Why Adding Oats To Your Coffee Will Give It A Healthy Boost

There's one thing that gets most people up and out of bed in the morning: coffee. According to the National Coffee Association, 70% of Americans drink coffee weekly, and 62% drink it every day, averaging over three cups of joe daily. Besides its energizing caffeine, coffee can also be an indulgent treat, especially when loaded up with sugar, cream, syrup, and other added flavors.

But as appetizing as they might be, sweet and creamy coffee drinks aren't so healthy. Especially when consumed daily, a cup of coffee mixed with flavored creamer, for example, can spike your blood sugar and increase your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease (per Healthline).

Thankfully, that doesn't mean you have to stick with basic black coffee to stay healthy. There are countless ways to upgrade your morning brew, without turning to unhealthy add-ins. One of the easiest — but surprising — options is to mix in oats, another morning staple that can pack a healthy punch.

Coffee and oats should be your go-to in the morning

When you think of ingredients to add to your coffee, you likely think of liquid syrups, frothy milk, or maybe a bit of whipped cream or powdered spice. Chances are, you wouldn't grab a box of oats to mix into your morning cup — but maybe you should. According to Medical News Today, oats are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And eating oats every day can fight inflammation, boost energy, and speed up metabolism. Coffee lovers looking to improve their health — without giving up their beloved java — can mix oats and coffee together for an energizing and nourishing combo.

Before haphazardly sprinkling oats straight into your coffee cup, try following a recipe for coffee oatmeal instead. To further boost the health benefits, limit honey and other sweeteners, and use low-fat or dairy-free milk. Combining coffee and oats is especially ideal for those who suffer from acid reflux and other digestive issues when drinking coffee on an empty stomach (per Healthline). And because the caffeine in coffee can impact insulin production for people with diabetes (via Mayo Clinic), consuming oats at the same time could potentially stabilize blood sugar fluctuations.

Does oat milk in coffee offer the same health benefits?

If you're on the run and don't have time to scarf down coffee oatmeal, can you get the same benefits by adding oat milk to coffee? Not quite. According to Cleveland Clinic, oat milk contains some fiber, but oatmeal contains more. Meal planning service Souper Sage also points out that whole oats contain more protein, as well as several other vitamins and minerals, compared to oat milk.

Whole oats and oatmeal seem to be a clear winner, though oat milk can still be a healthy addition to your coffee. Nutritionist Mina Khan told GoodtoKnow, "oat milk is generally a really great source of calcium, and most brands also fortify their versions with added nutrients such as vitamin A, B, B-12, and D." She also says that drinking oat milk can help suppress appetite and cravings, which could be helpful for those looking to lose weight or control overeating.

Next time you pour your morning cup of coffee, consider turning it into oatmeal, or at least adding some nutritious oat milk, instead of drinking black or sugary coffee. You'll still get the jolt of caffeine you need to tackle your day, and your body will thank you.