KICK START YOUR DAY WITH A BRILLIANT BREAKFAST
SALMA S. KHAN, THE GOOD GURU NUTRITIONIST
POSTED: 31ST January 2017
The saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” should not be taken lightly. Much research backs up this saying, and stresses the significance of not skipping breakfast.
By the time we wake up and get ready to have breakfast, we technically have fasted overnight while sleeping. So skipping breakfast adds to this fasting period - it may disrupt blood glucose balance, consequently affecting energy levels and concentration. Studies suggest that due to this disruption in blood glucose, breakfast skippers may develop a higher tendency to overeat during the day, since they crave more unhealthy foods to provide a quick-fix. Consequently skipping breakfast may also mean your body is playing catch up all day to try to make up for missing breakfast. Interestingly, some studies suggest that eating breakfast regularly may lead to improved mood and better memory, as well as giving the metabolism a boost which could benefit weight loss and management.
Not only is eating breakfast important, but so is what you eat for breakfast. Consuming sugary pastries and a coffee is not the best breakfast option because these food items may upset your blood glucose balance. A rapid rise is usually followed by a sudden slump, which may result in a range of symptoms including fatigue, poor concentration, irritability and cravings for a sugar fix.
After this overnight fast, breakfast may kick start your energy levels if you choose healthy, slow energy releasing foods. So ditch the bowel of sugary cereal for a bowl of porridge which should prevent you craving unhealthy snacks. Ideally, it’s best to consume breakfast within 1 hour of waking. Here are some brilliant breakfast choices;
• A bowl of porridge with milk of your choice (e.g. cow's, almond, hemp or coconut milk), with 2 tablespoons of ground almonds or walnuts, and a small handful of blueberries or raspberries.
• A bowl of nut and seed muesli with milk of your choice, and either a small handful of berries, a chopped apple or grated carrot.
• Overnight Cold Oats - Soak 4 tbsp of oats in milk of your choice with 2 tbsp of ground nuts/seeds and add in a small handful of chopped strawberries or 1 chopped banana. Sweeten with a dash of raw honey or maple syrup if desired, and refrigerate overnight - you may need to add a little extra milk before consuming.
• Chia Seed Porridge - To prepare this breakfast option, soak 4 tbsp of chia seeds overnight in milk or fresh juice of your choice. Add in 1 mashed banana for sweetness and a chopped pear or peach. Refrigerate overnight - again you may wish to add a little more milk or fresh juice prior to eating.
• Either 2 poached/boiled eggs or 1 poached/boiled egg with 2 pieces of smoked salmon on a bed of watercress, with half an avocado and 1 slice of wholemeal granary toast or 1-2 crisp breads (e.g. rye or spelt based).
• Two wholemeal slices of toast with 2 tsp of nut/seed butter on each slice (e.g. hazelnut butter or pumpkin seed butter) with fruit of your choice (e.g. 1 peach, kiwi, apple or pear)
• A 2 egg vegetable omelette prepared with vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms or peppers, with 1 wholemeal granary slice of toast or 1 wholemeal tortilla. For those avoiding bread, simply add in some slices of pre-cooked potatoes.
If you're not a breakfast person, try to gradually get into the habit of having breakfast. Start your day with an easy to digest smoothie made with a serving of protein powder or 2 tablespoons of any unsalted ground nuts and seeds, 1 banana, a handful of mixed berries, and some water or milk to get the consistency right - a convenient breakfast option that can be taken into work when on the go.