Most of us are brought up knowing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
However in today’s busy world many people miss it or end up eating something unhealthy on the rush to work.
According to The Guardian national newspaper, 34% of Brits skip breakfast.
When asked, most say that this is down to a busy schedule with school runs, commutes to work and other essential morning duties.
It is extremely important however that you should try to eat a nutritious breakfast before starting out in the morning and there are lots of benefits to be had from eating a healthy and nutritious breakfast every day. We will now look at what these benefits are.
Reason Number #1
First of all, a nutritious breakfast is a great way to get a natural burst of energy in the morning.
Many of us today struggle to get going in the morning and feel sluggish and slow, however munching on a healthy breakfast packed with nutrients can help to increase energy levels in the body and help you to get a good start to your day.
Eating breakfast that contains vitamins C and D as well as fibre can help to improve your energy levels quickly.
Getting the goodness that you need from raw foods is far better for your body, so try to eat plenty of fruit, or perhaps try a vegetable smoothie as this contains much less sugar.
Reason Number #2
Getting a healthy breakfast into your body before you start your day can also help to improve your focus, which of course is essential for school or work.
If you miss your breakfast, your brain will find it far more difficult to focus and to process new information, which will have an impact on the quality of your work and could get you into trouble!
Reason Number #3
Research has shown that people who miss their breakfast are far more likely to have trouble with their weight too, not good news if you’re trying to lose weight.
Having a healthy and nutritious breakfast first thing in the morning has been shown in various studies to help with weight control and those who eat breakfast of a morning are far more likely to engage in exercise and other physical activity on a regular schedule.
This is because your morning food gives you the energy to be able to engage in such activity.
Missing breakfast also means that you are far more likely to eat larger quantities at lunch and evening meals, including your body store calories and this increasing your weight.
Reason Number #4
Eating breakfast in morning gives your metabolism a kick-start.
When we sleep at night, our metabolism has a tendency to decrease and so eating upon waking in the morning helps to boost the metabolism and give it the kick that it needs to get going.
By getting your metabolism going in the morning, your body is more likely to burn calories throughout the day and so this is another reason why those who have breakfast on a regular basis usually struggle less with their weight.
Reason Number #5
Another great reason to eat breakfast every day is that it helps to decrease your bad cholesterol levels, that’s reducing your chances of developing heart disease later in life.
Many studies have been conducted into this and have shown that regular healthy breakfasts can help to lower the levels of LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol.
Reason Number #6
Finally, having a good, nutritious and wholesome breakfast can help to prevent heart attacks.
An American study was conducted over almost two decades and showed that those who ate breakfast regularly were less likely to have a heart attack.
This is down to various reasons, including that skipping your breakfast increases chances of high cholesterol, hikes blood pressure, increases the risk of diabetes and increases chances of obesity.
Is it really the most important meal of the day?
We’ve always been told breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but let’s be clear, it’s more important that your breakfast is the right kind of breakfast!
A more instinctive approach is worth adopting when it comes to breakfasts.
If you had a heavy, late meal then you probably don’t need to refuel with a massive, carbohydrate-rich breakfast first thing!
Likewise, if you had a light, early dinner, come the morning you will probably be starving for your first meal.
By listening to your body you sync into the rhythms of the body ensuring stomach acid and enzymes are ready to digest your food when you are actually hungry and in need of some fuel.
If you are struggling for inspiration in the breakfast department then look no further than these quick and easy recipes.
1. Super 5 Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- handful of berries
- handful of spinach,
- 200ml almond milk
Blitz in a blender until smooth and serve immediately.
Add any additional powders and superfoods to upgrade your smoothie:
- baobab are our favourites.
2. Grilled egg and avocado boats
Halve an avocado and scoop out a little of the flesh to be able to crack an egg in the dip.
Season with salt and pepper and place under the grill until the egg is cooked through.
This is a quick breakfast full of healthy fats and fibre that will keep you full until lunch time.
3. Overnight millet bircher
- Grate a small apple and stir in 30g of millet flakes,
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds and 1 tsp cinnamon.
- Add enough coconut milk for the mixture to absorb.
Leave overnight and in the morning add a dollop of coconut yoghurt, blueberries and coconut flakes.
This is the perfect breakfast if you have no time in the morning – you can do all the prep the night before if you have to and then just grab your bircher to have on-the-go.
4. Tempeh Shakshuka
- Pan fry onions, cherry tomatoes, red peppers and mushrooms with paprika then add sliced tempeh and a jar of your favourite pasta sauce.
- Cook until heated through and serve with a slice of gluten-free toast.
Perhaps needs a little more effort, but well worth it if you have 10 mins spare in the morning.
This is a vitamin-dense bowl of goodness as well containing selenium and lycopene which are health promoting antioxidants.
5. Savoury thyme oat bowl
Switch up your typical sweet bowl of porridge with mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach and thyme to ensure your vegetable count is high before you’ve even thought about lunch.
We tend to lean towards sweet breakfasts, this one is a winner because it has the familiar, comforting texture of porridge but with a savoury twist.
6. Grain-free Protein pancakes
- 1 banana
- 1 scoop vegan protein powder
- 1 egg (or chia egg)
Blitz and fry in coconut oil for around 2-3 minutes on each side.
Serve with almond butter or coconut yoghurt and berries.
If you don’t have protein powder you can use ground almonds or gluten-free oats.
7. Fig & chia pot
- 2 tbsps chia seeds soaked in water or milk of choice (1:4 ratio).
- Slice figs and drizzle with raw honey and crushed pistachios.
The figs in this pot are packed full of fibre which can help to get your bowels moving first thing in the morning.
So, as you can see it is vital that you make time to have a good healthy morning breakfast.
It doesn’t have to take long, if you prepare a nice fruit/vegetable salad, or a bowl or granola and natural yoghurt the night before and pop it in the fridge, it will only take you ten minutes to sit down with a nice cup of herbal tea and get your body the fuel that it needs.