If you want a breakfast High performance, energy producer and low in cholesterol, oatmeal is hard to beat.
What you eat at breakfast directly affects how your brain works and, unlike your competitors in boxes covered with animated characters, oatmeal is a slow-digesting option and high fiber content that leads to better concentration and mental performance throughout the day. In contrast, refined breakfast cereals, to which sugar is added, provide a short-term energy boost, followed by the feeling of hunger and heaviness.
Oatmeal, either cut or the Quaker version outdated (but not the "instant" one minute), prepares the metabolic scenario for you to have a healthy and productive day. After breakfast, the body is prepared metabolically so that when you consume the next meal that day, your blood sugar levels are better controlled. Maintaining control of blood sugar levels is the key for those looking to lose weight.
The so-called "second meal effect" causes your body to take more of the carbohydrates you eat at lunch and store them in the form of muscle and liver energy, such as glycogen. The increase in glycogen stores is another great benefit for hard training athletes looking to improve performance.
Although traditional oatmeal is a great option for both serious athletes and regular customers at Joe's and Jane's, it can be improved with a couple of simple adjustments. Here's how you can turn the strengths of oatmeal into even better breakfast.
Potency with protein
Breakfast is, in general, a meal centered on carbohydrates but the addition of a protein source, such as Greek yogurt, scrambled eggs or a spoonful of protein powder, to your oatmeal offers three clear benefits.
Launches protein synthesis. Your body uses proteins to rebuild itself while you sleep, so when the morning comes you need a source of protein. Just 20 to 30 grams of protein are enough to "turn on" your body's muscle building switch and maximize its ability to convert amino acids into protein and muscle. Morning is a particularly good time to do this because your body's levels of the stress hormone cortisol are high (cortisol works in a circadian rhythm and is higher in the morning). Adding protein to your breakfast will stimulate protein synthesis, counteracting the mechanism of muscle degradation due to cortisol.
Make better decisions. Researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center have discovered that there is an interesting change in the circuits of our brain with high protein breakfasts.In a small pilot study, they found that people who eat a breakfast rich in protein (compared to those who eat low protein meals in the morning or skip breakfast altogether) experience a decrease in activity in the part of the brain associated with food behaviors driven by reward. These changes persisted for several hours after breakfast, indicating that a breakfast high in protein helps you better control food cravings at the end of the day.
Feel more satisfied. The proteins generate a satiety effect due to the control of blood sugar and the stimulation of the hormone CCK (cholecystokinin), which acts on the brain to increase the feeling of fullness. This is especially beneficial for those looking to lose weight. Researchers from Purdue University found that those who dieted and increased their protein at breakfast enjoyed sustained feelings of satiety after breakfast, though not in other foods.
The latest adjustment to our oatmeal improvement is the addition of high octane antioxidants, meaning blueberries. The antioxidants in these tiny, delicious blue gems complement the effects of blood sugar control of a protein-rich breakfast, enhancing your body's ability to store and process carbohydrates.
Blueberries also form a powerful partner with the fiber of oatmeal, which lowers blood cholesterol levels and, in turn, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research shows that the daily intake of antioxidants found in cranberries can help lower blood pressure, another important risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Even if your breakfast consists of just one cup of oatmeal, your day will begin with a great nutritional start. However, by taking high-fiber carbohydrates and combining them with muscle-building proteins and antioxidant-rich ones, you're giving yourself the best possible start.