Is breakfast important? You’ve probably heard the advice that eating a good breakfast is important for health and weight control. On the other hand, you might have heard that there are weight loss benefits in skipping breakfast altogether. The advice from official health and nutrition organisations is to eat a healthy breakfast. The main reasons for this are to avoid getting too hungry and/or having blood sugar lows, both of which can result in over-compensating with unhealthy foods. While skipping breakfast altogether and lasting until lunch time might result in an overall calorie reduction over the course of the day, it takes a lot of discipline. It’s also not good for everyone. Many people will experience low blood sugar symptoms such as loss of concentration and coordination, irritability, headaches, anxiety, palpitations and shaking.
What should you have for a healthy breakfast?
The same healthy eating rules apply to breakfast as to any other meal. We should avoid processed foods and foods that are high in fat and/or added sugar and should have plenty of fruit and veg.
Why we need fruit and veg
There are two main reasons we should have a high intake of fruit and veg – dietary fiber and micro nutrients. Fiber is an indigestible protein that makes up the cell walls of plants. It binds to food waste in our bodies and helps it to move through our digestive systems. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to good health and the proper functioning of our body systems. Plants contain a wide variety of these and benefit both short and long term health.
What about protein?
High protein diets continue to be popular, but don’t feature in any official health and nutrition advice. It’s essential to have protein in our diets to make new cells, but the advice is that no more than 15% of our calories should come from protein. If you’re on a training regime for muscle bulk growth you might need additional protein, if not, there’s no point in consuming more protein. Eating protein in itself does not build muscle. However, protein does help us to feel full and can help to slow down carbohydrate digestion, so it’s good to have a moderate amount of protein at each meal.
Healthy breakfast smoothies
Smoothies offer a good solution for a healthy, quick and easy breakfast. Ideally, they should contain a mixture of fruit and vegetables, as well as a small amount of fat and protein. Examples of fat and protein sources you can use in your breakfast smoothie include:
- Seeds (chia, flax, hemp etc.)
- Nut milks (eg almond, cashew)
- Coconut milk, cream or oil
- Dairy milk or yoghurt
- Soy milk or yoghurt
Smoothies ready to go
To make it even easier to start your day with a healthy breakfast smoothie, you can freeze pureed ingredients ahead and then just blend with your chosen liquid. Either puree the ingredients yourself, or even easier, buy ready made smoothie mixes.
Smoothie Box offers 4 flavours in portion sized frozen sachets. Made with organic ingredients and no additives, for you to blend with your choice of liquid. Click on the images to find out more: