As spring arrives across North America, people are getting outside and renewing their commitment to an active lifestyle. Whether you’re the kind of person who likes to train for triathlons and push yourself to the limit, or someone who just like to go for a walk and take in nature’s blossoming beauty, Canadian oats can complement your active lifestyle.
As a slow digesting, complex carbohydrate, oats offer the long-lasting energy you need to keep you going. Oats are also loaded with nutrients – in fact, oats are one of the most nutrient-dense natural 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 throughout your body, and vitamin B1 is a key nutrient for converting complex carbs into energy. With proper levels of iron and vitamin B1, your body will get more benefit out of activity without any extra exertion on your part.
Oats also contain a kind of soluble fibre called beta-glucan, which has been shown to lower cholesterol and improve heart health. If there’s one thing an active person needs, it’s a healthy heart to keep blood circulating to your muscles. Beta-glucan also promotes a healthy immune system, so you won’t miss out on activities because you’ve been sidelined with a cold.
As most people know, protein is very important for building muscles. Oats have significantly more protein than other cereals, with half a cup providing 34 per cent of your daily protein according to the USDA. While not a complete protein on its own, just add milk to make a complete protein out of your oatmeal.
And finally, oats are a good source of the mineral selenium, which helps promote healthy thyroid levels and protect against joint inflammation. Healthy joints are necessary for your ability to participate in your favourite sports and other activities without pain or risk of injury.
Do your body a big favour and go further on your fitness journey by making oats a regular part of your active lifestyle. Try this recipe for maple oatmeal with quinoa to fuel up before an activity-filled day.