You wouldn’t send a race car out onto the track without first filling up the tank, so why do we sometimes neglect to fuel up our active bodies? With complex carbohydrates, B-vitamins, fiber and protein, oats are a healthy choice to complement your active lifestyle.
Complex carbohydrates are one of the best friends an athlete can have. As a slow digesting, complex carb, oats provide long-lasting, steadily released energy. This is particularly important for long-distance runners or any endurance athlete, but a pre-workout snack containing oats is just what you need to get through that 45-minute spin class.
In addition to providing energy, oats are loaded with the nutrition your body needs – in fact, oats are one of the most nutritious grains you can eat. Half a cup of dry oats provides 20 per cent of your recommended daily iron and 39 per cent of your recommended intake of vitamin B1. Red blood cells need iron to thrive and carry oxygen to your muscles, and vitamin B1 is a key nutrient for converting complex carbs into energy.
Thanks to their high soluble fiber content, oats have cholesterol lowering properties to keep your heart functioning to the fullest – vital for anyone living a healthy, active lifestyle. Oats are rich in a specific kind of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which is not only great for your heart health, but also helps to promote a healthy immune system. There’s nothing worse than missing out on training because you’ve been sidelined with a cold!
And, of course, we can’t talk about fitness without mentioning protein. Getting enough lean protein is important to build and maintain muscle mass. Oats are a good source of plant-based protein with about 5 grams per 1 cup (cooked) serving.
Oats have an amino acid score of 86/100; the higher a food’s amino acid score, the higher quality protein it provides. To ensure that you are getting all of the essential amino acids – or a “complete protein” – simply eat your oats with dairy, lean meat or pulses. Our Bacon Cheddar Savory Oatmeal and Red Beans and Oats are two delicious examples of protein-combining at work.
Making oats a part of your day, every day, will give you the energy and nutrition you need to enjoy an active lifestyle.