In order to cater to the overall needs of the body, having a healthy breakfast enriched with vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and calcium is the most crucial meal of the day. Unfortunately many of us ignore it completely. Proteins are important for muscles, carbohydrate fuels the body for the much needed energy we all to carry along the whole day and calcium is vital for development of the bones and alertness.
It is quite right that most of us deeply focus on what to eat, but, when to eat is also equally important. As per studies conducted and nutritionist’s recommendations, eating more calories in the morning and less during the day is beneficial in terms of losing and controlling weight. It is thereby, if you breakfast without fear , it is going to help you slim and stay healthy.
Well how then does a good and quality breakfast help in improving health?
A good breakfast filled with healthy foods triggers the body’s metabolism, which is most vital for all of us. Since, a low metabolic rate limits the body’s ability to burn calories, it also largely limits focus and endurance and also makes us feel lethargic with low energy levels.
People should have a clear idea on what healthy eating is all about. It is all about eating all that you love to eat, but without the guilt that comes along with it. Those who eat big breakfast have reduced desires to eat later and consume lesser calories, and as a result have better concentrations and better ability to perform tasks with improved mood. Another healthy benefit is that it improves the blood sugar levels by keeping it constant and stable. A nutritious and wholesome breakfast in the morning reduces the risks of overeating and food cravings during the day by keeping you full and also it has been associated with reducing chances of heart diseases.
How to plan your breakfast diet?
It is of paramount importance that the focus should be on consuming more of proteins and less of carbohydrates and fats during breakfast. Egg whites, tofu and Greek yogurt are healthy examples of protein foods to have. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and cereals provides healthy carbohydrates. As per rule follow a balance of 7:2:2:1 ratio of protein, carbs, fats and sweet respectively.
All these foods are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that helps in energizing the body and allows the brain to be more alert and active. As mentioned at the beginning, an ideal breakfast helps in keeping full and provides with all the energy to run along the day.
Let’s look into the importance of the food groups individually in more details:
The Carbohydrates: low GI or slow releasing carbs provides the body with much needed energy that lasts longer. The fiber content in whole grains keeps one full for longer reducing food cravings and the B vitamins along with magnesium and iron with the energy production.
Easy and healthy food sources: oats, rye bread, buckwheat, other whole-grains, fruit and vegetables.
The Proteins: it provides with the feeling of satiety, balances blood sugar levels and supports weight management.
Breakfast protein sources: eggs, nuts, seeds, yoghurt, smoked salmon, ham, quinoa (porridge or flakes), almond and other nut butters.
Fats: helps the heart, promotes mood and great for skin, nails and hairs.
Sources: nuts, seeds, nut butters, salmon fish and eggs.
Fruits and Vegetables: breakfasts serves as a great opportunity to add them to the diet. Fruits are a great way to add some sweetness to the breakfast. Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants are good for the overall health of the body.
Calcium: calcium is essential for the development of bones and teeth, particularly for children.
Yoghurt, cheese, calcium-fortified cereals and low-fat milk are great sources of calcium.
Whole Grains: these are slow processing carbohydrates that you do not digest easily and takes time for the body to absorb, thus keeping you full for a longer and helps in the metabolic process. It’s a key ingredient to keep sharp and focused in the morning.
Good sources are: oatmeal, whole-wheat toast and other breads.
Fiber: the fiber that you get out of fruits, whole grains and veggies helps in digestion. Soluble fibers in foods also helps in lowering cholesterol levels and insoluble fiber fights constipation.
Sources: fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Now that we have established the importance of having breakfast, fixing a healthy one shouldn’t be difficult, but on those days when you are racing against time don’t reach out for a slices of left for cake, a bar of chocolate or bag of crisps, instead grab a breakfast bar or a slice of bread with peanut butter and may be just some fruits to go.
Never forget, that healthy habits begins with you and eating a healthy breakfast is one of the many crucial habits that you need to develop.
So here’s the round up- with some ‘good to follow’ recommendations
Breakfast or rather food selections differs according to culture and countries, but what remains the same is the outcome. Here are some ideas that you could consider while putting together your breakfast:
Eat slowly and take your time in preparing and eating
breakfast. If time is an issue in the mornings plan ahead and put things together the night before.
Remember vegetables, fish and poultry are not meant for dinners only. They are equally good for breakfast.
Eat enough, eat wholesome
Try to establish a routine and stick to it. Too many deviations causes diversions.
Breakfast with your family, you will enjoy it more and together you will develop a good habit which will be beneficial in the years to come.
Written bySheela Seharawat
Sheela Seharawat is a fully qualified dietician. She has been successfully running and managing about 35 Diet Clinic’s at various dots on the map of India and has been appreciated with various awards and recognitions for her notable contributions in the field of diet and nutrition. Her aspiration has always been to educate, communicate and helps people live a healthy life through diet and with this aspiration she is aiming to reach out to people with her services across the globe.