Contrary to what that friend-of-a-friend might’ve said about not eating breakfast and still feeling tip-top every day, the value in having breakfast has been scientifically backed. As the name suggests, breakfast is all about breaking your fast after several hours of sleep. It’s a healthy habit which kick-starts your metabolism and wakes up your brain, ensuring you are alert and ready for the day ahead. Many research studies have linked a healthy breakfast routine with improved levels of concentration and memory throughout the day.
So…where to start?
Well, the first step is to ensure you have enough time for breakfast. The most common excuse among the non-breakfast eaters is that they are too rushed in the morning to eat. Well, in this modern age of technology advances and evolution, the solution to this issue comes in the form of the humble alarm on your phone/clock. Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier than normal – this is all you’ll need to prepare and eat a healthy breakfast. If this isn’t possible, try having breakfast at work. More and more workers in Australia are adopting this routine, slamming down some cereal while going through their morning emails. Just make sure you’re not that person who doesn’t do their dishes afterward!
In terms of what makes a good breakfast, it can be a little overwhelming when there's so much information out there. It’s hard to watch TV for an hour and not be presented with several ads for breakfast cereals. What nutritionists the world over have agreed on though, is that foods which are digested slower are a great choice. These foods will help keep you full for longer and provide a slower release of energy. When you hear the term ‘low GI’, this is what it refers to – foods which don’t bring about a short-lived spike in blood glucose levels. The result is sustained energy and less likelihood that you’ll be hit with cravings throughout your morning.
Avoid breakfasts high in added sugar, such as sweetened cereals, energy drinks and snack bars. Though these may be cleverly marketed as a great start to your day, and may taste delicious, the high levels of sugar will give you a hit of energy that is unfortunately very short-lived. These foods/drinks can also contribute to high cholesterol levels, obesity and diabetes.
Here is a list of some great breakfast options to get you started, keeping in mind these can obviously be tweaked according to your dietary requirements or taste preferences:
- Wholegrain toast with avocado (add eggs if you want)
- Untoasted muesli with fruit
- A smoothie (Try juice or coconut water with spinach leaves, banana and frozen blueberries)
- Wholegrain cereals with low-fat milk
- Porridge with banana or berries
- Boiled eggs
- Quinoa fruit salad
- Healthy oat-based muffins (without adding sugar!)
- Low-fat Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit and honey
- Scrambled eggs with beans, tomato and mushrooms
Still feeling a bit overwhelmed? There are some great apps like FoodSwitch to help guide you through some healthy choices.
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