Starting the Day Right
23 Dec 2015 3 Minute Read
You know how the saying goes: Start as you mean to go on. And never has a truer word been spoken when it comes to breakfast.
When you have a family to get ready for school and work each and every morning, the notion of sitting down to a decent breakfast can often be pushed to the side. But squeezing in that first meal has positive spin-offs for the rest of your day – and your overall health.
Kicking off the day with breakfast helps provide the energy to start the day, so it is no wonder studies in children have shown a link between breakfast consumption and improved cognitive and physical abilities as well as mood. Plus breakfast helps support weight management as it reduces unhealthy snacking later in the day, so say goodbye to those unnecessary calories.
Of course, the benefits of breakfast vary greatly depending on what you’re choosing to eat. And, unfortunately, that hastily purchased muffin and coffee on the way to work isn’t quite going to cut it.
Protein is often touted by nutritionists as a breakfast champion, with a study from the University of Missouri finding women aged 15 to 55 who ate protein-laden breakfasts had improved appetite control and reduced the chances of overeating later in the day.
Good sources of protein in the morning include eggs, yoghurt or nuts (and nut butters). Try whipping up poached eggs or an omelette with any veges you might have in the fridge, or dust off the blender and make yourself a protein-packed smoothie. You might also like to try creating your own bircher muesli full of oats, yoghurt, nuts and seeds.
And if you’re finding yourself in a race against the clock each morning - because who isn’t? - try preparing as much of your breakfast as you can the night before. You’ll find you’re much more likely to whip up something healthy and substantial first thing when it’s already half done.
Avoiding breakfast foods that are high in sugar is another good rule of thumb, as they can lead to spikes (and subsequent dips) in blood-sugar levels, leaving you looking for a treat to get you through to lunchtime – which is a glycemic rollercoaster nobody wants to be on.
While it can be hard to prioritise your wellbeing when you’re staring down the barrel of a busy schedule, starting the day with a low-sugar, high-protein and high-fibre breakfast is an easy habit to begin and maintain, and will set you up with the fuel you need to get through that to-do list.