Since you were a kid, you will have been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is true on many levels. Not only does eating a nutritious meal in the morning make you more productive. It also kickstarts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day. Other long-term benefits of breakfast include lowering cholesterol and reducing your risk of getting diabetes and heart disease. Breakfast also reduces your desire to snack during the day so can help manage weight.
You do need to put some thought into what ingredients you put on your plate in the morning though. Far from fatty fry-ups and sugary cereals, here are our recommended, delicious and nutritious breakfast options.
Porridge is on trend at the moment as a healthy breakfast which can be spruced up in many ways. Oats increase blood sugar levels gradually over a long period of time which can reduce your risk of diabetes. This slow release of energy also means that you’re less likely to feel hungry and snack before lunchtime.
In terms of vitamins and minerals, porridge contains B vitamins, iron and a good amount of protein. If you like your porridge with milk, that’s a source of calcium for healthy bones. Or nut, soya or coconut milk are brilliant dairy-free alternatives.
Oats increase blood sugar levels gradually over a long period of time which can reduce your risk of diabetes
There are many ways you can customise your porridge – without making it overindulgent. Chopped dates, ripe or dry mango and mixed berries all add natural sweetness, while nuts and seeds such as almonds, pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts give your porridge texture. Try to avoid cream and yoghurt as these both bump up the calorie content!
Perfect for people who are short for time in the morning, Bircher muesli is made up of oats, natural yoghurt, milk, grated apple, cinnamon and a selection of chopped nuts and seeds. You simply combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and leave them overnight to soak. Like porridge, energy from the oats will slowly be released throughout the morning so that you stay fuller for longer. And, you can make a big batch and store it in the fridge to last a few days!
Bircher muesli is made up of oats, natural yoghurt, milk, grated apple, cinnamon and a selection of chopped nuts and seeds
While a lot of people are moving away from animal products, eggs do remain an excellent breakfast choice. High in protein which helps your body build and repair tissues, they’re also incredibly versatile. Whether you like them boiled, poached or scrambled, you can add healthy herbs, spices and vegetables such as wilted spinach or avocado to pack them full of flavour and nutrients.
Eggs are also very rich in selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals including zinc, iron and copper. Do make sure you always buy them organic and free-range, and try to steer clear of fried eggs which are fattier.
High in protein which helps your body build and repair tissues, eggs are also incredibly versatile
A recent study carried out by Flahavan’s Irish Porridge Oats found that a whopping 50 percent of people in Britain skip breakfast, and often this is down to not feeling hungry in the morning. This is common if you eat late at night, because the digestion of your dinner would only have just finished when you wake up, meaning that you wouldn’t be hungry enough for breakfast yet. Also, many of us feel nauseous in the morning because our bodies have been without food for a few hours – which ironically makes you lose your appetite.
But as mentioned earlier, consuming something in the morning is so important for your metabolism – so a filling smoothie is a helpful solution if you don’t feel like tucking into anything more substantial.
Again, with smoothies the possibilities are endless and you can experiment with different fruits and natural sweeteners like honey and dates. They’re also great if you have a busy lifestyle as you can prepare the fruit the night before. Simply whizz in the blender for a few seconds in the morning, and take it on-the-go.
Again, with smoothies the possibilities are endless and you can experiment with different fruits and natural sweeteners like honey and dates
Overall, breakfast is instrumental to a healthy, working metabolism, which is one category our NutriQlu DNA test addresses. Additionally, our test reports give you valuable genetic insights into any vitamin and mineral deficiencies you may have, and regular healthy breakfasts are a fantastic way of supplying your body with the nutrients which it is lacking.
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