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Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal of the Day?
Personally, I always have time for breakfast. I’ll wake up earlier for breakfast, I adore breakfast.
Modern living however, has no time for breakfast. There’s time for a quick coffee, yes. Time to shove a slice of toast in your mouth as you run out the door to sit in rush hour traffic for your daily commute to the office or to drop the kids off to school. The pandemic however has dramatically reduced the morning rush, on a global scale. The daily commute for many is now a thing of the past with remote working and home schooling/virtual lessons becoming the norm.
A shift in routine for many leaves a little extra time in the mornings. Instead of hitting snooze on your alarm, consider including a nourishing and filling breakfast to kickstart the day. Why is breakfast (in my opinion) so important and why do I think it should be a part of your daily morning routine?
Read on for reasons as to why the almighty breakfast is seen as the most important meal of the day:
Helps You Maintain A Healthy Weight
Including a breakfast with protein (the size of the palm of your hand) and a healthy source of fat can help stable blood sugar levels throughout the day, which in turn helps to manage cravings and energy dips. When we have our mid-afternoon energy crash, the first thing we reach for is a high sugar snack to help give us a quick energy boost. By maintaining consistent and steady energy throughout the day allows us to make better food choices.
May Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Maintaining a healthy weight is vital to help significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Skipping breakfast has been associated with a higher risk due to its effects on obesity.
There have been arguments for skipping breakfast with people opting to choose intermittent fasting (periods of fasting and restricted feeding ‘windows’) and its beneficial links to the above. However, we must look at each person as an individual. For example, there are studies which show intermittent fasting can be more effective on men, however it may have a detrimental effect on women’s oestrogen levels.
Can set your intention for the day
There is a lot to be said for having a little time in the morning to plan the day ahead. Choosing to mindfully prepare and enjoy a morning meal gives you a moment to organise your tasks for the day. This can reduce your stress levels and improve your mindset for the day ahead. Setting 10-15 minutes aside in the mornings will lead to even better utilisation of your time throughout the day!
Improves Cognitive Ability
School breakfast programmes, which included free breakfast for children, showed a positive association between the children who ate breakfast and an improvement in concentration levels and academic performance.
There have also been studies to support including a well-balanced breakfast to your daily routine as it helps to add to your nutrition intake for the day which has strong links to daily cognitive function.
Quick & Easy Breakfast Options
If you aren’t a morning person and have no appetite for breakfast foods, perhaps slowly introduce this meal into your routine by opting for a lighter choice.
An energy boosting breakfast shake could provide you with a nutritiously easy option. All you need is a blender and five minutes to throw all your ingredients into it. As mentioned previously, to stable blood sugar levels and maintain consistent energy throughout the day, include a source of protein (protein powder, peanut butter, chia seeds, spirulina, almonds) and a healthy fat source (avocado, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds). Smoothies are a fantastic option to get your greens in, therefore throw in a handful of spinach, kale or even rocket to boost the micronutrient profile.
A yoghurt bowl with fruit and seeds is an easy option that also requires minimal prep work. Opt for organic Greek yoghurt for a high protein option or soy yoghurt as a high protein dairy-free choice. Nuts and seeds provide great sources of protein and healthy fat. To finish, include your micronutrients with a handful of low GI fruits such as berries, kiwi, peaches, pears, apples & plums.
If you find that you lack motivation in the mornings to prepare breakfast, consider prepping the night before or batch cooking. Great batch cooking options are home made granola bars with nuts and seeds. Here’s a great recipe from Stacey Homemaker in which these bars keep fresh and crunchy for up to five days!
Another high protein batch-cooking option are healthy breakfast egg muffins by Delicious Meets Healthy. Prepare these on a Sunday evening and store these in the fridge to eat for the week ahead.
If you’d like to get in touch with me to see whether working with a nutritionist may benefit you, please do get in touch for a no obligation chat.