Oat is superior to all other cereals from a health benefit perspective. Given the ongoing global obesity epidemic, a systematic development of food products with higher levels of health promoting bioactive substances like antioxidants, fibres, proteins, starch, vitamins, sterols and fatty acids from oat would be beneficial to both the individual and the health care system. Oat is especially well suited for this development, since it already has a favorable composition of many of these compounds. Oat is therefore the most promising cereal in the growing area of healthy or functional food, i.e. food withhealth benefits.

Oat cultivations are also environmentally friendly recalcitrant to many of the pathogens that frequently attack crops like wheat, barley and oil seed plants. Oat is therefore ideal in rotation with other crops. Oat is hardy and therefore ideal for use on marginal land.