How can I eat a healthy breakfast?
Article date: 17 July 2014
It's often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and this old adage isn't just a phrase concocted by old fishwives that should be ignored in modern times.
For many years, scientists have researched why it is that breakfast is so pivotal to our wellbeing and what the long-term health benefits are of starting the day in a healthy, nutritional manner.
A US study found that continually skipping your first meal of the day can increase your risk of becoming obese, having a heart attack and developing diabetes.
Among the reasons why this is likely to be the case is that breakfast can stabilise blood sugar levels, which in turn regulates appetite and energy consumption.
However, just ensuring you have something to eat soon after waking up isn't enough to boost your overall health levels, particularly when you consider how some breakfast options - a full English springs to mind - aren't entirely filled with all-round goodness for your body in the first place.
So, what are the best meals you can consume to improve your wellbeing? Here are a few suggestions.
While this is a staple for many people's breakfast already, it may surprise you to learn just how good they can be for you.
Many processed cereals contain fortified vitamins and minerals you are unlikely to absorb from elsewhere if you were to have just two meals per day. That said, some products are certainly better than others.
Try to opt for brands that include whole grain content, as these can lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart attack. Similarly, foods that contain fibre can also help minimise the chance of you putting on excess weight.
In addition to this, you are also ensuring your body absorbs the calcium it needs to keep your teeth and bones healthy via the milk you add to your bowl in the morning.
Consuming a fruit smoothie in the morning can be an effective way of incorporating fruit and vegetables into your diet.
This breakfast choice is not only filling, helping you to lose weight by encouraging you not to snack between meals, but it also can improve your digestion by effectively letting the blender 'chew' the food for you.
Getting a strong intake of vitamins from fruits like oranges, strawberries and blackcurrants can improve the efficiency of your immune system, keeping you sickness-free for longer.
If you'd like to combine the benefits of cereal and smoothies, why not go for a fruit pancake breakfast?
This morning option is tasty, healthy and satisfying, while using whole grain flour instead of the white alternative can ensure you really get the most from this meal.
Similarly, don't be afraid to lump plenty of fruit on top. Bananas are a great source of potassium and vitamin B6, with the former nutrient in particular helping to protect against high blood pressure and poor heart function.
They also contain fibre and, in particular, pectins, which are great for normalising the rate of carbohydrate digestion and kick-starting your metabolism for the day.
There are loads of great healthy options out there, so while a bacon sandwich every morning may sound tempting - don't be afraid to get creative!