Reasons Why Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day and Simple Recipes to Follow
16 January 2017
It’s a familiar scene in workplaces: Come noon, everyone looks up from their workdesk to ask, “what’s for lunch?”. Dinner can also be an equally exciting occasion, often warranting a night out with good food and good company.
However, breakfast seldom inspires the same excitement. Perhaps it is due to external factors – our bodies are just woken from slumber, we are preoccupied with the battle of the early morning rush hour, or are facing the dread of workplace challenges. All these mean that there is less time to think about what to eat in the morning. In reality, those reasons are why we need to pay more attention to our breakfast time.
Here’s how a proper breakfast can help you have better health and make the most of your day.
Why You Need Breakfast
1) Wake up, Body!
With no food and water intake during sleep, your body’s decreased activity also causes blood sugar levels to drop. When you wake in the morning, it is the low blood sugar level that affects your energy levels. Get out of hibernation mode with a hearty breakfast. Eating early will keep your insulin and blood sugar levels regulated.
As a rule of thumb, breakfast should be eaten within two hours of waking up or before 10 AM.
This tip is especially important if you are the type to go for an early morning workout. Have a bite or an energy bar before your morning run, or risk feeling sluggish or lightheaded during your work out.
2) Setting the Rhythm for the Day
Eating breakfast is the first thing you should do to kick start your metabolism. Metabolism is the speed of your body turning the food you consume into fuel, and this takes place throughout the day.
The more you practice healthy eating in the morning, the better your body will adapt to the routine. Start small – a bowl of whole grain cereal or scrambled eggs are great choices to keep you full for longer.
3) Are you smarter than a non-breakfast eater?
Glucose is an essential carbohydrate that promotes brain function. Various studies over the years have shown that cognitive functions like memory and concentration benefits from having breakfast. This is especially important in school going children as they are growing and thus need more energy during this time. So send your kids to school with toast or cereal or a hot instant drink – it’ll give them a head start above the rest.
4) Goodbye, Binge Eating
Skipping breakfast means you have a longer time between your last meal (dinner) to your next meal (most likely lunch on the next day). You’ll likely stave off hunger pangs either with snacks before lunch or overestimate what you can eat at lunch by ordering more food to eat – either way, adding on unnecessary calories you do not need. Having breakfast, whether it’s as elaborate as pancakes and eggs or a slice of toast, keeps you sufficiently full until lunch time.
5) Breakfast Helps You Stay Fit
Whether or not you have the appetite for it, breakfast is an important meal to have to help you maintain your weight – or even to lose weight. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, people who skip breakfast are 4.5 times likely to be obese. Probably because it is compensated throughout the day (and especially at lunch – see point 4) with more calories than necessary.
It’s also been proven that having a meal in the morning not only reduces your chances of obesity but also reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
QUICK AND SIMPLE BREAKFAST RECIPES YOU CAN MAKE AT HOME:
1) Banana-Yogurt Smoothie
A smoothie is an easy and tasty way to get your morning fuel. Just blend some frozen fruits of your choice with a cup of unflavoured yoghurt and a couple of ice cubes. Put it into a bottle to have while on the go, or freeze overnight for a thicker texture. The yoghurt will keep you feeling full, while the fruit will give you your daily vitamin and fibre requirement. You can also flavour your smoothie with powdered chocolate or malt, a sprinkle of allspice or a handful of chia seeds for extra nutrition.
2) Overnight Oats
Overnight oats are more than a fad – they’re unbelievably easy to prepare and convenient to carry out in the morning, especially if made in a bottle or a jar. To make overnight oats, put half a cup of instant rolled oats with a cup of milk. Add a teaspoon of honey or a sprinkle of brown sugar for sweetness, and keep in fridge overnight. Give it a stir in the morning and voila! You’re ready to go.
Boost this recipe with additions of dried or freshly cut fruits. Apricots, raisins, strawberries or bananas are great sources of fibre for your overnight oats.
3) Eggy Savoury Oatmeal
The goodness of oats cannot be denied. Not only is it 100% natural, it can also help lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart diseases, and is quick and convenient to cook. Oatmeal (coarsely grounded oats) can be eaten in more than one way. Level up and make it a savoury breakfast to enjoy, similar to how you might enjoy a bowl of porridge. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to your bowl of instant oatmeal (made with water or milk) and top it with a poached egg or hard boiled egg for added protein and more fill.
4) Sweet Potato Toast
The sweet potato is a local favourite that has been overlooked for trendy produce like avocados and quinoa, but it’s time to add it back in to rotation. This powerful spud is naturally sweet, heals inflammation in your body and is rich in Vitamins A and C. Whip up a unique and nutritious toast by slicing a sweet potato lengthwise at about ¼ inches. Coat with a little bit of olive oil and bake in your pre-heated oven for 15 minutes on both sides. Once done, take it out and top it with yogurt or peanut butter. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds for added crunch.
5) Avocado Toast with Egg
Avocados are rich in protein and good fats, and an evergreen breakfast favourite. Take two lightly toasted slices of whole grain bread and top it with smashed avocado. Sprinkle salt and pepper and it’s ready to go. You can also choose to add sunny-side up eggs for extra protein.
This 2017, make it your resolution to start each day on the right note - with a healthy and energising breakfast. Happy eating!