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Top tips for a healthy breakfast

Top tips for a healthy breakfast
Article by: Danijela Unkovich     |     Date: April 27 , 2017

Ever scrambled out the door without a chance to sit down and eat? Consider this: with a nourishing breakfast, we’re energised and ready to tackle our day - so here are some ways you can build this first meal and fuel yourself up.

We’ve heard it time and time again - the importance of a good breakfast can’t be understated. This first meal fuels up our metaphorical petrol tank for the morning ahead and will ‘break the fast’ from overnight. With a nourishing breakfast, we’re energised and ready to tackle our day, both mentally and physically.

But for some, busy morning schedules may leave us scrambling out the door before we get a chance to sit down and eat - and if we’re running on empty we’re risking poor energy and concentration levels, and simply won’t function at our best. However, what we decide to eat for breakfast also affects how we feel too. Opting for a healthy and sustaining meal will leave us feeling energised, while something not so healthy may set us up on a rollercoaster of up and down blood sugar levels.

Here are top tips for building a healthy breakfast:

1. Select quality complex carbs

For many, breakfast is often based around a carbohydrate food of some sort - think toast, cereal or porridge. When digested and absorbed carbohydrates break down into sugars in the body, and the rate at which this happens can be determined by the type of carbohydrate, as well as what they’re eaten with. Complex slow-releasing carbs supply us with a steady release of energy (e.g. porridge), while more refined processed options (e.g. sugary cereal), which often contain excess added sugars, are digested and released quickly, and can cause blood sugar crashes and poor energy levels.

- Avoid processed, refined carbohydrates with added sugars at breakfast time, and instead go for unrefined whole sources.

- Protein and fat foods take longer to be digested than carbohydrates, and so when eaten together they’ll help slow digestion and the quick release of sugars. For example, you could add nut butter/avocado (protein/fat) on top of a grainy slice of toast (carb) or a sprinkle of nuts and seeds (protein/fat) on top of your bowl of porridge (carbs).

2. Don’t forget protein

Out of the three macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat), protein is the slowest to be digested. This means when we include protein-rich foods in our meal, it will help keep us feeling fuller for longer. Protein is also made up of essential amino acids, which serve as the building blocks of our body, and are essential for good health.

Eggs are a great source of protein - enjoy them scrambled, poached, sunny side up or in an omelette. You could even make little mini egg and veggie frittata muffins for a wholesome breakfast on the run.

A quick protein smoothie is a great option for the time poor - simply whiz up protein powder, your choice of fruit (bananas and berries are great!), a few tablespoons of nuts/seeds and your milk of choice, for a balanced, wholesome breakfast.

3. Nutrients are king

Our health is hugely influenced by the quality of our food. Starting our day with a high quality, nutrient-rich breakfast will nourish us deeply and is a habit that will cumulatively contribute to good health. Whole, unprocessed foods are naturally high in nutrients, and should make up the bulk of our diet.

The breakfast shelf at the supermarket is infiltrated with sugary options, which may come across appealing (especially to wee ones!), but they won’t sustain us in the long term. Skip the processed options and go natural - if you’re a cereal or muesli fan, try making your own by tossing together a combination of whole oats, your favourite chopped nuts, seeds, coconut and a little dried fruit.

Breakfast is a great time to enjoy veggies! You could try a quick veggie stir fry with eggs, sauteed spinach and mushrooms, or add a handful of leafy greens to your fruit smoothie.

Here are some more breakfast ideas to get you inspired in the kitchen:

- Smoked salmon and smashed avocado on high quality grainy toast.

- Fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, with a few spoons of coconut yoghurt or full-fat probiotic, unsweetened yoghurt.

- Omelette packed with colourful veggies.

- High quality muesli, with your favourite milk and a piece of fresh sliced fruit.

- Breakfast burrito - filled with scrambled eggs, sauteed veggies and salsa.

Nutritionist Danijela Unkovich is a SKIN by ecostore ambassador. She shares recipe ideas and wellness inspiration on her blog, Healthy Always.


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