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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.