Oat is the only cereal that contains a globulin or legume-like protein, avenalin, which is also a major (80%) storage protein.
Oat protein is nearly equivalent in quality to soy protein, which has been shown by the World Health Organization to be the equal to meat, milk, and egg protein. The protein content of the hull-less oat kernel (groat) ranges from 12–24%, the highest among cereals.
Furthermore, oat bran, the outer casing of the oat contains beta-glucans. Its consumption is believed to lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and possibly to reduce the risk of heart disease.