A healthy diet helps to maintain or improve overall health as it provides the body with essential nutrition, i.e. fluid, macronutrients, micronutrients, and adequate calories. Breakfast is known to be how we break our overnight fasting, so it is important that what you eat for breakfast is adequate, sufficient and capable of keeping the body in good form for the day’s activities.
Scientific evidence shows that all humans have improved cognitive performance and more sustained energy from meals that don’t spike our blood sugars, i.e. meals with a lower glycemic load. The glycemic load gives us an idea of how much blood sugar increment a certain food will cause and for breakfast, the lower, the better.
The following should be regarded as the core of a healthy breakfast:
Lean Protein such as Beans & Lentils, Ground beef, white-flesh fish & Shellfish, Nuts, Lite Tofu, Low-fat milk, Eggs, etc.
Low-fat dairy such as Yoghurt, cottage cheese or milk, leafy greens, e.g. lettuce, fruits, sweet potatoes etc.
Vegetables such as Lettuce, Cabbage, Cucumber, Garlic, Onion, Cauliflower etc.
Fruits such as Apples, Oranges, Strawberries, Watermelon, Pears, Grapefruits etc.
Whole Grains such as whole oats, whole wheat, bulgur wheat, millet etc.
Although cereals are considered a good choice for breakfast, it is necessary to know the contents of the particular cereal to be consumed. The following should be considered when choosing cereals. You may also want to consider garnishing your cereal with low-fat milk, sliced fruits or yoghurts.
i. Fibre: At least 3-5grams of fibre should be contained in the cereal.
ii. Sugar: Sugar content in cereals differ from children’s to adults’ as adults need lower sugar contents compared to children.
iii. Calories: Cereals lower in calories should be chosen, not more than 170 calories at a serving.
Consuming real meals before heading out of the house could be the most preferred choice. But a healthy choice must be consumed as well, to refuel the body and keep it in good form for the day’s job and most importantly, to enhance the bodies overall health.
Such healthy breakfast ideas include:
Warm fruit bowl
Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast bowl
Savory Oatmeal with an egg
A whole-wheat sandwich with lean meat and low-fat cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and sweet peppers.
A whole-wheat pita stuffed with hard-boiled egg and a vegetable, e.g. spinach.
A smoothie of fruits, plain yoghurt and a spoonful of wheat germ.
French toast made with whole-wheat bread, eggs whites or an egg substitute, cinnamon and vanilla.
Cooked oatmeal topped with almonds or dried cranberries etc.
A whole-wheat meal tortilla filled with vegetables, salsa and low-fat shredded cheese.