Winter is coming – are you getting your oats?

The evenings are drawing in, the paths and roads are full of fallen leaves and the supermarkets are throwing us all into confusion as they reorganise the aisles to make way for the festive range. There’s no avoiding the fact: winter is coming.

With it come various changes in our daily routine. Coats and heavier shoes are being pressed back into action, the central heating is back in daily use and that yoghurt and fruit that seemed like the perfect breakfast just a month or so ago is no longer quite so tempting. A steaming bowl of porridge is just the thing to set you up for the day.

Those of a certain age will remember the TV ad campaign showing the glowing boy heading off to school with the tagline that described a certain well known brand as “central heating for kids.” Pure advertising spiel? Not exactly. In fact, the slow releasing energy that oats deliver do indeed act as an internal heating system and are precisely what we all need.

What’s so great about oats?

Oats are rich in beta-glucans, a soluble form of fibre that slows the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. This delayed digestive process damps down the spikes in insulin levels and blood sugar that we so often see with other energy-giving foods.

On top of that, oats are a great source of magnesium. This is also important for giving energy, and is key to enzyme function. Magnesium has been proven to reduce the likelihood of strokes and heart attacks, as it relaxes the blood vessels, aids the heart muscle and regulates blood pressure. There is also significant medical evidence to suggest that a magnesium-rich diet reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

What if you don’t like porridge?

Porridge isn’t for everyone, but it is certainly not the only source of oats. Oat pancakes make a delicious and nutritious alternative to the traditional breakfast. They might take a little longer to make, but why not give them a go for a weekend treat?

Of course, it is not obligatory to only eat oats for breakfast. Oat-based snacks like flapjacks are perfect for maintaining energy levels throughout the day, and are far more healthy than the sugar-filled snacks and chocolate bars that many people favour. The beauty here is that flapjacks can be adapted to cater for all tastes and dietary requirements. For example, there are the traditional applejacks, as well as cherry and almond, Bakewell, and, of course, the ever-popular chocolate chip.

Get your oats – and help your customers get theirs

It’s one thing setting yourself and your family up for the day, but if you run a business, this is the perfect time to introduce an oat-based snack to your range to keep your customers warm and energised throughout the day. Check out Focused Nutrition’s contract manufacturing page to find out more about how to help your customers and visitors set up their very own internal central heating system to see them through the wintry months ahead.