Why Breakfast Matters by Oliver McCabe - Irish Independent Health Foods Ltd. Author of The FuelFood Cookbook
No refined sugar and less caffeine: Refined sugar and caffeine may make you feel better temporarily, but your body soon ‘crashes’ from the high, leaving you exhausted or irritable. When serotonin (the happy hormone) levels are low in the brain, cravings for carbohydrates such as cakes, sweets, chocolate and alcohol can result, as the body uses insulin to trigger serotonin release.
Don’t skip: Most people simply make up for a skipped meal by eating more at other meals and that can’t be good. Eating breakfast means you are more likely to get your recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Skipping breakfast means you are less likely to make up the lost nutrients at other meals of the day, plus you have a greater tendency to fill up on nutrient-poor sweet or savoury snacks, leaving fruit and vegetables out of the picture. Skipping meals rarely helps with weight loss.
Quick Breakfast: Sip on a homemade green smoothie throughout the morning or have your oat porridge with nuts, seeds, natural yoghurt and fresh fruit or a boiled egg first, then eat your fruit an hour or so later. A nutritious breakfast is important for everyone, no matter their age, but it is especially critical for children and teenagers to remain focused and fuelled.
The breakfast of champions: The ideal breakfast should have lots of fibre and whole grains, some protein and healthy fat, and as little added sugar as possible – in other words, a good balance of healthy carbohydrates, protein and essential fats. Keep your breakfast choices simple so you don’t need to worry or stress about it.
Egg It: Eggs contain important brain fats called phospholipids. Phospholipids enhance your mood, mind and mental performance. There’s no evidence that eating eggs promotes high blood-cholesterol levels or increases the risk of heart disease. Eggs can help to build muscles and they are rich in protein, cholesterol and vitamins A, D and E. Yolks are rich in vitamin D so eat the whole egg to get the whole nutritional package.
Oat Up: Oats are economical, versatile and nutritious. I prefer preparing hot porridge with natural yoghurt and fresh berries. Or soaking oats overnight in apple juice and natural yoghurt to create a bircher muesli topped with flaxseed and banana. Or even baking oats in the oven the day before with nuts and seeds and maple syrup to make a scrumptious granola with chia seeds. Oats stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent sugar crashes, as they are full of slow-releasing carbohydrates that give you plenty of energy until lunchtime. They contain a lot of soluble fibre that is rich in beta-glucans. This particular type of fibre has been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels and help prevent high blood pressure.
Do yourself a favour; get up fifteen minutes earlier tomorrow to enjoy the whole early morning experience of the best meal of the day and you’ll be glad you did. In no time it will become a stress-free daily ritual, for which the benefits are tenfold.
Recommended Independent Irish Health food breakfast products:
Independent Irish Health foods Organic Jumbo Oat flakes
True Natural Goodness