You know the saying: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That’s why nutritionist Adelle Davis said: “Eat breakfast like a king.” Not lunch, mind you, nor dinner. But breakfast. So why is breakfast so important?
There are many reasons why breakfast is important. First off:
- It gives you energy for the daily activities ahead
- Eating a nutritious breakfast helps prevent weight gain
- When we don’t eat a proper breakfast, it affects both our physical and mental well-being
- Without eating at the start of the day, you increase your chances of health issues (i.e., heart disease)
- When we wake up, our blood sugar is low which can effect our muscle and brain function – breakfast heightens our blood sugar
- Your body “fasts” overnight, since you go eight hours without eating. If you don’t eat when you wake up, your concentration is affected
Therefore, experts say that women should eat around 300-500 calories during breakfast. Men should consume 375-625 calories.
What is a Well Balanced Breakfast?
Let’s begin by saying a well balanced breakfast does not consist of sugary cereals. Nor does it consist of high protein with even higher fat, such as bacon. There is a common misconception that this constitutes as a healthy breakfast: pancakes with syrup and butter, scrambles eggs, fried bacon, cereal with a high sugar content, coffee and/or orange juice.
According to nutritionists and dietitians, you can define a well-balanced breakfast if it includes foods from at least three of the five food groups. If you need an elementary school refresher of the food pyramid, the five food groups are:
- Vegetables, legumes and beans
- Fresh fruit
- Lean meats, poultry and eggs (also tofu)
- Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, dairy alternatives)
The Anatomy of a Healthy Breakfast
- Banana – This sweet fruit will increase your energy levels better than a hot cup of coffee.
- Blueberries – These blue delights will increase your memory and concentration to tackle whatever the day brings your way.
- Raisins – Surprisingly, raisins are considered a brain food (like blueberries) because they increase your attention and memory.
- Fruits you love – All fruits are beneficial, so incorporate a few of your favorites into the mix.
You can certainly eat a whole egg and still enjoy a healthy breakfast. The yolk within an egg contains most on the nutrients. Unfortunately it also contributes to high cholesterol. If you’re not at risk of dietary cholesterol, enjoy the whole egg. Still, we recommend an egg white omelet with vegetables. Egg whites are a rich source of protein with zero cholesterol. Add arugula, spring onions, tomato, white onions and a little hot sauce to your egg white omelet and enjoy.
There are many healthy fats, but we chose half or a quarter of sliced avocado. This will make your breakfast nutritionally complete and delicious. As you may already know, avocados have an assortment of vitamins and minerals and contain no cholesterol or sodium. Let’s not forget that they are rich in healthy fat (15 grams) but low in saturated fat. A note of caution: don’t eat too much, as this can lead in weight gain.