Woman having breakfast

Food facts: what makes healthy breakfast so important?

 

I fondly remember the days when my mom ran after me with a glass of juice or milk in one hand and sandwich in the other. However, mostly I managed to run away with my school bag. It took me years to understand what my mother tried to teach me back then. This is the wisdom that has been passed on from generations and will continue to do so.

So what is it that makes this first meal of the day so special?

Breakfast as it is colloquially called is eaten after a long hiatus-this is usually eaten some 12 hours after our last meal: dinner. Our body has used up all the reserves during sleeping. Now as a new day is starting, so the body requires a fresh supply of all the vital nutrients to remain physically and mentally active all day long. So if you skip this meal, you are surely missing out on something so vital to carry out your activities.

Research has shown that people who eat breakfast regularly can lose weight easily and maintain their existing weight. Certain studies have found that kids who eat breakfast are able to concentrate more in school.

With our fast-paced lives wherein we gain professionally, health becomes the biggest loser. Staying up late, means we wake up late. Result: we have no time for breakfast and so head directly towards our workplaces. We eat whatever is available but it might be unhealthy. By unhealthy, I mean being deficient in its nutritive value, which can sometimes lead to health problems. You can visit a nutritionist/dietician if you think you are not eating right or your health is deteriorating. If you do not have time to seek the help of an expert, these days you can also take free online medical advice.

As I started college, I experienced certain health problems like fatigue (a small physical activity tired me immensely), lack of concentration and low blood pressure which meant that my body had started showing the consequences of my negligence. I neither consulted a specialist nor took an online medical advice. My mother’s wisdom worked. I started eating breakfast and was successful in getting a healthy mind and body over a period of time.

Now a question must have propped up in your mind: are there any foods that can fulfill all our needs. Yes. I am giving you here a list that you must include in you breakfast diet to get best results.

Nuts.
They are high in protein quotient. Proteins provide sustained energy, and do not make you feel hungry in between the meals. So consider a protein-rich breakfast, which is definitely a boon for your health.

Fruits and vegetables
Numerous studies have revealed that including colorful fruits and vegetables in one’s diet provides the widest possible range of nutrients to the body. Doing this seems little difficult? Here is the way out- eat at least 5-10 combined servings of fruits and vegetables. You can even think of including two from each group:  red, white, green, purple/blue, and yellow/orange. But make sure you start this practice from the first meal of the day. Beginners can start by adding one more serving to what they are usually eating.

Whole grains
Whole grains provide fiber as well as vitamins and minerals. Fiber gives a feeling of fullness, thereby keeping a check on your daily calorie intake and also stops you from snacking unhealthily. High fiber diet ensures smooth bowel movement and is also known to lower the risk of heart diseases.

Tea
Tea contains antioxidants named catechins which are boosters of your immune system. Tea hydrates your body more effectively than coffee as it contains less caffeine. All tea (black, green, or white) contains antioxidants, but research suggests that green tea may be the healthiest of all.

Now as we already know what we must have in our breakfast menu, let us also look at some of the healthy options: oatmeal, Greek yoghurt, wheat germ, peanut butter, almond butter, eggs, watermelon, flaxseed, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, coffee, cantaloupe, kiwi, orange juice, cranberry juice, cereals and whole wheat bread. Just remember to eat the right combination, so that your body gets all the nutrients required.

PS: It is not the quantity that matters. The quality of food we eat is the determining factor that affects our overall health. Our body requires not only a right mix of protein, carbohydrates and fibers but also the right calorie level for you.

Skipping breakfast deprives your body of health benefits and odds are that you might end up eating more, or make unhealthy choices during the day. Thus, you increase the chances of having headache, mood swings, lack of concentration and weight gain. So eat up, eat right, and be healthy.

 

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