Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it seems that with our busy lifestyles, breakfast has fast slipped down our list of priorities. Breakfast it seems, has been reduced to a sugary muffin and coffee on the go, losing all nutritional value.
Our body starts demanding a supply of energy as soon as we wake up, whether we’ve eaten or not. Our brain cannot store any energy for itself and constantly requires a supply of glucose. Not eating, especially in the morning, can hamper mental alertness and put a strain on both our bodies and brain.
Here are some tips for eating a healthy breakfast that will set you up for an energized and mentally alert day:
1) Avoid refined carbohydrates
These include white breads, bagels or pastries. Normally refined carbohydrates have a high GI (glycemic index). This means that glucose is released rapidly into the blood stream, giving a very short-lived energy boost. Low GI carbohydrates such as wholemeal/ wholegrain breads, and cereals release energy slowly, allowing you to have a constant supply of energy until your next meal.
2) Include protein
These can be from meats from dinner left-overs, eggs, bananas or milk. Protein helps keep you fuller for longer.
3) Fruit and Vegetables
Most fruit and vegetables contain no cholesterol and are of low GI. You’ll also get a good dose of important vitamins, minerals and fiber.
5) Get Creative
If you’re getting bored of cereal, then try another cereal or something different all together. You could try making exotic fruit smoothies or fancy omelettes.
6) When on the go
Not having time shouldn’t be an excuse to not eat breakfast. Give ready made liquid breakfasts a go. A quick trip to your supermarket should be enough to show you the varieties available. Cafes usually serve healthy food with fresh ingredients. Try grabbing a sandwich on your way to school or work.
7) Just eat something
Even if you’re in a rush, have something, anything. Some juice, a glass of milk, a piece of toast. Anything that provides your body with an energy source.
Always keep in mind that your body has been starved of nutrients for at least 8 hours while you sleep. Eating a healthy breakfast will restore the depleted nutrients. It will also give you the kickstart you need to begin your day on the right foot.