“Eat breakfast like a king…” said Adelle Davis many years ago, who has been known as a pioneer in the movement toward healthier eating.
Everyone is short of time these days and it is breakfast unfortunately that is most frequently skipped. This should not be the case! Don’t skip breakfasts! It is the most important meal of your day.
After the time of fasting during your sleep, when you wake up, your blood sugar is low. Your body needs fuel and the best is in the form of a low-GL breakfast. Some benefits of eating morning meal:
- Makes you feel more energized during the day,
- Helps stabilize your blood sugar levels, and therefore improves your insulin sensitivity,
- Gives you a healthy, stable appetite for the rest of the day,
- Keeps you fuller for longer and decreases a risk of overeating later on (1)
- Helps with weight management. A 2003 study (2) showed that people who skip breakfast are 4.5 times more likely to be obese than those who have a morning meal,
- May reduce risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease,
- May improve memory, cognitive performance and attention span (3)
- Gives your body a chance to provide healthy nutrients from different sources such as eggs, oats, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, coffee, green tea, and more.
It doesn’t have to be labour intensive and time consuming to create a homemade, delicious and nutrient-dense breakfast.
If you are pressed for time in the morning, why not trying the following ideas that will save you time. Prepare your healthy breakfast the night before and you will have one less thing to worry about in the morning when you are getting ready for the day.
Overnight oats – simply soak your oats in milk, or milk alternative, overnight and add berries, grated apple or pear, seeds, chopped nuts in the morning. As simple as that! Oats have many health-promoting qualities. They contain a form of dietary fibre, known as beta–glucan, which has been found heart-friendly.
Chia pudding – in this case soak chia seeds overnight. The seeds will create a jelly -like pudding. You can mix in some oats with them too. Top with fresh berries or freshly pureed fruit like mango or stewed fruit like blackcurrants, blueberries or apples. Lovely to add some chopped nuts for a bit of crunch in the morning or a dollop of nut butter. Simple, isn’t it? Chia seeds are a nutritional ‘powerhouse’ as they are packed with healthy fats like omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, calcium, fibre and are a good source of protein.
Apple compote – simply stew cored and chopped (unpeeled) apples (Bramley apples are the best) with a few raisins or sultanas and cinnamon an evening before. In the morning add some source of protein like chopped nuts, seeds or a dollop of natural unsweetened live yoghurt. You can also add some toasted oats or a tablespoon of low GL granola. It’s almost like having dessert for breakfast! Apples are full of soluble fibre, vitamins and immune-enhancing polyphenols. They are one of the lowest GL fruits so an excellent choice for breakfast.
Protein smoothies – if you have a blender and little time on your hands then making a healthy smoothie could be an option for you. Remember to select low GL fruits like berries, some high quality protein powder and either milk, milk alternative, kefir or coconut water as a liquid. To make your smoothie even more nutritious and satisfying, add a piece of ripe avocado to it. It will give it a creamy texture. There are some fabulous superfoods powders available that you can also add like maca, lucuma, baobab, spirulina, moringa, raw cacao, and many, many more. Be imaginative and try and create the most tasty and healthy smoothie!
Yoghurt – always have some natural, unsweetened yoghurt in your fridge. Whether you prefer dairy or non-dairy, just choose varity that has no added sugar or sweeteners. For dairy ones, I recommend full fat, organic and probiotic. Adding some fruit, seeds, chopped nuts, nut butters or raw honey can make simple yoghurt a refreshing and nutritious first meal of a day.
If you have a little more time on your hands in the morning make:
Eggs – an excellent source of protein and healthy fats (provided they are free-range and preferably organic). Best to poach, cook or gently scramble them. Frying eggs on high heat may damage the essential fats. Allow you culinary curiosity explore different ingredients for some delicious omelettes: spinach, chives, mushrooms, onions, Swiss chard, goat cheese, peppers, tomatoes, chilli, bacon, smoked salmon, cheddar, and whatever else you fancy. Don’t be shy to use some spices to further enhance the flavour: cumin, chilli flakes, oregano, basil, harissa, garlic, etc.
Porridge – another favourite breakfast for many! Nothing is more satisfying than a steamy bowl of porridge goodness. You can make it not only with traditional oats. Try buckwheat flakes, quinoa flakes, amaranth or millet and you will be surprised how tasty these are. Make sure you add some source of protein to your porridge, for example ground flaxseeds, chia, hemp, sunflower or pumpkin seeds. You can stir in some protein powder too. And don’t forget to add some cinnamon to help improve glucose metabolism.
Sourdough toast – preferably wholemeal spelt and rye or 100% rye. The toppings are vast and you can choose from nut and seed butters to dairy butter and cottage cheese and chives, ‘smashed’ avocado and smoked salmon, ‘smashed’ avocado and poached egg, dairy butter and kippers or smoked mackerel, cheddar and tomato, and more.
There are many more breakfast options than just the above mentioned. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for everybody. It will kick start your metabolism and energize you for the day ahead. Those who try to balance their blood sugar levels and lose weight should make time for it in particular.