Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and surely you’ve heard that you mustn’t skip it. What is more important is that not every breakfast provides the needed health benefits.
You may have heard the saying that a hearty bowl of oatmeal at breakfast “sticks to your ribs”. This is not too far from the truth.
Oatmeal contains soluble fiber which stays in the stomach longer and helps you feel fuller, longer. This can prevent overeating later on in the day, which may help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid the health problems associated with overweight.
Eating just a half cup of oatmeal a day is enough to reap the many health benefits of the fiber it contains.
Fiber describes the portion of plant materials in the diet which humans cannot digest. It is an important component in maintaining gastrointestinal (GI) health by regulating transit time through the GI tract and adding bulk, increasing a feeling of fullness and preventing constipation.
Health Benefits of Oats
While the health benefits of oats are documented in hundreds of studies, we’ve listed just a sample here to indicate the power of oats to improve human health.
1. Boosts Energy
Oatmeal is a carbohydrate and protein-rich source that provides calories and energy. A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found consuming a low glycemic meal, like oatmeal, three hours prior to a run gives you better endurance than a high glycemic meal. Foods like oatmeal tend to cause a slow rise in glycemic levels, which is ideal for increasing fat-burning during exercise.
“The complex, slow digesting, carbohydrates will give your muscles the energy it needs to have a better workout,” Brennecke said. He suggests complex carbohydrates be accompanied with some protein. This will give the muscles the tools necessary to rebuild while also giving your muscles a head start on post-workout muscle recovery.