We’re consistently told of the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast, so this Breakfast Week, we thought we’d share some tips and recipes and the healthy foods you want to be including in your morning meal.
Nutritionist at NutriCentre Cassandra Barns explains that you go without eating throughout the night whilst you sleep, so in order to function properly you need some breakfast in order to break the fast. And if you delay eating by too long in the morning it's likely to lead to overeating later on in the day, which often can cause you to choose sugary foods for an instant energy hit.
Not only does eating breakfast help your brain perform better, but research shows that people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than those that don't.
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Healthy breakfast ingredients and their benefits
Beans – source of soluble fibre and protein.
Cinnamon – can help to stabilise blood sugar levels. Adds taste without adding calories.
Eggs – source of protein to keep us feeling fuller for longer.
Fruit – source of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for general health.
Milk / Yogurt – source of protein and calcium (great for muscle repair and bone/teeth health). Good for satiety.
Oats – soluble fibre which is great for cholesterol profile. Don’t cause bloating. Release their energy slowly (low GI).
Oily fish – contains omega 3 for heart health.
Peanut Butter – source of healthy fats for heart health and skin.
Seeds/nuts – source of healthy fats for heart health and skin.
Wholegrain bread – release energy slowly (low GI); fibre rich foods can decrease risk of bowel cancer.
Wholegrain cereals – same as above.
For a post workout breakfast
Whey Protein / Eggs – consuming at least 20g of protein is an ideal amount post workout to help to repair muscle damage and prevent muscle breakdown. Those who work out or who are wanting to lose fat and not muscle require more protein in their diets in comparison to someone who is sedentary.
Healthy breakfast recipes for different situations
We all have our own schedules to adhere to in the morning and that means we all need something different when it comes to breakfast. UK dietitian Nichola Whitehead shares some delicious ideas of what you can eat in the morning, depending on your lifestyle.
Breakfast for those who eat at their desk
Overnight Oats or Bircher Muesli
Both can be eaten on the commute in a sealed jar on public transport or at your desk. You can prepare these the evening before with oats, yoghurt, and milk and then add toppings of fruit/nuts/cinnamon either the night before or in morning. Why not make in bulk at the weekend, then its super speedy to scoop out and enjoy each morning.
Breakfast for those who have to feed the family
Wholegrain Toast with a Choice of Toppings
Another simple and enjoyable way to get children eating healthy food. Toppings could include peanut butter & banana, jam & berries, or scrambled eggs.
Breakfast for those who have just done an early morning workout
Post Workout Protein Smoothie
Smoothies can be made quickly (and in advance) and taste great - include whey protein as this is fast acting to help muscles to repair, along with spinach and fresh or frozen banana (a frozen banana will make the smoothie thicker). Read our Nutribullet review to find out if you need one.
Breakfast for those who want to impress on the weekend
Wholegrain Toast Topped with Sliced Ripe Avocado
Serve with a poached egg, lightly fried cherry tomatoes and mushrooms for a colourful dish that is sure to impress any visitors.
Breakfast for those looking to lose weight
Wholegrain Cereal with Milk & Fruit or Seeds
Low in calories but so easy to do. Try topping with berries, flaked almonds or even a drizzle of honey.
Breakfast Week is organised by AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds on behalf of UK cereal farmers and producers, who grow and make the foods we all enjoy at breakfast. Breakfast Week is an annual celebration with activities, promotions and events taking place across the country - all in honour of the first meal of the day. For further ideas and inspiration head to www.shakeupyourwakeup.com.