5 reasons Oktoberfest could be good for you

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Germany's famous 16-day Oktoberfest has already ended, but plenty of UK cities are hosting their own version of the beer and sausage-filled festival this month.

Think as a health-conscious runner you need to abstain from the fun? Not at all! While not exactly 'health food', many Oktoberfest treats offer some runner-friendly benefits.

1. Sausage

At the heart of Oktoberfest fare, sausages can be high in fat, but with a little label sleuthing you can find lower-fat versions. Look for those made with lean pork or chicken along with herbs and spices, such as cardomom, mace, chives and parsley - all of which offer an antioxidant punch. Most sausages supply between 10 and 15 grams of protein per 85g sausage - great for post-run recovery.

2. Beer

Pretty much the only drink you'll see at most Oktoberfest celebrations, beer - in moderation - has been shown to help lower heart disease risk. One reason for the benefit: the barley and hops used to make beer contain phytochemicals shown to boost heart health. Just enjoy it responsibly: moderate alcohol consumption is a pint of beer a day for women and a pint and half for men.

3. Mustard

What's sausage without some zesty mustard? This favourite low-calorie condiment is made from ground mustard seeds, which are part of the brassica vegetable family. These vegetables are loaded with potent cancer fighters called indoles - and prepared mustard is loaded with them, too.

4. Rotkohl

This traditional German disk is made with red cabbage and apples. It's rich in cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre (especially if the skin is left on the apples). Red cabbage is a member of the brassica family and (like mustard) is packed with cancer-fighting indoles. Eating three to four servings of brassica vegetables (such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower) weekly has been shown to lower cancer risk. One caveat: while most rotkohl is made with vinegar, watch out for those that use cream.

5. Pretzels

Need more reasons for sampling different mustards? Pretzels are generally low in fat, and those made with whole grains are a good source of insoluble fibre - important for digestive tract health. With 44 grams of carbs per 55g serving, pretzels can help restock spent glycogen stores.