Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
It's been said time and again - breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But how many of us just down a coffee and a piece of toast on the way out the door, simply because we just don't have the time to think about a well-rounded nutritious meal.
But we'll let you in on a little secret... nutritious doesn't have to mean time-consuming. We are here to inspire you with some great ideas for quick, healthy breakfasts every day. Forget about "empty" foods like bread and pastries, that play havoc with your blood sugar levels and do nothing to help fuel your body for the day ahead. Instead, make 2018 the year that you focus on really starting the day right!
Kick-start your metabolism
Who doesn’t love a meal with the power to boost your metabolism, helping your body burn calories faster?! It's the beginning of a New Year, and many of us will be looking to realize our resolutions and slim down for a healthier, thinner version of ourselves.
Many breakfast foods are great metabolism boosters, because they’re high in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber and/or protein. Here are some little beauties to help raise metabolism levels:
Whole grains and seeds: Forget your bog-standard and nutritionally-empty supermarket loaves and pastries. If you want to burn more calories throughout the day, reach for whole grains and seeds. Quinoa in particular, delivers a metabolism-satisfying mix of complex carbohydrates and protein for lasting energy.
Eggs: A great source of protein, eggs can supply you with a healthy source of energy to keep you powered-up all day. And why not cook them in coconut oil for an additional boost of healthy fats, namely medium chain fatty acids.
Lean protein: Short on time? Then rejoice! One of the quickest and easiest ways to access lean protein (rather than traditional protein sources, such as meat, which tend to be high in saturated fat) is by incorporating a plant protein shake into your daily breakfast routine. Not only will this supply you with complete, balanced and low-fat protein; it will also provide you with an additional source of nutrients. Our shakes are blended with a number of plant-based foods, which are high in protein, as well as other nutrients, such as fiber and Phyto-chemicals. Simply add to a liquid of your choice and go.
Fruit: The dietary fiber in fruit makes it a natural calorie-burner. And the best part is that fruit is super-versatile, as well as easily transportable. Add it to probiotic yoghurt, mix it with granola, nuts and seeds, or enjoy it all by its awesome self on the go. But remember, even the natural sugars in fruit can be an obstacle to weight loss if eaten in large enough quantities. So as always, everything in moderation if you are trying to shift a few pounds!
Stay fuller for longer
Find yourself hungry soon after breakfast? Can't help but start reaching for those unhealthy snacks, as cravings start to creep in before lunch? Your body is trying to tell you that your chosen breakfast is not keeping you fueled for long enough.
If you want your healthy breakfast to do you good, be sure to pick one that’s going to keep you feeling full all the way until lunch. The best way to do that and avoid the mid-morning hunger pangs (which can then often lead to less healthy choices) is to fuel up with foods that are rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats.
The key is to keep those blood sugar levels stable and here are some fantastic foods to help you do just that:
Quinoa: Once again, we must give a shout-out to wondrous quinoa. Not only is this South American staple high in protein, it is also high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. This is a winning combo for helping to ensure that you continue to feel satisfied throughout the day.
Avocados: The green, creamy flesh of avocados doesn't just taste good; it's also filled with fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat - a perfect fill-you-up food. Foods high in fiber and rich in healthy fats take longer to digest, allowing you to experience less overall hunger. Research also shows that the oleic acid in avocados, a monounsaturated fat, signals to your brain that your stomach is full. Just remember that, nutritious as they are, avocados are high in calories, so if you are watching your weight, eat them in moderation.
Psyllium: Perhaps a less well-known source of fiber, psyllium definitely deserves a mention on the list of breakfast foods that can help keep you feeling fuller for longer. The husk of the seed from the Plantago plant, psyllium is a form of dietary fiber that expands in the gut, providing bulk and therefore a corresponding feeling of fullness, while supporting digestive health and regularity at the same time!
Majdi Shahein | Naturopathic Doctor and a Detox Specialist with Detoxification Works ®