What better way to start a blog than with the first and most important meal of the day! It is not just about having breakfast it’s about having a healthy breakfast. These days we are always in a rush and it’s not always easy to stop and have a healthy breakfast. This blog includes ways of putting together a healthy breakfast even for those times when you are in a hurry.
Why eat breakfast?
The purpose of breakfast is to top up those energy stores that have been depleted overnight while your body has been busy repairing and renewing itself. It is the source of energy for all of our morning activities be it work, school, or morning TV! Yet research indicates that 1/3 of us are skipping this vital meal. This is understandable due to the busy lifestyle many of us have but with little planning, you can find a breakfast choice that will suit your lifestyle.
What is a healthy breakfast?
A good breakfast should provide the vital goodness or ‘nutrients’ that the body needs such as fibre, vitamins and iron. People who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight and have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Eating breakfast has been shown to improve mental performance, concentration and mood – three more good reasons to eat something in the morning. We all skip breakfast from time to time and know that this results in snacking all through the day without any relief from the hunger. With all these reasons to eat it why skip?
What is a healthy breakfast?
- Should make up 20-25% of daily nutritional requirements. (Men need 2500, Women 2000)
- Try and include all food groups: Starchy foods; fruit and vegetables; milk and dairy foods; and meat, fish, eggs and non-dairy sources of protein.
- Starchy foods such as cereals, rice, potatoes or pasta will provide energy, B vitamins, some iron and fibre. These starchy foods kick start your metabolism and they are low in fat to boot!
Choose wholegrain varieties when you can and try to avoid those sugary breakfast cereals as they are loaded with empty calories.
Fruit and Veg
- Breakfast is a great time to get started with your 5 a day quota of fruit and vegetables. Why not add some fresh fruit into your cereal, or slice a banana on to your toast?
- For those of us who are in a rush in the morning, chopped fruit can be added into your blender and placed in the fridge ready to grab and drink on the run in the morning. You could even add some oatmeal to get that yummy fibre!
- Milk and dairy products will provide protein, calcium* and B vitamins. Use low-fat varieties as these have been shown to contain more protein. If you use soya varieties look for non-sweetened fortified brands.
Non Dairy protein
- Beans are an excellent source of protein, iron and vitamins. By placing them in the microwave and bread in the toaster you can continue your morning ritual while your breakfast is cooking itself.
- Being well hydrated helps concentration.
- If you cannot face eating first thing in the morning then try and eat within two hours of getting out of bed. If you have a canteen at your work or school try and get some wholemeal toast or porridge and avoid sugary breakfast bars that only provide short-term satiety.
- For a breakfast treat try a croissant but keep them to a treat as they are high in both fat and calories.
- Try to have handy things in your fridge like banana, cereal yoghurts, porridge or toast