Health: Pump Up Your Breakfast!
Get your day started with the best of the boost
We’ve heard the old adage that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” right? Although I would argue that it’s not necessarily always more important than lunch or dinner, there is a wealth of evidence in favor of including breakfast on a regular basis. Several studies have noted a range of benefits associated with starting your day with breakfast:
- Higher daily calcium and fiber intake
- Greater intake of vitamins and minerals
- Meeting the recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake
- Improved performance at work
- Better weight control
- Improved blood sugar control
- Reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol
- Lower fat intake throughout the day
- Lower chances of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease
Keep a Balanced Breakfast
It’s important to remember that not all breakfasts are created equal — a muffin or a donut to start your day likely doesn’t contribute the same benefits as more balanced meals. Here are some ways to boost the nutrition in your breakfast.
- Combine your macronutrients. Aim to have your breakfast contain protein, carbohydrates (focusing on fiber), and a reasonable amount of fat. This balance can help meet your macronutrient needs, letting you feel full and more satisfied for longer periods of time.
- Research recipes. If you’re in a rut and need ideas for healthy and balanced breakfast, do some digging. Check out Pinterest, Google, blogs, cookbooks and recipe “swaps” to add to your breakfast repertoire.
- Take advantage of leftovers. There’s no hard and fast rule that says that your first meal of the day must consist of “traditional” breakfast foods or that you should focus only on sweet flavors instead of savory. Try soups, chilis or casseroles with your morning cup of coffee. It may be just the thing you need to kick your day off on the right foot.
There are many breakfast-building tips available for review. The following list captures a handful of strategies that can be used to create a balanced and nutritious meal to start your day.
- Swap for whole grains. Choose high-fiber, whole-grain sources for breads, cereal, English muffins, etc.
- Load up your blender. Using milk or yogurt (dairy or plant-based) offers a protein base and then add fruits and vegetables to your heart’s content.
- Fire up your skillet to make a quick egg and veggie omelet or scramble.
Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-829-5384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com.
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