6th Jun 2017
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The five staples of a healthy breakfast
avocado on toast

Your morning meal is the time to ‘break’ your ‘fast’ after a night’s sleep. It’s also supposed to give you fuel to start your day. When you eat the right foods at breakfast, your body receives the right amount of energy to get you through to lunchtime and keep you healthy.

These five ingredients aren’t just the foundations of a healthy morning meal, they also make for versatile and easy breakfasts.

1. Oats
Ever noticed the red tick on your box of oats? That’s the seal of approval from the National Heart Foundation indicating that oats are a wonder food. Oats contain a type of fibre called beta-glucan, which can help lower cholesterol when eaten on a regular basis. Oats also supply your body with omega-3 fatty acids (for healthy brain function), folate (for the production of red blood cells) and potassium (for healthy muscles and nerves).

When selecting oats, opt for steel-cut instead of rolled or instant. They might take longer to prepare but they contain more fibre. Do your best to avoid flavoured varieties, which are often packed with sugar. Besides, a drizzle of honey and some banana on your porridge is much tastier!

2. Avocado
Possibly the nation’s most culturally divisive fruit, no matter your home ownership status or which generation you belong to, no one can argue that avocado is a kind of miracle food. In fact, if you were to choose one food to eat for the rest of your life, avocado would be perfect, as it contains many of the vitamins and minerals you need to survive. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated (good) fats and can benefit those with osteoarthritis. They also contribute to weight loss, improved digestion and better eye health. A further benefit is that eating avocado with other foods enables your body to better absorb certain nutrients.

3. Eggs
Why do so many countries around the world eat eggs for breakfast? Well, for a start, they’re relatively inexpensive, they fill you up and they are versatile to cook with. Eating a couple of eggs on toast several times a week is an excellent way to provide your body with a long-lasting energy source. With one egg containing just 77 calories, 6g of protein, 5g of healthy fat and loads of other nutrients, they really are ‘nature’s multivitamin’.

The reason eggs used to receive a bad rap is because they do contain a significant amount of cholesterol. However, more recent studies show that eggs actually improve your cholesterol levels and do not cause cardiovascular-related problems. This is because eggs contain ‘good’ cholesterol instead of ‘bad’ cholesterol, which has been linked to health problems.

4. Toast
Contrary to what many weight-loss programs tout, bread is not the enemy. In fact, wholemeal grains and cereals (after vegetables) are the second-most important food you should be eating, according to the Healthy Living Pyramid. This is because wholemeal bread provides your body with soluble fibre, which is crucial to weight loss. When you eat wholemeal cereals the digestive process slows down, meaning you stay fuller for longer. Toast is the perfect companion to eggs because carbs and protein work together in your body to control blood sugar and maintain optimal weight.

5. Milk
If you’re lactose tolerant, dairy milk is a great way to start the day. Milk is loaded with protein to help build strong muscles and bones. It also contains fat, which gives your body energy for the morning. Milk also contains essential vitamins and minerals, including potassium, calcium and Vitamin D. While it’s preferable to sit down and have a proper meal at breakfast, if you have to dash out the door, a glass of milk is better than a sugary muesli bar to start your day with.

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    COMMENTS

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    Travelling Man
    6th Jun 2017
    12:37pm
    Amazingly I already consume these tasty morsels mostly on a daily basis, so I HEARTily agree. Thank you for the confirmation, Amelia.
    rtrish
    6th Jun 2017
    12:45pm
    These sound great, with oats a favourite of mine. Re dairy, I am lactose-intolerant. However after experimenting, I find I can consume lactose-free milk and yogurt, plus some cheese: hard cheese like cheddar, plus fetta, camembert and brie, where maybe the lactose is already modified. There is at least one brand of commercial lactose-free cheese. These ideas may not work for you but I would be lost without my dairy cuppa or bowl of cereal with (lactose-free) milk! Plus the doc tells me that my calcium levels are good.
    Ella
    6th Jun 2017
    12:52pm
    Interestingly enough when i went on a reduced carb diet and gave up my oats for breakfast , although i lost 11kg over 6 months my cholestrol level went up. My GP was as surprised as me. I now happily eat my oats again every morning and my levels went back into normal range .
    The pom
    6th Jun 2017
    4:48pm
    I love my morning porridge, made with oats bought as oats not your mixed up expensive packs with sugar and/or other stuff added. Soak it overnight with a little dried fruit added in just water, then in the morning add some milk and cook for a while in the microwave, then leave stand for a spell then more lquid and a bring to the boil in the microwave and it is fully cooked.


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