In celebration of National Nutrition Month, I thought I would use this month to share some nutrition tips and recipes. Today, it’s all about breakfast and helping you get off to a good start. If you are someone who does not regularly eat breakfast, here are some reasons why you may want to begin including it into your daily routine and some simple breakfast ideas to try.
Many of you may have heard growing up that breakfast is the “most important meal of the day”. Well, it certainly is a very important meal and here are some reasons why.
- Breaks the “fast’ and Prevents Over EatingJust like the word suggests, breakfast is the first meal of the day after a long fast. Eating within 1 hour upon rising helps kick-start your metabolism which tends to slow down overnight. It is best to get your metabolism going first thing in the morning, as it sets the stage for the rest of the day.Eating a balanced breakfast also helps prevent you from over eating later in the day. Skipping or delaying breakfast often leads to extreme hunger by mid to late morning. As a result, there is a greater tendency to reach for less healthy carb filled alternatives for a quick fix.
- Maintain a Stable Weight and Weight LossWhen you delay or skip breakfast, your body thinks it’s going to starve. As a result, your body begins to store more calories, usually in the form of fat. Also, your body is less responsive to the effects of insulin with each subsequent meal. This leads to increased circulating glucose and insulin, which subsequently signals the body to store fat. Increased insulin levels also increase cravings for foods high in refined sugar and carbohydrates.One study found that 10-20% of the population skip breakfast which is associated with an increased body mass index. Short term studies found that skipping breakfast resulted in increased hunger, no change or increase food intake, impaired insulin sensitivity and a worsened lipid (fat) profile. (Medpage Today)
- Gives you EnergyProvided you start with a breakfast containing a balance of macronutrients such as, protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates, breakfast gives you the energy you need to start your day. It also helps improve your focus and concentration, which is especially important for children.
- Minimizes Cravings and Balances Blood SugarAgain, consuming a breakfast that includes a source of protein, good fat and a whole grain carbohydrate, that is low in sugar and high in fibre, will help balance your blood sugar and minimize cravings. Fibre will also help keep you fuller longer and slow down the release of glucose into your bloodstream following a meal.
Listed below are some quick breakfast ideas to get you started. Many can be prepared the night before which helps save time on those days you are rushing out the door.
- Oatmeal with nuts and fresh berries – sprinkle with chia seeds or flax seeds and walnut pieces
- Overnight oats – sprinkle with chia or flax seeds, granola, walnuts and fresh fruit
- Overnight chia seed pudding – top with granola, walnuts and fresh berries for added crunch
- Natural organic yogurt – top with granola, nuts and berries
- Avocado spread on whole grain toast and topped with an egg
- Breakfast Wrap – Frittata, avocado and cheese in a whole grain wrap
- Whole grain french toast topped with almond butter, chia seeds and bananas
- Smoothies and smoothie bowls – made with fresh or frozen fruit, ground flax seeds, chia seeds, nut milk
I will leave you with one of my more recent go-to breakfasts, Mango Berry Smoothie Bowl
Mango Berry Smoothie Bowl
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup frozen mango
- 1 cup frozen strawberry
- 2 tbsp ground flax (optional)
- 1 scoop of protein powder (optional)
- Fresh berries/fruit
- Chia seeds
- Coconut flakes
- Chopped nuts
Place all the ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. Add any toppings you have on hand or you prefer using.
Linda @ The Wholesome Kitchen