Good nutrition is the driving force of any healthy lifestyle.
You are what you eat, as the saying goes. Having a great balance in nutrient quantity and quality is fundamental in this regard, of course.
But just as important as the nature of the food we eat is when and how we eat it.
When speaking about how we eat, the way we prepare and chew our food is important
When speaking about when we eat, we need to consider how our bodies function energetically.
Looking at this, you’ll find that your body’s greatest demands are just when you wake up.
This first meal is the one that will determine how your waking day will go. Let’s take a look at exactly why breakfast is so important.
Breakfast is the cornerstone of a healthy start to your day.
Just think about it, you’ve spent up to 8 hours asleep. At that time, your body is still churning and using up valuable energy.
Typically, when you’re awake over an 8 hour period, you will have at least had a couple of snacks and a meal.
Suffice to say you need to get something in once you’ve woken up.
This article will serve as your ultimate breakfast menu guideline, suggesting the best foods and combinations of foods to get your day started in a healthy way.
Before we do that, let’s look at some things you might want to avoid.
Right on top of the list of things to avoid is processed foods.
Breakfast is your initial contact with nutrition, so what worse way to do that than introducing a bunch of chemically processed and non-nutritious foods.
Watch out for deli meats as well. These may seem safe and even healthy, but the level of processing involved can really introduce some nasty stuff to your system.
Aside from the obvious additives and preservatives, processed foods typically have large quantities of trans fats.
Another thing to avoid is refined carbs, we’re looking at you sugar.
Excess amounts of sugar and other refined carbs such as white bread can really mess with your insulin function.
Simply avoiding sugar isn’t enough tho. That’s because the sweet stuff is usually lurking in other forms.
For example, fruit juice, even the types that say 100% or freshly squeezed, all contain refined sugar.
That’s because they have been stripped of the fiber which would naturally act as a buffer against excess sugar uptake.
Also, steer clear of dried fruit and granola for that reason.
Stick to whole fruit and whole grains.
With that said, how’s about some foods you should actually include on the breakfast table?
Nuts are a great breakfast food, not only are they whole and nutritious, but they are also relatively fuss-free since they are so easy to store and require little preparation.
Nuts come packed with many essential vitamins and minerals, but a well known for their abundance of essential fatty acids.
These healthy fats come in the form of mono and polyunsaturated fats, helping you get a good dose of omega 3s and 6s.
Nuts can also come in the form of nut butter, making them a versatile ingredient in sandwiches, smoothies and breakfast bowls.
Just make sure you get raw nut butter and not the super processed ones that are all too common.
Berries are an amazing addition to your diet in general, the more so when it comes to breakfast.
With a great nutrition profile that includes many essential nutrients in high doses, berries are a great start to your day.
Where berries truly shine is their antioxidant profile. Berries such as Aronia, blueberries, and blackberries have the most abundant amounts of antioxidants available for our consumption.
We prefer frozen berries just because of their storage lifespan and their lower cost. Fresh berries are good too.
Oatmeal is a great way to get a healthy serving of healthy carbs.
Oats come packed with fiber, which means the carb component won’t lead to any tremendous spikes in blood glucose.
Fiber helps control the uptake of sugar from the gut to the blood as we previously mentioned. This allows a more controlled and sustained release of energy that keeps you going for longer.
Another benefit of the fiber content of oatmeal is, of course, its usefulness in aiding digestion. Getting your digestive system on track with your first bite is a massive bonus.
Eggs are the cornerstone of most breakfasts. They are both nutritious and delicious as their popularity suggests.
There are two factors concerning eggs that make them so appealing.
Firstly, they have a high protein content, this is found in the egg white which is mostly protein.
Secondly, egg yolks are high in good HDL cholesterol which helps maintain a healthy heart and circulatory system.
Seeds are a great fiber and healthy fat source. They feature in the same way as nuts but have the added benefits of some powerful antioxidants.
Seeds such as flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds contain many vital minerals and vitamins.
Breakfast is an essential way to kick off your day, so it’s important to get it right.
Remember that your body is a unique and individual machine, so what might work nutritionally for one person, may not be the case for you.
Always check with a medical professional or registered dietician when considering switching up your diet.
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