of the foods that can help keep our gut healthy. They’re high in gentle fibre, which not only helps us stay regular, but also ‘feeds’ the friendly bacteria in the gut. These bacteria then make a substance called butyrate, which helps keep the gut lining healthy. Oats can also be a good alternative to wheat-based products such as cereals and breads to keep our gut happy, as wheat can trigger digestive problems for some.

Good for healthy digestion

The latest guidelines* recommend most adults try to eat 30g of fibre a day (most adults eat only 18g on average). A diet rich in fibre has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer. Whether you choose an oatcake with lunch, a gluten free Biscuit Break with a cuppa, or a grab bag of Snackers on the way to the gym you’ll be adding vital fibre to your diet.


Recommended daily fibre intake

2-5 year olds: 15g

5-11 year olds: 20g

11-16 year olds: 25g

Adults: 30g


As well as helping you feel full, soluble and insoluble fibre also helps maintain a healthy digestion and helps to keep you regular.

“Fibre can help to keep our bowels healthy and can help us to feel full, which means we are less likely to eat too much.”

NHS Livewell website, 28.11.14

The good news is over 95% of Nairn’s product range are high in fibre and can help increase your fibre intake.

A source of key nutrients

We use only wholegrain oats which are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and E, iron and magnesium. Magnesium and vitamin B are both important for strong nerves. Oats also aid concentration levels and promote a sound night’s sleep by helping melatonin to reach your brain.

Oats typically contain the following vitamins and minerals:

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Vitamin B1 contributes to energy-yielding metabolism – our cells’ ability to make energy from our food. It also supports the function of our heart, nervous system and psychological function, including mood and mental health.

Vitamin B6

Like B1, vitamin B6 also supports energy-yielding metabolism, the nervous system and psychological function. In addition, it plays a role in our immune system and hormone balance and, together with vitamin B12 and folate, helps to build red blood cells that carry oxygen around our body.

Folate (folic acid)

Folate is a B vitamin too. It helps to build healthy blood, contributes to normal psychological function (including mood), and supports a healthy immune system. Folate is particularly important in pregnancy, as low levels of folate during pregnancy are associated with neural tube defects in the developing foetus. It also plays a role in cell division, which is vital for growth and repair, as well as for reproduction.


Iron is part of haemoglobin, a protein inside our red blood cells that carries oxygen to all our tissues. Like folate, iron is also essential for a healthy immune system and cell division. It also plays a role in cognitive function – which includes memory, reasoning and learning ability.


Magnesium has many vital roles! Like calcium, it’s important for strong bones and teeth. It also works with calcium to help with muscle function (the muscles’ ability to contract and relax), and to support the nervous system. Like some of the B vitamins, it supports energy- yielding metabolism and healthy psychological function. And it also helps to build proteins in the body, which are vital for growth and repair.


Zinc is probably best known for its role in the immune system.  It also plays important roles in vision, bone strength, cognitive function (like iron), healthy hair, skin and nails, healthy testosterone levels and our body’s ability to break down and use the carbohydrates, fats and proteins in our food.


Manganese is a mineral we need in only tiny amounts, but it’s no less important. It supports bone strength, and also the health of our connective tissue – which includes skin, tendons and ligaments (that hold our muscles and bones together). Manganese also has antioxidant activity, helping to protect our cells from damage. And, like many other nutrients, it also plays a role in energy-yielding metabolism.


Phosphorus is best known for its role in bone health. In fact, it’s just as important as calcium for our bones and teeth! It’s also crucial for energy production: our body’s energy molecule ATP – adenosine triphosphate – is made using phosphorus. And it’s an essential part of our cell membranes, allowing substances to get in and out of our cells as needed.


Independent analysis shows a typical 100g portion of our oats contains the following:

Typical Values Per 100g
Iron 4.53mg
Magnesium 110mg
Manganese 4.06mg
Phosphorus 375mg
Zinc 2.26mg
Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine) 68.2μg
Total Folates (Folic Acid) 6.70μg
Vitamin B1 (as Thiamine Hydrochloride)     

Lower cholesterol

Scientists know the sticky wonder stuff in oats as beta-glucans. It’s a type of soluble fibre which has been proven to help lower cholesterol. Oats heart your heart.


Gluten free

All oats are naturally gluten free, but can become contaminated by other grains during growing and milling. If you’re coeliac or following a gluten free diet for medical reasons and need the added reassurance of purity, our dedicated gluten free range is produced under the most careful conditions. Every batch is independently tested to ELISA standards before it reaches the supermarket shelves to ensure no other grains become mixed with the oats at any stage.

If you're not coeliac and are simply looking to reduce your wheat intake, our oatcakes, crackers and flatbreads are a delicious alternative to bread. 


Naturally energising

Wholegrains are a rich source of fibre, vitamins and minerals – oats are high in soluble fibre and also naturally contain manganese**, phosphorus**, magnesium, zinc, iron, folate, vitamin B6 and thiamin.

Our oatcakes contain nutrients** that contribute to normal energy-yielding metabolism. Or, in other words, our products contain nutrients, which help to efficiently transform the carbohydrates in the food into usable energy*.  

This is all part of helping you get the energy you need from the wholegrain oats used in all of our products.      

*Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 on the list of established health claims permitted on foods.


There's no wheat in our recipes

All Nairn’s products are made with oats, not wheat. So if you have a wheat allergy or intolerance, then our savoury range makes a tasty and wholesome alternative to bread.  

We all eat too much wheat in the Western diet (think bread, pasta, biscuits and cakes) and it’s important to keep things varied and balanced. For some really simple swaps, try oatcakes with your soup instead of bread, or top a Nairn's Gluten Free Flatbread with your favourite sandwich filling. Or, ditch your usual sweet biscuits in favour of our oat biscuits or biscuit breaks. Feeling inspired to make a change? Find out more here.


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