Breakfast provides the body with necessary fuel (glucose) after an overnight fast. Breakfast also sets the tone for the rest of our day in terms of food choice. If we skip breakfast or find ourselves reaching for a quick energy boost such as fruit juice to start the day, this may lead to a day of poor energy and concentration and low blood sugar levels. In turn, we may overeat later in the day and make less than ideal food choices.
The key components of a well-balanced breakfast are:
Source of fibre, B-vitamins and replenishes liver glycogen stores after fasting overnight. Complex carbohydrates, provides a slow release of energy best for supporting blood sugar levels. Options include wholegrain bread, oats, root vegetables, quinoa, rice, buckwheat and some fruits.
Supports lean tissue growth and metabolism, improves satiety and helping regulate blood sugar and assists us in achieving our daily protein intake. Options include yoghurt/cheese/milk, legumes, eggs, meat/seafood, nuts/seeds and tofu.
Aim for a source of omega-3 essential fatty acids (fatty fish, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds/linseeds), which must be eaten via the diet as the body cannot make them. Supports mood, has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body and helps us absorb fat-soluble nutrients and antioxidants.
Offers a nutritional boost to the diet and helps us meet our recommend daily intake for vitamins and minerals.
Some healthy and balanced breakfast ideas include:
Smoothie containing 1 cup milk/dairy alternative, ½ tbsp. oats, ½ tbsp. chia seeds, 1 banana/other fruit and 1/3 cup berries
2-egg omelette with diced tomato, capsicum, basil leaves, grated zucchini, feta cheese and herbs served on 1-2 slices soy & linseed bread.
Quinoa or buckwheat porridge topped with natural yoghurt, strawberries, chia seeds and walnuts.
Zoe Bingley-Pullin is a celebrity nutritionist and founder of Falling In Love With Food. For more information visit zoebingleypullin.com