Breakfast is possibly our most important meal of the day. Literally meaning ‘breaking your fast’ it reflects the re-introduction of food and drink after a period of time spent letting your body rest and recuperate from the day before.
Recent diets advocate fasting as a way of losing weight and conditioning the body. However, nutritionists recommend this fasting period to be from an earlier time during the previous day or evening rather than skipping breakfast as you will be more likely to burn off calories during the day than in the evening.
So, what does constitute a good breakfast? Here’s 6 ways you might want to kick start your day:
1. Drink up
Although experts widely recognise human beings need a certain amount of water, there aren’t any official guidelines. Whether you start your day with coffee, tea, water, milk or fruit juice, we know it’s important to stay hydrated. Children are now encouraged to have water bottles in school as studies have shown it benefits clear thinking. We also often think we’re hungry when we are in fact thirsty so starting your day with a drink will help flush out toxins and get the grey matter on track. If you’re keen to make the most of your first drink, why not swap to herbal teas or add a drop of lemon juice to some boiled water?
2. Make it Wholegrain
Wholegrains help to introduce fibre to your diet which in turn help feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. Many off the shelf cereals are laden with sugar but porridge, oat cakes and more traditional breads such as rye, have little to no sugar.
One interesting study recently showed that if you freeze ordinary shop bought sliced bread, it lowers the starch content. Starch is one of the components that can help increase weight. Once frozen, the starch turns into resistant starch, which can help feed the good gut bacteria and not add to your waistline.
3. Kippers anyone?
Protein is another great way to keep the pounds off and avoid mid-morning sugar cravings. Eggs, lean meat, mushrooms, fish and avocados can make great breakfast dishes. Why not try smashed avocado on poached egg, lean bacon with scrambled egg and beans or opt for kippers?
4. Start the Day as you mean to go on
What about introducing some of your five (or seven) a day first thing in the morning? Top some porridge with berries, add banana to some muesli or whizz up a fruit smoothie.
5. Grill, steam and poach
You can enjoy a healthy cooked breakfast by tweaking some of the cooking methods. What about grilled mushrooms and tomatoes with scrambled eggs? Do this and you’ll also be adding to your daily vegetable quota.
Why not read up on Keto, Paleo or AIP diets and see if you fancy trying some of the recipes? Keto diets favour high fats and low carbs whereas Paleo diets aim for meats and wholegrains as per the sort of diet our ancestors would have eaten. AIP (autoimmune protocol) on the other hand cuts out foods that could potentially cause gut inflammation. It is worth reading widely and discussing any change in diet with a specialist but trying some recipes every now and again may just turn up something you enjoy.