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Have just a few minutes for a morning meal? Try making a bowl of oatmeal. By adding this super food to your daily menu, you'll reap numerous benefits. Read on to learn about five nutrients oats deliver and how each one can improve performance.
Oats are loaded with complex carbs, which digest slowly so you receive a steady release of sugar into the bloodstream. This allows for a consistent level of energy (meaning you won’t quickly crash and burn). Sports nutritionist Josh Hingst says that complex carbs are ideal fuel for high-intensity training, because they can be used during anaerobic activity.
Oats are rich in iron, a nutrient that red blood cells need to carry oxygen from the lungs to your cells and muscles. A proper iron balance allows your cardiovascular system to work at optimal levels to fuel muscles with oxygen during strenuous training and competition.
Oats are an excellent source of vitamin B1 (a.k.a. thiamin), a key nutrient for converting carbs into energy for better workouts and performance. Among other benefits, B1 can improve mental alertness and reduce stress.
One cup of oats packs about four grams of fiber, nearly double the amount in a slice of whole-grain bread. Fiber helps you feel full and satisfied, preventing binge eating and poor food choices later on. It also keeps your GI tract on track.
This mineral protects cells from free-radical damage, facilitates thyroid hormone production and lowers the risk of joint inflammation.
Inspired to try an oatmeal dish? Check out U.S. Olympic sport dietitian Bob Seebohar’s Super Oatmeal recipe, which you can prepare in just three minutes.
Sources: steadyhealth.com, whfoods.com, nlm.nih.gov
Photo: Kalman & Pabst Photo Group