Breakfast is undoubtedly the most significant meal of the day. The word itself can be split into two separate parts: ‘break’ and ‘fast’. This refers to the first meal you are taking after around 8 hours of sleep.
Eating a healthy breakfast every morning kick starts your metabolic process, provides essential nutrients to your body, protects you from diseases and helps in maintaining a healthy weight. Even after knowing all these benefits of having a healthy breakfast, around 30% of people skip breakfast.
The reasons they give is because they do not have time in the morning to make and eat the breakfast, they do not like the breakfast foods, they want to avoid extra calories that can add to their weight, etc. None of the above given reasons are factual enough to allow a breakfast skip. Having breakfast every morning can actually help you lose weight, and keep you in healthy physical and mental condition. Let us have a look at why breakfast is considered to be one of the most important meals of a day.
Importance of eating breakfast everyday
Breakfast is the meal you are eating after 8-9 hours of sleep. During sleep, your body was busy breathing and carrying out several other physiological processes, for which it used your stored glucose. You need to take breakfast in order to replace the lost glucose.
When you wake up, you need to replenish your batteries by supplying your body with the required nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and water. A complete breakfast satiates you until lunch, and even reduces your urge to binge on food during the day.
Breakfast increases your metabolism and your blood sugar levels. So, having a breakfast hampers your urge to eat sugar-rich foods by mid-morning. Thus, we can say that a healthy breakfast actually helps in losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.
A healthy breakfast provides you energy to get going all through the day. The nutrients that you missed because of skipping breakfast cannot be compensated with a hearty lunch or dinner.
Your muscles and brain need glucose for enhanced energy levels. That is why, people who eat a balanced breakfast are known to have better concentration power than those who skip breakfast frequently.
Eating a healthy breakfast stabilizes your blood sugar levels, and decreases the risks of having a stroke, heart disease or diabetes.
Platelets are the blood clotting cells which become sticky after a long night’s sleep. This stickiness of cells increases the chances of blood clotting, thus resulting in heart attack. Eating a breakfast decreases the stickiness of these platelets, thus reducing the chances of having a heart attack.
According to studies, eating a bigger breakfast and a smaller dinner is important for optimizing your daily energy levels. But you also need to give attention to what you are eating at breakfast. Let us see what makes a healthy and complete breakfast.
Components of a healthy breakfast
Healthy breakfast recipes have something in common. Most of them are high in proteins and fibers, and low in sugar. This kind of combination is slowly digested, stays longer in your body, and keeps releasing constant levels of energy into your body to keep you going throughout the day.
On the other hand, a sugar-rich breakfast gets quickly digested, which means that you receive an instant energy boost, but it does not last so long. To stay sharp and active during the day, you need to consume a breakfast that can release a slow stream of energy. Do not forget to include complex carbohydrates in your breakfast. These are broken down slowly in your body, so that you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
Complex carbohydrates contain fibers that also provide essential minerals and vitamins to your body. Wholegrain breads, cereals and some fruits are good sources of complex carbohydrates. Proteins are also major components of a healthy breakfast, because they are absorbed slower than carbs, therefore making you feel full for a longer period of time. Proteins also help in preventing wild fluctuations of energy levels, leading to hunger and tiredness. Your body also needs fats to keep functioning properly during the day. Having a fat-rich breakfast prevents you from snacking later on.
Now that all of us agree that eating a healthy breakfast is the most important thing you need to do everyday, somehow most food cookbooks and magazines feature greatest dinner recipes only. Here, we are going to discuss some of the top breakfast foods.
Eggs in your breakfast not only give you added protein, but also allow you to make a new dish everyday, so that the breakfast does not become dull and boring. Make an omelette with cheese, spinach and protein left over from last night’s dinner. Add peanut butter and a slice of whole wheat bread, and you will receive a low-calorie, nutritional breakfast.
Smoothies allow you to add all the necessary fruits, dairy and whole grains in your breakfast. Add your favorite fruits, ice, flaxseeds and yogurt in it, and take it along even if you are running late for work.
Oats have beta-glucan, which is a fiber helpful in lowering cholesterol if taken on a regular basis. Oats are also rich sources of potassium, folate and omega-3 fatty acids. Steel-cut oats have more fiber than rolled oats, but any oatmeal variety is healthy. However, it would be better to avoid the flavored varieties that might have too much of sugar. To sweeten your bowl, you can add some honey into it, and top it with your favorite nuts and fruits.
Whole wheat and other such whole grains contain more nutrients and fiber than their refined, white counterparts. Whole wheat can be found in the form of toasts, English muffins or breads. Slather your whole wheat bread with jelly or butter to add some calories and empty fat. You can add some almond butter or an egg to get some proteins too.
Pancakes can give you a heavy dose of sugar which can be enough to get you moving during the day. You can dress up your pancake with some fruits and chocolate. Pancakes covered with maple syrup can supply you calories worth to keep you energized during the day. Bananas and blueberries mixed in pancake batter can make some amazingly tasty and healthy pancakes.
Eating fresh fruits in the morning can be an efficient source of energy to keep you going throughout the day. Fruits are easy to digest. Go for bananas, as water-based fruits may not be filling enough. Besides, you can also cut up your favorite fruits and bring them along in your handbag.
So, the next time you step out of the door in the morning without eating your breakfast, remember that skipping the first meal of the day can lead to overeating throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can satisfy your appetite, give you the required energy, and set the stage for you all day long. Aim at a breakfast that is a perfect combination of fiber, proteins and good carbohydrates. Try to add some variety to your breakfast with the above mentioned top breakfast foods. BON APPETIT!!!