So I’m sure you have all been told before that breakfast is important and to never skip it, but a lot of people just brush this idea off and move straight into their day. I personally am one of those people who swears by a well-rounded breakfast. It is non-negotiable. I must have it or I can’t function. My day is terrible if I don’t have breakfast. I’m tired, grumpy, and my blood sugar levels are all over the place.
This post is meant to be informative and present the facts: the benefits of breakfast, the outcomes of skipping, the best time to drink coffee, and even suggestions for healthy, complete breakfast meals for at home and on the go. I’ve linked just a few of the sites below that I’ve relied on for my personal research and recipes, but there are so many more out there than just the ones below.
Dietitians and doctors alike agree that a healthy breakfast is great for your body and has many benefits that no one should turn down. The key part is that it has to be a healthy breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I love donuts as much as the next girl (as a matter of fact I just had one with my breakfast this morning — it’s Saturday!), but they shouldn’t be a staple item on your breakfast menu.
So the benefits of breakfast:
- A more nutritionally complete diet – This speaks for itself. A complete diet means a healthier you.
- Better weight control – Eating a healthy breakfast will keep you full until lunchtime and prevent you from reaching for those nutrient poor snacks you have on hand.
- Better concentration and performance at school & work – You won’t be distracted by a rumbling stomach and your brain and body will be fueled by the breakfast food.
- Lower cholesterol levels – Skipping breakfast will slow your body’s response to insulin, which will then build up in your bloodstream and decrease your overall sensitivity to insulin. When this occurs your body will accumulate and store fat longer and faster, resulting in a higher cholesterol level and weight gain.
Thinking of Skipping?
Skipping breakfast can have a multitude of negative effects on the body. It can cause you to be drowsy throughout the day, eat more throughout the day, make poor diet decisions, and increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and weight issues. Being sluggish at work or school makes for the most unproductive day. Poor diet decisions and an increase in food intake can make the body feel unwell because that style of eating doesn’t provide the nutrients that the body needs, as well as lead to weight problems. Even eating an unhealthy breakfast can lead to the same issues. Skipping breakfast or eating an unhealthy breakfast may be convenient now, but despite the short-term side effects which can be considered mild, it can cause some real harm in terms of your health in the long run.
There are so many healthy breakfast items to choose from, but I wanted to share with you some of the most filling and healthy, but still tasty options.
Oats are the top listed breakfast food item anywhere you look for healthy breakfast food ideas. It is really good for your heart thanks to a little ingredient called beta-glucan. However, some of you may be like me. I cannot stand the mushiness of oatmeal… so I don’t eat it often. But thanks to some Pinterest exploration and this Health.com Article, I now have found a multitude of ways to make oatmeal that don’t involve mush! I’ve recently made these very simple peanut butter and honey oat bars that are simple and delicious [no baking required].
Eggs are a great source of protein that keep you full! They can be cooked in various ways and eaten standalone or with other items such as toast, fruit, muffins, etc. Eggs can even be cooked in a microwave! To do so spray a microwave safe mug or dish with cooking spray, add 2 eggs and beat them together with a splash of milk, microwave them for 45 seconds, take them out and stir them, place the eggs back in the microwave for another 30-45 seconds, and voila! Add salt, pepper, or cheese to taste.
Yogurt is another optimal breakfast food that can be customized to fit any flavor palette. There are so many brands, flavors, and types [light, whipped, greek, non-dairy] available. I tend to add fresh berries or protein granola (by Nature Valley) to mine. You can toss in chia or other seeds for additional protein! Yogurt is a great source of vitamins and is very good for your tummy. It can also be blended into a smoothie or turned into a parfait with a few other ingredients! Yogurt and granola is one of my best friend’s breakfast go-to’s. She doesn’t like eggs so this gives her the opportunity to stay fueled for her work day without sacrificing breakfast.
Fruit is a great option for starting your day. It is recommended that we eat at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day. So why not start early?! Although fruit will generally fill you up quickly (because of its high water content) be mindful of the high sugar content of some fruits and the lack of protein. Fruit is best paired with energy sources such as whole grain bread and eggs for protein. A breakfast like this will keep you satisfied and energized until lunch!
There are SO MANY other options for breakfast, that this doesn’t even begin to scrape the surface! There are cereals, muffins, casserole bakes, pancake/waffle variations, and so much more. If you want to break the mold and try something new or have been skipping breakfast because you don’t have time or don’t like the standard eggs and toast route, check out Pinterest. It has so quickly become my go-to for pretty much everything over the past few years. I will say some recipes on there are not the greatest and have failed me miserably, but for the most part I have found some delicious recipes and new ideas to prevent boredom with my breakfast food.
Last, but not least… my dear friend coffee.
I used to be the girl at Starbucks ordering extra pumps of syrup in my white chocolate mocha, but now I am a medium black coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts or brew it at home kind of girl. Recently I began looking into the nutritional information of coffee and its caffeine content (which varies wildly from one brand to another) and found this:
A new research study has found that mid-morning or about 10 am is the best time to consume your daily cup of coffee, and/or in the mid-afternoon between 2 pm and 5 pm due to the nature of our body’s circadian rhythms. During those time frames is when our cortisol levels (a hormone released in relation to our stress and blood sugar levels) are lowest. My recent practice has been to either drink a warm cup of lemon and honey water or just a glass of regular water with my breakfast and save my coffee until mid-morning. This gives my body a chance to rehydrate, start the day refreshed, and save my coffee until my little perk up will benefit me the most.
Additionally, coffee deducts about 4 milligrams of calcium from our body per 6 ounces of the delicious beverage consumed. I never knew this before. This can be counteracted by adding 2 tablespoons of your preferred milk to your coffee. Be careful to avoid the super sugary creamers and syrups if possible that can take your zero calorie beverage to one that is high in both calories, sugars, and preservatives.
I hope this post has been helpful for those of you who either don’t like the typical breakfast meal or who tend to skip breakfast on the regular. There are so many healthy options available that benefit both your body and mind. The best part is, most of them are quick and easy to make and won’t take much time away from your busy schedule. There are so many benefits to eating breakfast, even if it is just a slice of whole grain toast. If you stumble across a new recipe or have any yummy breakfast recipes that you use, let me know in the comments below!
References For Your Leisure: