Last week Jenny wrote about the shocking amount of sugar that is found in our everyday foodstuffs, particularly our breakfast cereals. We also got some wonderful feedback on our Facebook page about peoples thoughts on the best healthy and unhealthy breakfast foods. So what is the key to getting the best nutrition out of your morning meal?
1. Check the packaging: If your breakfast comes out of a packet (e.g. muesli, cereal, yoghurt), check the information on the side for the ingredients and nutrition information. This is the first thing you should do. Get to know what you’re putting into your body at the start of the day.
2. Add protein: If you find yourself feeling hungry or sleepy mid morning and/or if you have problems losing weight, it is possible that you are not getting enough protein at the start of the day. Protein slows the release of energy in your body, keeping you fuller and awake for longer. Great protein rich breakfasts include eggs, beans, muesli or porridge with added nuts and seeds, peanut butter, cold meats or fish.
3. Can you add vegetables?: It’s not common place to see veg in a cereal bowl of course, but if you want to add an extra punch of nutrition to your breakfast then there are lots of ways to add in veg. Spinach and eggs is a well known combination, poached or fried; tomatoes, peppers, onion or celery all go great in omelette or scrambled eggs. Beans or cooked tomatoes on toast. If you have a cold breakfast, would some fresh green leaves go well alongside it?
4. Don’t over do the fruit: Don’t forget that fruit is very sugary. It is natural sugar, but still sugar nonetheless. If you do have fruit, make sure it is no more that a portion (a handful or a small glass of fruit juice) and take care to balance it with protein based foods as well.
5. Hydrate yourself: A cup of tea or coffee is needed to wake us up in the morning, but they can effect the absorption of essential nutrients when taken alongside a meal. With that in mind, limit yourself to your wake up brew and if you are still left with a thirst, look to herbal teas or water to put the fluid back in your body. Coffee and tea tend to act as diuretics so they can leave your body feeling dehydrated if you rely on them as your main morning drinks.
If you have any questions about how you could up the nutrient content of your breakfast, contact us or post a question on our facebook page. We are always happy to give out ideas!