Do you sleep through breakfast? Or don’t have enough time in the morning? Or simply grab a coffee on the way to work? If you answered yes to any of these questions you’re not doing yourself any favours. Here’s why:
- Studies have shown that those who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight or obese than those who skip it!
- Breakfast eaters tend to have better eating habits as they as less likely to be ravenous for nutritionally poor snacks during the day
- Breakfast eaters tend to eat a diet lower in saturated fat and higher in fibre
- Eating breakfast can significantly benefit concentration, attentiveness and memory
- Greater concentration may result in increased efficiency and productivity at work
The above applies to children too. A recent study conducted by the University of Sydney showed that 1 in 4 children go to school hungry in Australia.
What should I eat?
Breakfast, appropriately named to ‘break the fast’ from the night, is a great opportunity to consume a nutritious meal. Aim to consume a breakfast that is low in saturated fat, and a source of low GI carbohydrates, protein, fibre and vitamins and minerals. Here are some nutritious breakfast examples for all occasions:
- Muesli, fresh fruit and yoghurt: ½ cup muesli, milk, 1 tbs natural yoghurt and fresh fruit creates a quick and easy breakfast. Oats are naturally high in protein and soluble fibre so can help keep you full and reduce your cholesterol levels.
- Burcher muesli: as above but soak muesli in juice and/or yoghurt the evening before.
- Yoghurt, nuts and fruit: the nuts and yoghurt provide protein to keep you full in addition to essential fatty acids and calcium. Pack in a container and go.
- All Bran, banana and sultanas: a high fibre and tasty breakfast.
- Quinoa, banana and sultanas: a winter favourite! Try using leftover quinoa and add a calcium fortified soy milk, banana and cinnamon in a saucepan and heat. Top with sultanas and you have a warming, high protein breakfast. A great alternative to oats for coeliacs.
- Cinnamon & honey porridge: using cinnamon in porridge reduces the requirement for sweetener so you can halve the amount of honey/brown sugar you use. Stew with fruit for a sweeter breakfast.
- Salmon & tomato on toast: a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fibre. Choose wholegrain or multigrain toast where possible.
- Baked beans & spinach on toast: a high protein, high fibre breakfast but be careful of the sodium content of baked beans in a can. If you’re feeling adventurous you can make your own.
- Berry & yoghurt smoothie: you can make this with low-fat, skim, soy, almond, oat or rice milk. Blend with ½ cup of mixed berries and 2 tbsp of natural yoghurt for added calcium and protein. You may wish to add a powder such as LSA for additional ‘healthy’ fats and to keep you satisfied all morning. Easy to make the night before.
Remember, especially for breakfast, Chia seeds are your friend. A natural source of essential fatty acids (omega 3 & 6), fibre, essential minerals & more. Chia seeds also form a gel like substance in the stomach, slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar. This not only prolongs endurance, it leaves you feeling less hungry too. Read more about chia seeds here…
For some healthy breakfast recipe click here.
What do you eat for breakfast? What is you favourite healthy breakfast to have? Do you have an easy quick & healthy mid-week breakfast idea to share?